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811.512.161373.611 REVIEW OF TURKISH NULL MORPHEMES Oktay Ahmed University of St.

Cyril and Methodius ZET

Bu makale ksaca Trke'de grevi olan, ancak fonetik yapya sahip olmayan bo morfemleri (/-/) ve onlarn cmle iindeki grev ve zelliklerini ele almaktadr. Makalenin kaleme al nedeni, imdiye kadar bu konuda ayr bir alma yaplmam olmasdr. Bu konuda mevcut bilgilerin bir yerde verilmesi, morfoloji ve morfosentaks asndan ok gerekliydi. Trke zengin bir fonksyonel morfolojiye sahip olduu iin, bo morfemler Trkenin ayr bir zelliini de gn na karmaktadr.

Anahtar kelimeler: Trke, bo morfem, morfoloji, morfosentaks, kuramsal dil bilimi. ABSTRACT
This paper briefly treats the null morphemes (/-/) phenomenon in Turkish, which today are formal grammatical processes, and their functions and characteristics on syntactic level. Null morphemes have function, but phonetically they are empty. The reason why this topic was treated in a separate paper is the fact that this topic was not treated as such up to now. As Turkish has rich functional morphology, the null morphemes phenomenon enlightens a different side of Turkish.

Keywords: Turkish, null morpheme, morphology, morphosyntax, theoretical linguistics. 1. Introduction Null morphology is known in many natural languages. Null morpheme means having no morphological marker. Beside of null, sometimes they are also named as empty morphemes, zero morphemes, zero morphs, etc. and the process itself in particular languages is named as null affixation, null derivation, zero derivation, null inflection, zero inflection, zero morphology, etc. When enough phonetic material is available, every morpheme is represented by at least one phoneme (Lee, 60). Otherwise, we use the term null morpheme for their morphological representation. 141

Journal of Turkish Linguistics, Volume 2, Number 1, March 2008 Actually, null morphemes are present when they have a specific grammatical meaning, but null realization. Crystal says that null element is an element which, in some particular description, is posited as existing at a certain point in a structure even though there is no overt phonetic material presented to represent it. (Crystal, 31). The first ever known in history to use null elements was the Indian grammarian Panini, but Bloomfield is the modern era linguist to introduce it widely to linguistics (Crystal, 31). Null morphemes are represented as /-/ in morphology. Turkish is an agglutinative language and as such, it is morpheme, not lexeme based language. During the inflection, as a result of vowel and consonant harmonies, excluding few ones, suffixes have 2-8 variants. Suffixes in Turkish are grouped as inflectional and derivational. Inflectional suffixes forms temporal connections between a word or word group with other word or word groups on syntactic level, while derivational suffixes forms new stems or new words. This characteristic of Turkish is useful for derivation of huge number of new words. 2. Null Morphemes in Turkish In some cases, as a result of various historical or pragmatical reasons, some functional morphemes (suffixes) are dropped. These morphemes morphologically are empty, but semantically are full expressive. That's why we are treating them as null morphemes. Turkish null morphemes are lesser treated phenomenon in linguistics. This term in Turkish context describes the morphologically empty, but semantically full functional morphemes. There was no complete review of Turkish null morphemes up to now. I came out to this conclusion while working on my morphology book for my students. Even we were facing the null morphemes in almost every class, there was no literature on them. Thats why I added the null morphemes (as /-/) in the Index of Suffixes in my book (Ahmed, 305) Ergin, if I can say so, a representative of old school Turkish linguists, does not talk about null morphemes (Ergin: 2002). Even Korkmaz, one of the biggest authorities on Turkish morphology today, does not treat null morphemes separately (Korkmaz: 2003). Kornfilt also does not represent null morphemes in the examples she uses, even she is aware of them (Kornfilt: 1997), as well as Beard Lee is (Beard: 1990, 1995; Lee: 1997). This paper, without any discussion on the reasons of their occurrence, briefly treats all Turkish null morphemes in power today.


Review Of Turkish Null Morphemes In the literature very often authors says that this or that suffix is not used under certain situation, but as logically there is a concrete function of that not using a suffix situation and as these morphemes don't have phonetic structure, it's better to use the term null morphemes. This phenomenon in Turkish occurs only under inflectional morphology. Some functional morphemes (suffixes) have more than one function in Turkish. Similarly to them, Turkish null morphemes also have more than one function. 2.1. Nominative Case morphemes, in fact, belong to inflectional morphemes and they show the relation of the noun with other words or word groups. Excluding genitive case, all other morphological cases looks forward in syntactic level and needs verb or predicate. Only genitive case gives the relation between two nouns. Let's check these examples: (1) Eime iek aldm. e+(i)m+e iek+ al-d-m. wife+(AUX)1PossSg+DAT flower+NOM take (buy)-PAST-1PSg I bought a flower to my wife. Her gn ok mektup yazyorsunuz. her gn ok mektup- yaz-()yor-sunuz every day a lot letter-NOM write-(AUX)PRESENT-2PPl Every day you are writing a lot of letters.


In these examples, noun elements directly connect to verbs and semantically the situation shows that the noun elements are undefined. This means that the null morphemes here semantically refer to the undefined cases of the nouns. Briefly, we can say that the base forms of the nouns are in undefined case and that is nominative case. 2.2. Personal Suffixes In finite verbs, personal suffixes shows the person by whom the action, activity, verb is realized. Personal suffixes could be in two null morpheme positions: 143

Journal of Turkish Linguistics, Volume 2, Number 1, March 2008 2.2.1. 2nd singular The null morpheme after the imperative mode marker shows that the person is 2nd singular. As morphological imperative mode marker also is null morpheme (will be treated bellow), this means that in Turkish every verb used in its basic form, without any suffix, is in imperative mode, 2nd person singular. (3) Bana kalemi ver. ben+e kalem+i ver-- I+DAT pencil+ACC give-IMP-2PSg Give me the pencil. Ona kabadaylk yapma. o+(n)a kabadaylk yap-ma-- he/she/it+(AUX)DAT swaggering toughness do-NEG-IMP-2PSg Do not be tough on him/her. / Do not make swaggering toughness to him/her.


2.2.2. 3rd singular When null morphemes are personal suffixes, only in imperative mode they are 2nd person singular, while in all other temporal and modal conjugations they refer to the 3rd person singular. Personal suffixes with z-paradigm Personal suffixes known as z-paradigm suffixes, or first type personal suffixes, as they are entitled in Turkish, are used with these verbal conjugation suffixes: past perfect, present, aorist, future, optative and necessitative. The references here of the null morphemes are 3rd person singular. (5) Btn gn o kitab okuyor. btn gn o kitap+ oku-yor- whole day that book+ACC read-PRESENT-3PSg (He/She) Whole day is reading that book. Bize akam yemei yapmal. biz+e akam yemek+i yap-mal- we+DAT evening lunch+ACC do-NECESS-3PSg (He/She) Have to make a dinner to us.



Review Of Turkish Null Morphemes Personal suffixes with k-paradigm The usages of the personal suffixes with k-paradigm or, as they are know in Turkish, second type personal suffixes are with these temporal and modal conjugations: past and conditional. Here, too, the only references for null morphemes are 3rd person singular. (7) Elindeki tm gne gzlklerini satt. el+i+(n)de+ki tm gne gzlk+ler+i+(n)i sat-t- hand+3PossSg+(AUX)LOC+REL whole sun glass+PL+3PossSg+ (AUX)ACC sell-PAST-3PSg (He/She) Sold the whole sunglasses on his/her hand. Yarn gelse, babasn grr. yarn gel-se-, baba+(s)+(n) gr-()r- tomorrow come-CONDITIONAL-3PSg father+(AUX)3PossSg+ (AUX)ACC see-(AUX)AOR-3PSg. If he/she come tomorrow, then he/she will see his/her father.


2.3. Aorist In negative forms of aorist in Turkish, aorist suffix is dropped, but this is not case, for instance, in Azerbaijani, as a Turkic language which is very close to Turkish. So, we can claim that this is morphemic dropping, but not absence of it. Negation suffix does not take the stress on itself, but in negative form of aorist, the negation suffix carries the stress and that's why Muharrem Ergin, in wrong way, gave this situation as one suffix: /-mAz/ (Ergin, 294295). Actually, there is negation suffix /-mA/ and the phonetically changed aorist suffix /-r/, i.e. /-r/>/-z/. Sometimes the aorist suffix is completely dropped and this is case only in 1st person. (9) Ben bunu satn almam. ben bu+(n)u satn al-ma--m I this+(AUX)ACC buy-NEG-AOR-1PSg I am not buying this. / I dont buy this. Biz sizi sevmeyiz. biz siz+i sev-me--(y)iz we you+ACC love-NEG-AOR-(AUX)1PPl We do not love you. 145


Journal of Turkish Linguistics, Volume 2, Number 1, March 2008 In these examples, the reference of the null morphemes is aorist conjugation suffix. On the other hand, this case could be seen in verbs taking the copular verb i-. Here, too, the aorist marker after copular verb is null morpheme: (11) Benden ok farklsn. ben+den ok farkl+sn (<farkl --sin) me+ABL very different+2PSg (<different COP-AOR-2PSg) You are too different from me.

Note: Morphological markers for copulative aorist and present are same, but semantic markers are different. In this example, null morpheme refers to present conjugation suffix: (12) u anda ben de retmenim. u an+da ben de retmen+im (<retmen --im) that moment+LOC me too teacher+1PSg (<teacher PRESENT-1PSg) In this moment I am teacher, too.


The answer of the question whether semantic reference here is present tense or aorist, lays on semantic context on syntactic level. In the last example, u anda refers to this very moment and that's key information that the semantic reference of the null morpheme after copular verb i- is, actually, present tense. 2.4. Imperative The case of imperative mode is different from other modal conjugations. The morphological marker of 1st person here is the same marker as of optative (/-A/) and the semantic reference depends of the syntactic context: (13) O zaman ben size geleyim. o zaman ben siz+e gel-e-(y)im that time I you+DAT come-IMP-(AUX)1PSg Then I am coming to you. (ordering to myself) Hadi bunu hep beraber yapalm. hadi bu+(n)u hep beraber yap-a-lm let's this+(AUX)ACC all together make-IMP-1PPl



Review Of Turkish Null Morphemes Let's make this all together! (ordering to ourselves, to us) Note that in mainstream literature both surface markers of imperative mode and 1st person plural suffix are treated as one compound form, i.e. as /-Alm/. But, there is no phonetically constructed morphological marker of imperative mode for 2nd and 3rd persons. In these cases, personal suffixes' conjugation is immediately after the verb. Between them, there is no morphological marker for imperative mode: (15) Btn paralarn bana ver. btn para+lar++(n) ben+e ver-- all money+PL+3PossSg+(AUX)ACC I+DAT give+IMP+2PSg Give me all your money! Bakkala gidin ve size iki kilo elma versinler. bakkal+a git--in ve siz+e iki kilo elma ver--sinler market+DAT go-IMP-2PPl and you+DAT two kilo apple giveIMP-3PPl (You, plural) Go to the market and let they give you two kilo of apples!


These situations, too, of imperative mode often in literature are given as complex forms of imperative mode and personal suffixes. Turkish sources for these personal suffixes with imperative paradigm use the term third type personal suffixes. Null morphemes are also used in semantically non-strict, nonbinding, light, moderate imperatives. In this, if we can call it, moderate imperative mode, instead of normal personal suffixes, the conjugation is made with other suffixes: - 2nd singular: /-sAnA/; - 2nd plural: /-sAnzA/. Let's look on these examples: (17) Utanma ocuum, gelsene. utan-ma-- ocuk+um, gel--sene ashame-NEG-IMP-2PSg child+1PossSg, come-IMP-2PPl Don't be ashamed my boy, come. Bu tarafa baksanza. bu taraf+a bak--sanza 147


Journal of Turkish Linguistics, Volume 2, Number 1, March 2008 this side+DAT look-IMP-2PPl Look at this side. 2.5. Possibilitive Very often in the literature, the form of the second (descriptive) verb of verbs with possibilitive compound conjugation is given as /-Abil/. This is wrong, too. The verbs that consist the possibilitive verb in Azerbaijani are written separately, but in Turkish they are written adhered. That's why the mistake is done. Possibilitive verbs are, actually, compound verbs. The first verb is gerund, so it ends with a gerund suffix /-A/. The interesting thing here is the negative forms of possibilitive verbs, when the second verb, as a morpheme, totally drops in all persons. (19) Ali stanbula bugn gidince, parasn veremedim. Ali stanbul+a bugn git-ince para+(s)+(n) ver-e+-me-di-m (<ver-e bil-me-di-m) Ali stanbul+DAT today go-GER money+(AUX)3PossSg+ (AUX)ACC give-GER+POSSIBILITIVE-NEG-PAST-1PSg When Ali today went to Istanbul, I couldnt give him his money. yi bir resim izememisin. iyi bir resim iz-e+-me-mi-sin (<iz-e bil-me-mi-sin) good one picture draw-GER+POSSIBILITIVE-NEG-PPERF-2PSg You couldnt paint a good picture.


2.6. Copular verb Copular verb i- is different from other basic and auxiliary verbs in Turkish. Its similar to to be in English. Its use was more frequent in the past, but nowadays it drops very often. Copular verb has three functions and in all of them we could see its presentation as a null morpheme, too. The presentation of morphologic marker of copular verb as null morpheme is given below. All these situations are formal grammatical processes in Turkish. 2.6.1. Predication The most important function of the Turkish copular verb is the predication of words with noun origin on the syntactic level. During the predication process, the noun element and the copula are in direct contact. 148

Review Of Turkish Null Morphemes As a result of an elision, the morphologic representation of the copula is replaced by null morpheme, so all suffixes that come after the copula, now have inflection directly to the noun element: (21) Sen ok gzelsin. sen ok gzel+sin (<gzel --sin) you very beautiful+2PSg (<beautiful COP-AOR-2PSg) You are very beautiful. nsann en iyi dostu, kitaptr. insan+n en iyi dost+u kitap+tr (<kitap --dir) human+GEN best good friend+3PossSg book-DECL (<book COPAOR-3PSg) Book is human's best friend.


In the third person; the copula, the suffix for aorist (or present) and personal suffix have a unique form: /-Dr/. It's also called declarative suffix. In practice, this morpheme very often is dropped. In this case, the noun itself carries the functions of the other three morphemes, which now are represented as null morphemes in raw. In respective order, these three null morphemes are: copula, aorist, 3rd person singular: (23) ocuklarnz ok zeki. ocuk+lar+()nz ok zeki (zeki[dir] <zeki --) child+PL+(AUX)2PossPl very intelligent (<intelligent AOR-3PSg) Your children are very intelligent.



Evimizin bahesinde kpek var. ev+(i)miz+in bahe+(s)i+(n)de kpek var (<var --) house+(AUX)1PossSg+GEN garden+(AUX)3PossSg+(AUX)LOC dog have (<have COP-AOR-3PSg) There is a dog in the garden of our house. Bu kz ok gzel. bu kz ok gzel (<gzel --) this girl very beautiful (<beautiful COP-AOR-3PSg) This girl is very beautiful.


The form of the copular verb i- in aorist (or present) 3rd person plural is /-DrlAr/, but the /-Dr/ element here is dropped, too: 149

Journal of Turkish Linguistics, Volume 2, Number 1, March 2008 (26) Onlar aklllar. o+(n)lar akll+lar (<akll[dr]lar <akll --[dir]ler) they+(AUX)PL smart+3PPl (<smart[DECL]3PPl <smart COP-AOR -3PPl) They are smart.

2.6.2. Compound conjugation The second function of the copular verb i- in Turkish is forming verbs with compound conjugation. When verbs who participate in forming of the compound verb are used separately, then the copula is not dropped, but when they are used adhered, then the morphologic marker of the copula is null morpheme: (27) Semra size gelirse, ben de geleceim. Semra siz+e gel-(i)r-se- (<gel-(i)r -se-) ben de gel-ecek-im Semra you+DAT come-(AUX)AOR-COND-3PSg (<come(AUX)AOR COP-COND-3PSg) I too come-FUTURE-1PSg If Semra comes to you (your house), then Ill come, too. Oraya geliyorduk. ora+(y)a gel-(i)yor-du-k (<gel-(i)yor -di-k) there+(AUX)DAT come-(AUX)PRESENT-PERSP-1PPl (<come(AUX)PRESENT COP-PERSP-1PPl) We were coming there.


2.6.3 Gerund Copular verb i- also forms only one gerund with the noalternative /-ken/ morpheme and this is its third function. When this gerund morpheme is used adhered with the first element, which could be noun or verb, then null morpheme is the morphological marker for copula. (29) Parkta gezerken, telefonum ald. park+ta gez-(e)r-ken (<gez-(e)r -ken), telefon+um al-d- park+LOC walk-(AUX)AOR-GER (<walk-(AUX)AOR COP-GER), phone+1PossSg ring-PAST-3PSg While walking in the park, my phone rang.


Review Of Turkish Null Morphemes 2.7 Positive form of verbs The fact that there is suffix /-mA/ for making negative forms of verbs, perhaps, shows that there also is another situation when null morpheme has refference. I didn't show it in this paper, but the absence of /-mA/ suffix immediately after the verb itself, refers to positive forms of verbs. This means that that slot, in absence of /-mA/, is filled with null morpheme: (30) Dn gelmedim, bugn geldim dn gel-me-di-m, bugn gel--di-m yesterday come-NEG-PAST-1PSg, today come-POS-PAST-1PSg I didn't come yesterday, but (I come) today.

3. Conclusion Null morphemes are not a characteristic of Turkish, mainly because of its agglutinative typology. As we could see in the previous examples, there is only zero-inflection, but not zero-derivation of null morphemes. Without taking the historical or etymological perspective of their occurrence and based on the previous presentation, null morphemes today could be considered in two groups: 1. Real null morphemes: nominative case; personal suffixes: 2nd person in imperative mode; 3rd person in all other temporal and modal situations. imperative mode (in 2nd and 3rd person). 2. Null morphemes as a result of dropped morphemes: aorist: 1st person in negative simple conjugation; of copular verb i-. negative forms of possibilitive verbs; all adhered uses of copular verb i-: predication; compound conjugation; /-ken/ gerunds


Journal of Turkish Linguistics, Volume 2, Number 1, March 2008 Also, as another classification of the same null morphemes, they could be: functional morphemes, i.e. suffixes: nominative case; personal suffixes for: 2nd person in imperative mode; 3rd person in all other temporal and modal conjugations; st aorist 1 person negative conjugation, aorist in copular verbs and imperative mode 2nd and 3rd person. expressive morphemes, i.e. only verbal roots: copular verb i- in predication, adhered use of copula and /-ken/ gerunds; descriptive verb bil- in negative forms of possibilitive verbs. Finally, I left an open door for considering another null morpheme, with reference to positive forms of verbs. Abbreviations + - ABL ACC AOR AUX COND COP DAT DECL FUTURE GER IMP LOC NECESS NEG NOM 152

- the word before the sign is a noun - the word before the sign is a verb - ablative case - accusative case - aorist tense - auxiliary sound (a vowel or a consonant) - conditional - copular verb i- - dative case - declarative suffix (aorist form of copular verb in 3rd person singular) - future tense - gerund - imperative mode - locative case - necessitative mode - negative form - nominative case

Review Of Turkish Null Morphemes P PAST PERSP PL / Pl POS Poss PRESENT REL Sg - personal suffix - past tense - perspective - plural - positive form - possesive suffix - present tense - relative suffix - singular

References Ahmed, Oktay, Introduction to Turkish Morphology, Faculty of Philology Blazhe Koneski, Skopje, 2008. [in Macedonian: , , , , , 2008.] Beard, Robert, The Empty Morpheme Entailment, Contemporary Morphology, Ed. by: Wolfgang U. Dressler etc., Trends in Linguistics, Studies and Monographs: 49, Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin-New York: 1990. Beard, Robert, Lexeme-Morpheme Based Morphology: A General Theory of Inflection and Word Formation, SUNY Press, 1995. Crystal, David (1997), The Linguistic Identity of English-language Dictionaries of Linguistics, Lexicographica, Vol. 13/1997. Ergin, Muharrem, Trk Dil Bilgisi, Bayram Basm/Yaym/Tantm, stanbul, 2002. Korkmaz, Zeynep, Trkiye Trkesi Grameri (ekil Bilgisi), TDK Yaynlar: 827, Ankara, 2003. Kornfilt, Jaklin, Turkish, Descriptive Grammars, Routledge, 1997. Lee, Robert B., The Phonology of Modern Standard Turkish, Uralic and Altaic Series, Volume 6, Routledge, 1997.