Persian affixes in Turkish


Affix function number of borrowed affixes


Information and examples are from Göksel and Kerslake (2005), Vietze, Zenker, and Warnke (1975), Kubiyak (2004), Memoglu‑Süleymanoglu (2006), Nişanyan (2009), Zengin (2009), and personal communication by Jaklin Kornfilt, as well as Korfilt (1997: 463–465). During the Ottoman Empire (13th‑19th century), there was a heavy influence by Arabic (especially in religious styles) and Persian (especially in literary styles), particularly in higher and educated registers (Göksel and Kerslake 2005:xxv–xxviii). Since 1911 there is a movement to clear Turkish of Arabic and Persian influence and “words containing Arabic and Persian suffixes are increasingly giving way to their synonyms of Turkish origin” (Göksel and Kerslake 2005: 59). The following examples were compiled with the help of Sabine Günther. Only affixes that are attested with Turkish stems are given, there are also Persian affixes that are only used with Persian stems.


6 noun‑forming suffixes (including one forming nouns and adjectives)

‑baz ‘agent or occupation noun’, e.g. madrabaz ‘swindler’ (from mandıra ‘small cheesery’), dilbaz ‘somebody who’s good with words’ (from dil ‘tongue, language’), davlumbaz ‘shrouding, chimney hood, paddle box’ (from davul ‘drum’), düzenbaz ‘cheater’ (from düzen ‘regulation, scheme’), oyunbaz ‘playful person’ (from oyun ‘play, game, jest, trick’), kuşbaz raiser, trainer, or seller of birds’ (from kuş ‘bird’)

‑dan (various noun derivations), e.g. yağdan(lık) ‘lubricator’ (from yağ ‘oil’), sonradan ‘afterwards’ (from sonra ‘after, later’), yaradan ‘the Creator’ (from yara ‘injury’)

‑(h)ane ‘place noun derivation’, e.g. balıkhane ‘fish market’ (from balık ‘fish’), boyahane ‘dyeing factory’ (from boya ‘dye’), yemekhane ‘dining room’ (from yemek ‘food’)

‑kar ‘a person associated with a profession or occupation and other derivations’, e.g. koçkar ‘a ram that was raised for fighting’ (from koç ‘ram’), buzulkar ‘fern’ (from buzul ‘glacier’)

‑zede ‘victims of a catastrophic event’, e.g. depremzede ‘earthquake victim’ (from deprem ‘earthquake’), sınavzede student who suffers from exams’ (from sınav ‘test, examination’)

‑dar ‘agent noun derivation’, e.g. bayraktar standard‑bearer’ (from byrak ‘flag’), sancaktar standard‑bearer’ (from sancak ‘flag’)


1 adjective‑forming suffix (plus one forming nouns and adjectives, see above)

‑vari adjectivizer’, e.g. yengeçvari ‘crab‑like’ (from yengeç ‘crab’), Türkvari ‘Turk‑like’ (from Türk ‘Turk’). There are also many new formations based on non‑Turkish stems, e.g. gangstervari ‘gangsterlike’, Amerikanvari ‘American‑style’.


Note that none of the very many derivational suffixes attaching to verbs were borrowed and also no suffixes that attach to nominals to form verbs (Göksel and Kerslake 2005: 53–57). Note also that the set of Persian affixes in Azari (closely related to Turkish) is different.