Second rule of vowel harmony, and suffixes

Every Turkish syllable contains exactly 1 vowel, and 0 - 3 consonants.

 

Within a word, the vowel in each syllable can only be one of the two vowels given below depending on the vowel in the previous syllable.

 

a syllable with this vowel

can only be followed by a syllable with this vowel

examples

a

a, ı

karanlık (dark)

ı

a, ı

sıra (bench), sırık (pole)

o

a, u

oda (room), soluksuz (breathless)

u

a, u

uzak (far), uzunluk (length)

 

And symmetrically (by the 1st rule of vowel harmony)

 

A syllable with this vowel

can only be followed by a syllable with this vowel

examples

e

e, i

eğitimsizlik (uneducatedness, ignorance)

i

e, i

giden (the one who went), iyi (good)

ö

e, ü

ödev (duty), özür (excuse)

ü

e, ü

güneş (sun), yüzük (ring)

 

 

Note -- As you can see from the tables above:

  • A subsequent (2nd, 3rd, ..) syllable can only contain an a/u/ı, or an e/ü/i, and no o/ö.
  • In other words, an “o” or “ö” can only occur in the first syllable.
  • With composite words (eg: bugün (today) = bu (this) + gün (day)), the rules of vowel harmony apply to each sub-word separately.
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