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Turkish Word Stress

Words in Turkish are usually stressed on the last vowel.

elbise       'dress'

adam        'man'

uzun          'long'

gelir           'income'

kalabalık   'crowded'

When suffixes are added to a word that has final stress, the stress moves to the last suffix.

bahçe                    'garden'

bahçede                'in the garden'

bahçedeki             'the one in the garden'

bahçedekiler         'the ones in the garden'

But when a suffix is added to a word that has its syllable on a syllable other than the last, the stress remains where it is.

Placing the stress in the correct position in a word is important as words my change their meaning according to the position of the stress.

sarma                     ​ 'dish of stuffed vine leaves'             sarma                     ​'don't wrap'

mısır                     ​    'corn'                                                     Mısır                     ​   'Egypt'

bebek                       'baby'                                                    Bebek                    'a town in İstanbul'


Taken from Aslı Göksel and Celia Kerslake, Turkish: An Essential Grammar (London: Routledge, 2005), 11.

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