Adaptation of Turkish Loanwords Originating from Arabic

  •  Wafi Fhaid Alshammari    
  •  Ahmad Radi Alshammari    


This study investigates the phonological and morphological adaptation of Turkish loanwords of Arabic origin to reveal aspects of native speakers’ knowledge that are not necessarily obvious. It accounts for numerous modification processes that these loanwords undergo when borrowed into Turkish. To achieve this, a corpus of 250 Turkish loanwords was collected and analyzed whereby these loanwords were compared to their Arabic counterparts to reveal phonological processes that Turkish followed to adapt them. Also, it tackles the treatment of morphological markings and compound forms in Turkish loanwords. The results show that adaptation processes are mostly phonological, albeit informed by phonetics and other linguistic factors. It is shown that the adaptation processes are geared towards unmarkedness in that faithfulness to the source input—Arabic—is violated, taking the burden to satisfy Turkish phonological constraints. Turkish loanwords of Arabic origin undergo a number of phonological processes, e.g., substitution, deletion, degemination, vowel harmony, and epenthesis for the purpose of repairing the ill-formedness. The Arabic feminine singular and plural morphemes are treated as part of the root, with fossilized functions of such markers. Also, compound forms are fused and word class is changed to fit the syntactic structure of Turkish. Such loanwords help pave the way to invoke latent native Turkish linguistic constraints.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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