Turkish, the official language of the Republic of Turkey, belongs the south western or Oghuz group of the Turkish languages. This group together with the south-eastern group (Chaghatai or Uzbek), the north -western or Kipchak group, north-eastern (Sibiria group) constitues the uniform family of Turkish languages which today are spoken by over140 million people. It belongs to the Altaïc language family. The language is agglutinative and is remarkable for the phonetic of vowel harmony.
The writing system is quite easy to master and can be read as it is pronuncied.
Although it is known from Chinese sources that the Turks had a literature as early as the second century B.C, the oldest examples extant are the Orkhon and Yenisei inscriptions of the 8th. century A.D. From the 9th. to 11th. centuries we have extensive fragments of Uighur writings, mainly Buddist, from Chinese Turkestan.
By the 11th. century a flourishing İslamic culture had developed in Kashgar. The works have survived: Kutadgu Bilik (1069) an allegorical poem of the art and the invaluable dictionary of Mahmud of Kashgar Divanu – it –Turk. (1071).
Throughout the history Turkish languages have been written in an extraordinary variety of scripts. A form of Turkish script gave way first to the Uighur alphabet (originally Syriac inscription) and then to the Arabic alphabet. Finally in the 20th. century Turkey adopted the latinalphabet with Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK in 1928.
The characteristics of the Turkish language:
The order of Subject-Object-Verb is applied. It doesn’t have any gender.
Turkish has a 2-dimensional vowel harmony system, where vowels arecharacterized by two features: [front/back] and [rounded/unrounded]. (There is also a high and low category)
- Back vowels are followed by back vowels, front vowels are followed by front vowels.
- Unrounded vowels are followed by unrounded vowels. (o and ö can’t be added)
- A rounded vowel may be followed by a mix of rounded closed and unrounded open vowels.
There are some exceptions of these rules.
If a word has back and front vowels we take the vowel of the last syllable as our guide.