Review: "Türkçe'nin Gücü" by Aksan (1987) / sec I / chap 1

This page is a review of the chapter "1 Vocal Properties of Turkish" (pp.19-23) in the section "I General Properties of Turkish" of TüGü -- about the sound of Turkish, along with the mythical linguistic coercions which the newspeak-sloganists insist with.

phonetic vs. alphabetic

How should we classify the strange claim of TüGü that in Turkish there are "8 base wovels" whereas, in Arabic there are "only three." In the next paragraph (p.20), a compounded gross is that, TüGü suggests that the wovel 'dotless-i' of Turkish&Russian, is non-existent in a lot of languages. Well, if the existence is an advantage, the sound of Arabic is also gifted. Although there are only three hareke varieties in Arabic, that does not mean a "three-wovel language." For example, the hareke for 'i' in ihdina and q[i]na are pronounced differently -- as the latter is the dotless-i sound.

We may infer that, TüGü confuses badly, the twin concepts of (pseudo-phonetic) alphabeticism vs. phoneticism. Or else, what is the claimed distinction? The sound-variety is there.

That dotless-i sound does exist also in English -- even if not as a letter of alphabet. For example, in the word 'customary' (after 't' and 'm') -- where, in phonetic-transcription, an Oxford dictionary is with rotated-e entries.

losers' game

The mythical coercion of "wovel-agreements" ("ünlü uyumu") of Turkish, is not quite what those newspeak-sloganists would like people to believe. e.g: TüGü tells about that (pp.20-22), as if that mattered in pronounciation-ease (p.21). They

The TüGü mention of the agglutinative "rare exception" (p.21) does not reflect the importance of the exception. The present[-continuous]-tense suffix -yor is employed in most texts. The suffix -ken (while), is also often employed. They also may agglutinate, e.g: as in geliyorken, istiyorken (ist(e)-i-yor-ken, 'while requesting').

Less-popular suffixes: -leyin (in the {time}, e.g: sabahleyin), -yazmak (almost/about-to, e.g: öleyazmak)

The next paragraph (p.22), after the "wovel-agreement" case is finished, when TüGü is to exemplify the next type of sound-related coercion, there we find the examples which itself lists, and we find that he is proud with the hetero-wovel examples istasyon, ispirto, kitap, and ilaç. If these are good enough, why was the previous type of coercion insisted?

Both 'istasyon' and 'ispirto' avoid both types of the "wovel agreements." The "big agreement" ("büyük ünlü uyumu") would not allow a word to contain the thick wovels (a,o,u,dotless-i) along with the thin (e,ö,ü,i). The "little agreement" ("küçük ünlü uyumu") would not allow a round wovel (o,u,ö,ü) to follow after a flat wovel.

Also, TüGü is again wrong there, in a way, when it claims the wovel at front, is added as "that is the Turkish pronounciation-taste." In fact, that is quite noticeably, the Arabic-taste of the Istanbul people. The familiarity case, that probably motivated Istanbul people to transform ispirto (and istasyon, etc.) have followed, after the familiar Arabic-origin word-pattern, e.g: as existing in the Arabic "ispat/isbat," "istisna," "istifham," "istirahat," etc. By contrast, the word train is pronounced as "tiren," and written as "tren" -- not "itren." Likewise, in the case of "trafik" -- not "itrafik." Etc.

Some village people employ that 'i' or dotless-i, a lot. e.g: Instead of 'receb' they may pronounce 'ireceb.' To Istanbul people though, that is only funny, if not folkloric.

The next mythical coercion, is also bad news, as the newspeak people have already transcribed these the wrong way which they insist at. The last-letter coercion was a totally badly conceived idea, which is a loss of pronounciation information.

For example, the words/names Ahmet and Nimet are both from Arabic. The difference is that, the Arabic is Ahmed, not Ahmet. Next, when in your sentence, there is a phrase "Ahmet'i" vs. "Nimet'i," we pronounce both of them as from their Arabic original. That is, Ahmet is pronounced as Ahmed, whereas Nimet is pronounced as Nimet. Why did the newspeak people wrote that wrong, then? (For me, at the bottom of this page, the name is Ahmed, not Ahmet. I do not jump out of the window, after them.)

Not to mention that, people of Istanbul may not pronounce such a "Turkish'ified" (sharp-consonant at the end of the lone word), with that exact sharp sound, really. Instead, mostly, the sound may appear within a range. e.g: kitab/p, Ahmed/t.

too-good ?!?
"sharp"-shooters -- as they mark their own feet

If people would tell that your voice does sound good, would you try to change that? That is what TüGü is -- as the self-contradiction is obvious when the last sentence (p.23) of sec.I/chap.1 is proud that other people find Turkish harmonious. He lists all the (not-the-case) linguistic-coercions the newspeak people suggest, but next he tells the case about the present case.

That quote "ne #hos a#hengi #var su #Türkçenin" is an oxymoron, -- a sentence with quadruple-shift thin-thick-thin-thick-thin. Not to mention that the word ahenk, as that is with a wovel-suffix, it is naturalized to the original "aheng" as from Farsi, and itself is a thick-thin word. If a foreigner really said that quote "what a pleasing (sound) harmony, there is with that Turkish," then why does TüGü try to coerce, and/or why does TüGü itself employ such sentences? Is that "Turkish" pleasing really, or not?

lament the complimented? That is the type of logic, as if a sports-team would want to never have a foreign athlete in their team again, after that season they won the championship, with a team full of foreign people.

By contrast, in fact, the tribalized (T.D.K.) T.C.newspeak is generally noticed the clunky-sound (takir tukur).

Any Questions?: . . (Request for Content . . . . . Report Errors . . . . . Submit Case Study . . . . . Report Content Similarity.)

RevisioNo: 0
Last-Revised (text) on Nov. 25, 2005
Written by: Ahmed Ferzen/Ferzan R Midyat-Zilan (or, Earth)
Copyright (c) [2002,] 2003, 2004, 2005 Ferzan Midyat. All rights reserved.