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| Turkish | Yoruba | Vietnamese |
- Turkish 1: TURKSH 0101 (Formerly LING 0561)
- Turkish 2: TURKSH 0102 (Formerly LING 0562)
- Turkish 3: TURKSH 0103 (Formerly LING 0563)
- Turkish 4: TURKSH 0104 (Formerly LING 0564)
- Turkish 5: TURKSH 1901 (Independent Study - please contact instructor for permission number)
- Turkish 6: TURKSH 1901 (Independent Study - please contact instructor for permission number)
- Special Topics in Turkish: Turkish Culture & Society, TURKSH 1909
About 75 million people speak Turkish as their first language, most
prominently in Turkey and Eastern Europe. It is the official language
of Turkey and Cyprus, and has official status in Kosova and Macedonia.
There are also large communities of Turkish speakers in the Balkans,
the Caucasus, and in Western Europe where Turkish immigrants have been
guest workers for so many years. Turkish has 29 letters written in a
modified version of the Latin alphabet.
Why Study Turkish?
Turkish will be of significant interest to students in a variety of fields. For linguistics
majors, studying Turkish will fulfill the Less-Commonly-Taught language
requirement and also provide a solid foundation for learning other
Turkic languages. Turkish belongs to the Altaic branch of the
Ural-Altaic language family and shares mutual intelligibility with most
of the Turkic languages including Azeri, Uighur, Turkmen, Kyrgyz,
Kazakh, Uzbek and many others spoken from the Balkans across Central
Asia and all the way to northwestern China and Siberia.
The US government considers Turkish to be a critical language.
Numerous government jobs, scholarships and fellowships are available
for students studying Less-Commonly-Taught-Languages like Turkish.(Link
Study of Turkish will benefit anyone majoring or minoring in international affairs, journalism, political science, global finance and business..
Turkey is a Euroasian country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean
and strategically connected in geography and culture to Eastern Europe,
Central Asia and the Middle East. Knowledge of Turkey and Turkish will
make you a valuable asset for corporations, government agencies and
research institutions promoting closer ties with these regions of vital
For students of anthropology, archeology and history, Turkish
language skills will open up exciting research opportunities. Anatolia,
the territory of Modern Turkey, has been a heartland of human
civilization, hosting some of the world’s greatest archeological sites
including ruins from the oldest known human settlement, Çatal Höyük
(7500 BC), the city of Troy, Nova’s Ark, Ephesus, and Istanbul-the only
city in the world located on two continents (Link 2). Turkish archives
today offer an immense amount of documents and historical information
pertinent to Hittite, Assyrian, Hellenistic, Persian Roman, Byzantine,
Islamic and Ottoman-Turkish civilizations.
Some Fun Things About Turkish Grammar
Turkish is an agglutinative language. Suffixes indicating
different grammatical functions are attached to a root-word to modify
meaning. The process of agglutination –literally meaning- a gluing on
transforms a single word-stem into a meaningful phrase or a complete
sentence. The rules governing how suffixes are attached in Turkish are
highly regular, making agglutination easier than it seems.
|resim ||picture ||mutlu ||happy
|resimler ||pictures ||mutlusun. ||You are happy.
|resimlerim ||my pictures ||mutluydun. ||You were happy.
|resimlerimdi. ||they were my pictures ||mutlu muydun? ||Were you happy?
Turkish uses postpositions, for example, ailem için (for my family), okuldan sonra (after school). Sentence construction in Turkish is based on the subject-object-verb pattern.
|Turkish: ||Selin ||Istanbul’a ||gitti. ||Ali ||pazardan ||sebze ||alacak.
|English: ||Selin ||to Istanbul ||went. ||Ali ||from bazaar ||vegetable ||will buy.
Another fundamental characteristic of Turkish is the rule of vowel harmony
according to which vowel(s) of a suffix must have the same properties
with the last vowel of the word to which the suffix is added. Turkish
has eight vowels grouped in terms of presence or absence of three
phonemic features: front-back , rounded-unrounded, high-low. For
example, if a word stem has a back vowel (a, i, o, u) subsequent
suffixes will also contain vowels pronounced in the back of the mouth,
with the same rule holding true for front vowels (e, i, ö, ü).
Example: noun + plural suffix (-ler after front vowels and –lar after back vowels)
Turkish is a phonetic language-each letter always retains one
single sound. This makes spelling and pronunciation of new words in
Turkish much easier than in English, which has long and short sounds
for a single letter such as cut/cute, can/cane or silent letters like knife, know.
Students in the Turkish class will learn a great deal about the
Turkish culture, which is a unique blend of eastern and western
traditions (Link 3). In each class, cultural features will be
introduced in relation to particular vocabulary and grammar forms being
studied. Turkish is a highly idiomatic language with a set of cultural
expressions that are crucial for effective communication in Turkish
society. It is a lot of fun to learn these expressions, and they will
make communication in Turkish easier and more authentic.
Students will also learn socio-linguistic rules of everyday speech
including gestures, body language, linguistic fillers such as sey, efendim, paralinguals like öf, ya, aman.
Particular attention will be given to culturally appropriate ways to
address and greet people, express gratitude, ask questions, agree or
disagree with someone in different conversational situations.
Aspects of Turkish cultural identity like rituals, customs and
traditions will be presented through proverbs, folktales, myths, simple
poems, rhymes, songs, magazine and newspaper clips and national
Scholarship Opportunities for Students of Turkish (undergraduate and graduate)
Interested in Study Abroad?
Interested in Turkish Culture?