Aslı Göksel

Compounds in Turkish

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This article is a general overview of the most salient characteristics of compounding in Turkish. Compounding is a productive process where the input categories are nouns, adjectives and verbs and the output categories are nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs. Putting aside co-compounds of which there are several types, compounds in Turkish are right-headed and prosodically left-prominent. One of the most typical aspects of compounding in Turkish is the presence of a linking element in the right periphery, unusual within the typology of linkers across languages. The focus of the article is the affi nity of this element to the possessive marker, from which follows its unexpected location. This leads to the comparison of phrases and compounds and to the discussion of the degree to which the latter are transparent to syntactic processes. The conclusion drawn from this exploration is that the difference between phrases and compounds is scalar, rather than polar. The small group of left-headed compounds and stress as a diagnostic for the internal structure of compounds are also among the topics that are touched upon.


  • Compound
  • Turkish
  • linking element


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