basics > Turkish Apocopating 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.
Example of Apocopation

Adding suffix -im my:
The word izin leave, time off
izn-im my leave.
[NOT izin-im]

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 nose
burnum my nose
burnumda on my nose
[burn-um-da]

ağız mouth
ağzı his mouth
ağzında in his mouth
[ağz-ı-nda]

beyin brain
beynimden from my brain
[beyn-im-den]

kayıp loss
kaybımızdan from our loss
[kayb-ımız-dan]

Erkek arkadaşımın ismi Mehmet'tir.
My boy-friend's name is Mehmet
[ism-i = his name]
The suffix -i his affects the noun isim name

Ali'nin alnı terliyor
Ali's forehead is sweating
[Ali'nin aln-ı]

The word [aln-i "forehead"] is in the possessive relationship: this affects the noun alın shortening it to aln

Adding a consonant does NOT affect the Noun

izindeyim [izin-de-yim] I am on leave

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]
from the loss

Examples Turkish vowel loss with the possessive adjective:

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

kaybı his loss has apocopated from kayıp.

Some Single Syllable Words do not soften their root vowel:
vakit (arb.) time, occasion
vaktim my time

Turkish Apocopating Noun List

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.

TurkishDirect Object ExampleEnglish
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 are in constant daily use.

Execption to Apocopation for Proper Names

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.