S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 47 Number 1/2 (2011)
A Fresh Look at the Tense-aspect System of Turkish
- Jendraschek, Gerd
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.47 No.2, pp. 246-271
- Turkish is one of the best described languages of the world. One should therefore expect a large consensus with regards to the way Turkish grammar is described. However, once we compare different grammatical descriptions of Turkish, we find an astonishing variation of analyses. One domain whose description is particularly unsatisfactory is the tense-aspect system. The paper will show that forms like okuyor, okur, okuyacak, and okumuş are participles marked for aspect, but not for tense. Failure to recognize the zero-exponence of present tense has lead to the erroneous analysis of aspectual morphemes as tense markers. Comparison with the tense marking on non-verbal predicates shows however that present tense is neither marked on the noun/adjective/adverbial/participle, nor part of the meaning of the subject cross-reference markers. It is marked by the absence of the other member of the tense paradigm, past tense. In addition to an inadequate semantic description of the progressive aspect suffix -iyor, many grammars present a dia-chronically motivated form -(I)yor, which requires elaborate morphophonological rules to produce the synchronically correct verb forms.