The ambiguity of ev+i+ni and ev+in+i

In all languages, certain combination of certain structures lead to ambiguities. Probably the most common such ambiguity in the Turkish language is between the following structures:

  • noun + suffix of the owned (he) + accusative: ev+i+ni gördüm: i saw / have seen his house.
  • noun + suffix of the owned (you) + accusative: ev+in+i gördüm: i saw / have seen your house.

 

The ambiguity is normally resolved by the context: we know who we are talking about. If it becomes necessary, we add the normally redundant personal pronoun to the sentence, and the ambiguity is resolved: onun evini gördüm (his), senin evini gördüm.

 

Note: onların evini gördüm (their house) will be shortened to “evlerini gördüm”, and not to “evini gördüm”.

 

And note: onun evlerini gördum (his houses) will also be shortened to “evlerini gördüm”.

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