basics > Turkish Buffer Letters

Turkish makes use of three buffer letters -n- -y- -s- to keep vowels apart when adding suffixes. There are rules on the choice of these suffixes:
The letter Y is a consonant in the Turkish alphabet.

The buffer letter -S-

Only used with the third person suffix he, she, it the form -si -sı -sü -su when added to a root word which ends in a vowel.
It is not used in any other instance.

Turkish Buffer Letter -S-
Simple NounSuffixed NounMeaning
kedi catkedisi [kedi-si]his/her cat
şemsiye umbrella şemsiyesi [şemsiye-si]his/her umbrella
kapı doorkapısı [kapı-sı]his/her/its door
palto overcoatpaltosu [palto-su]his overcoat
ütü flatironütüsü [ütü-sü]his/her iron
araba cararabası [araba-sı]his/her car
kuzu lambkuzusu [kuzu-su] his/her lamb

Turkish buffer letter -Y-

Buffer letter -Y- is only used with simple nouns which are not suffixed.

This -Y is used ON PLAIN SIMPLE UNSUFFIXED NOUNS with the direct object Condition suffix -i the to become -yi -yı -yu -yü when added to a root word which ends in a vowel.
kedi cat becomes kediyi the cat (object)
banka bank becomes bankayı the bank (object)

This -Y is used ON PLAIN SIMPLE UNSUFFIXED NOUNS with the the Movement Toward Condition [dative] -a, -e to, towards to become -ya -ye when added to a root word which ends in a vowel.
kedi cat becomes kediye [kedi-y-e] to the cat
banka bank becomes bankaya [banka-y-a] to the bank
baba father becomes babaya [baba-y-a] to the father

The buffer letter -N- with Ownership Condition

Buffer letter -N- is always used for the Ownership condition [genitive] -in -ın -ün -un for owners tht end in a vowel to become -nin -nın -nün -nun
Bare nouns in the ownership condition do not use -Y- as a buffer letter.

Turkish Buffer letter -N- Ownership Condition
Bare NounExtended Noun
of the brıdge, the brıdge'sköprüsünün
of his brıdge, his brıdge's
of the table, the table'smasalarının
of their table, their table's
of the window, the window'spenceresinin
of its window, its window's
of the traveller, the traveller'syolcularının
of theır traveller, theır traveller's

Buffer letter -N- is used with nouns that have already been suffixed.

This shift of buffer letter y to n enables the listener to discern that the word is already agglutinated (extended) by previous suffixes.
Buffer letter -N is used on ALREADY SUFFIXED NOUNS

kedisi his/her cat becomes kedisini [kedi-si-ni] his/her cat [3rd person possessed object]
bankası his/her bank becomes bankasını [banka-sı-nı] his/her bank [3rd person possessedobject]
kedileri their cat becomes kedilerine [kedi-leri-ne] to their cat [3rd person plural possessed motion toward]

The Buffer Letter -N- with -da/-de and -dan/-den

The suffixes -de and -dan are added directly to basic nouns
kedi cat becomes kedide [kedi-de] on the cat
kediden [kediden] from the cat
kapı door becomes kapıda [kapı-da] on/at the door
kapıdan [kapıdan] from the door

They become -nda/-nde and -ndan/-nden when added to ALREADY SUFFIXED nouns to separate them from the extended word:
kedisi his/her cat becomes kedisinde [kedi-si-nde] on his/her cat
kedisinden [kedi-si-n-den] from his/her cat
kapısı his/her door becomes kapısında [kapı-sı-nda] on/at his/her door
kapısından [kapı-sı-n-dan] from his/her door

‑de and ‑den require a buffer ‑n‑ when added to an extended word.
Simple NounExtended Noun
from the bankbankasından
from his bank
in/at the bankbankasında
in/at his bank
from the banksbankalarından
from their bank(s)
from the house/from homeevinden
from his house/home
in the housesevlerinde
in their houses


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