Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft Leibniz-Gemeinschaft

Turkish interrogatives at the interfaces of grammar

Four larger studies are to lead to a comprehensive picture of the prosody, phonetics, syntax, and semantics of Turkish questions, and to a range of contributions to the cross-linguistic literature on the interfaces that are involved.

1. Turkish wh-in-situ ('Ali WHAT ate?') attracts sentence stress, unlike moved wh-words in English and German ('What did Ali EAT?') Studying the difference in controlled contexts allows us to investigate this effect relative to the effects of given, new, and focused elements.

2. Descriptions of Turkish intonation involve stress-retraction to the wh-word, a final rise in wh-questions, and an initial plateau. A phonetic study establishes the existence and crucial phonological/phonetic details of these.

3. Untypical questions (rhetorical, echo, etc.) show untypical combinations of wh-words, the question marker -mI, and the intonational markers. They are crucial to establishing the meanings of these elements.

4. -mI suffixes to each alternative in alternative questions ('JOHN-mI or BILL-mI dinner cooked?'). Turkish yes/no-questions allow a 'single alternative' version of this ('JOHN-mI dinner cooked?'). This allows us to address open issues in the cross-linguistic literature on alternative questions.

Publications, Talks and Posters

The project investigates Turkish interrogatives at the syntax-prosody interface and at the syntax-semantics interface. Of particular interest are wh-questions and their connection to focus, as seen in the focus prosody of wh-words and their cooccurrence restrictions with focus. Due to these interactions, the project also contributes to groundwork in Turkish in these domains.

Papers on Turkish questions and focus/phrasing

[Next to the papers listed in the following, the data are in for a further paper with a comparison between focus intonation and question intonation.]

Truckenbrodt, Hubert and Beste Kamali. 2016. On the interaction of wh-in-situ with focus in Turkish. Ms., ZAS / Humboldt-University Berlin and Bielefeld University.

Kamali, Beste and Hubert Truckenbrodt. 2015. Elements of intonation in Turkish. Ms. under revision. Bielefeld University and ZAS / Humboldt-University Berlin.

Kamali, Beste. To appear. Information structure of yes/no-questions in Turkish. Proceedings of ICTL 16, D. Zeyrek et al. (eds.). Harrassowitz Verlag.

Kamali, Beste. 2014. Beyond morphosyntax: Interrogative intonation and its role in Turkish. Turkic Languages 18, 189-206.

Kamali, Beste. 2014. Scope of negation and phonological phrasing in Turkish. In Nurettin Demir, Birsel Karakoç & Astrid Menz (eds.), Turcology and Linguistics: Éva Ágnes Csató Festschrift, 261-278. Ankara: Hacettepe Üniversitesi Yayinlari.

Kamali, Beste & Lena Karvovskaya. 2013. 'Also' in Turkish and Ishkashimi. In Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics. Umut Özge (ed.). MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 67.

Other papers supported by the project

Kamali, Beste and Didem Ikizoglu. To appear. Compound stress in Turkish is phrase stress. Proceedings of ICTL 16, D. Zeyrek et al. (eds.). Harrassowitz Verlag.

Kamali, Beste. 2015. Caseless direct object in Turkish revisited. In André Meinunger (ed.), ZASPIL 58: Byproducts and Side Effects, 107-123.

Šimík, Radek, Marta Wierzba and Beste Kamali. 2014. Givenness and the position of the direct object in the Czech clause. In Cassandra Chapman, Olena Kit & Ivona Kucerová (eds.), [Formal] Approaches to [Slavic] Linguistics: The McMaster Meeting 2013, 302-318. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications.

Talks and Posters

Kamali, Beste. Almost morphosyntax: elements of interrogative intonation in Standard Turkish. International Conference on Turkish Linguistics. 03.09.2014 - 05.09.2014, U Rouen.

Kamali, Beste and Hubert Truckenbrodt. Intonation in Turkish: word accent in sentence intonation. Poster presented at Tone and Intonation in Europe 6, 10.-12.09.2014, U. Utrecht.

Kamali, Beste. Intricacies of polar questions in Turkish: Broad focus. The 6th Questions in Discourse Meeting . 18.09.2014 - 20.09.2014, U Göttingen.

Truckenbrodt, Hubert & Beste Kamali. On identifying the wh-feature with the F-Feature. Invited speaker presentation, SinFonIJA-7. 25.09.2014 - 27.09.2014, U Graz.

Kamali, Beste. Revisiting Turkish Intonation: Sentence Stress without Word Stress. 28.11.2013, ZAS Berlin.

Kamali, Beste. Information structure in Yes/No questions in Turkish. International Conference on Turkish Linguistics. 18.09.2012, Middle East Technical U, Ankara.

Kamali, Beste. Accentless words and recursive phrasing in Turkish. 5th Conference on Syntax, Phonology and Language Analysis. 29.09.2012, U Wien.

Kamali, Beste. Accentless words and recursive phrasing: A case study in Turkish. 19.12.2012, U Nijmegen.

Kamali, Beste. More on the interface properties of Yes/No questions in Turkish. 13.05.2013, ZAS Berlin.