basics > Vowel Loss in Turkish Nouns

Apocopation - Turkish Vowel Loss

Apocopate
To cut off or drop the last letter or part of a word.

A Few Turkish nouns lose their final vowel (apocopate) when a suffix which starts with a vowel is added to the noun. e.g: Adding suffix -im my: the word izin leave, time off becomes izn-im [NOT izin-im] my leave. The final vowel of the noun root is dropped when adding a suffix which begins in a vowel.

Adding a vowel DOES affect the Noun

burun becomes burnum my nose burnumda [burn-um-da] on my nose
ağız becomes ağzında [ağz-ı-nda] in his mouth
beyin becomes beynimden [beyn-im-den] from my brain
kayıp becomes kaybımızdan [kayb-ımız-dan] from our loss

Erkek arkadaşımın ismi Mehmet'tir. My boy-friend's name is Mehmet (ism-i)
Here the suffix -i his affects the noun isim name
Ali'nin alnı terliyor Ali's forehead is sweating (Ali'nin aln-ı)
Here the word forehead is in the possessive relationship which affects the noun alın shortening it to aln

Adding a consonant does NOT affect the Noun

izindeyim [izin-de-yim] I am on leave
Here the vowel of izin is not lost as the first suffix -de begins with a consonant.
ağızda [ağız-da] in the mouth
beyinden [beyin-den] from the brain
oğul [oğul-dan] from the son
kayıptan [kayıp-tan] becomes from the loss

Examples Turkish vowel loss with the possessive adjective:

  • fikir becomes fikrim my idea
  • keyif becomes keyfi his/her joy
  • oğul becomes oğlumuz our son
  • boyun becomes boynu his neck
  • nakil becomes naklin your (sing.) transport
  • gönül becomes gönlüm my desire
  • isim becomes ismim my name
  • nakit becomes nakdiniz your (plur.) cash
  • kayıp becomes kaybınızden from your loss

The rules of Consonant Mutation are still observed in the apocopated noun. Exampled by the final consonant nakit cash has mutated to its soft form -d. and kaybı his loss has mutated from kayıp.

There some are exceptions which do not soften their root vowel as they may be considered (a) Single Syllable Words or (b) Foreign Word Imports, as in: vakit (arb.) time, occasion which becomes vaktim my time

The following nouns lose an internal vowel from the noun stem when a suffix beginning with a vowel is added. Many of these words are in constant daily use.

Turkish Apocopating (vowel loss) Noun Listing
TurkishDirect ObjectEnglish
AcizAczi (NOT acizi)Impotence
AğızAğzıMouth
AhitAhdiInjunction
AkılAklıIntelligence
AkitAktiTreaty
AkisAksiReflection
AlınAlnıForehead
AsılAslıOrigin
AsırAsrıCentury
AzimAzmiDetermination
BağırBağrıBosom
BahisBahsi (Bahse girmek)Bet, Wager (to make a bet)
BeyinBeyniBrain
BoyunBoynuNeck
BurunBurnuNose
CisimCismiSubstance, matter, object
CürümCürmüCrime
DefinDefniBurial
DevirDevriPeriod
EcirEcriReward/Wage
EmirEmriOrder, Command
FasilFasliPart, chapter
FetihFethiConquest
FikirFikriIdea
GenizGenziNostril
GöğüsGöğsüBreast
GönülGönlüHeart/Desire
HacimHacmiVolume
HacizHacziDistraint, confiscation, seizure
HapisHapsiPrison
HasımHasmıEnemy, foe, rival
HazımHazmıDigestion
HışımHışmıRage/Anger
HüzünHüznüGrief
İlimİlmiScience
İsimİsmiName
İzinİzniLeave/Time off
KadirKadriWorth/Value
KahırKahrıAnxiety
KarınKarnıStomach
KasıtKastıIntention, purpose, deliberatness
KayınKaynıBrother-in-law
KayıpKaybıLoss
KesirKesriFraction (in maths)
KeşifKeşfiDiscovery
KeyifKeyfiPleasure
KısımKısmıPart (of)
MetinMetniText
NabızNabzıPulse
NakilNakliTransport
NakitNakdiCash
NazımNazmıVerse, poetry
NefisNefsiSelf, personality
NehirNehriRiver
NesirNesriProse
NeşirNeşriPublication, edition, broadcasting
NutukNutkuSpeech, oration
OğulOğluSon
ResimResmiPicture
SabırSabrıPatience
SatıhSathıSuperficie, plane
SeyirSeyriMotion
SıkıtSıktıMiscarriage
ŞehirŞehriCity
ŞekilŞekliForm/Shape
ŞükürŞükrüGratitude
TavırTavrıMode/Manner
UfukUfkuHorizon
VakitVaktiTime, occasion
VasıfVasfıCharacteristic, qualification, quality
ZehirZehriPoison
ZihinZihniIntellect
ZulümZulmüTyranny, cruelty

Many of these words, especially the parts of the body as, burun nose becomes burnum my nose and beyin brain becomes beynim my brain are in constant daily use.

The word şehir city itself does apocopate. However actual town names do not apocopate as they are Proper Nouns.
Eskişehir'e gidiyorum. I am going to Eskişehir.
Nevşehir'imiz çok güzel. Our Nevşehir is very beautiful.

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