Special Issue "Theoretical Studies on Turkic Languages"

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 August 2022 | Viewed by 212

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jaklin Kornfilt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
Interests: syntactic theory; typology; Turkish and the Turkic languages

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue includes studies on Turkish and some other Turkic languages, e.g. Azeri, Balkar, Tatar, and Uyghur. The issue reflects the state of the art in Turkic linguistics, with a focus on Turkish, and a cross-Turkic interest in interface studies, in particular on studies of the interfaces between and among syntax, morphology, prosody and, as a novel area of research within Turkic linguistics, of semantics and its interfaces with syntax and prosody. Studies on language contact (especially of the Turkic languages of the Balkans), first language acquisition, and processing are included, as well.

With their transparent morphology and head-final structure of words as well as sentences, the Turkic languages have attracted formal syntactic studies with a focus on the syntax – morphology interface, attempting to account for this parallelism. Likewise, the expression of information-structural notions such as focus is reflected both in the syntax (especially in the word order) of the Turkish languages as well as in the prosody. The nominalized nature of the most general type of embedded clauses has been addressed in seminal work by Lees (e.g. Lees 1965, Kornfilt & Whitman 2011), as have issues of case marking and its relevance for word order, prosody, and semantic scope, but without clear and final results. This special issue aims at a cross-Turkic perspective of such questions of interfaces; the studies included in this collection address issues of nominal syntax, binding of anaphors as well as the interaction of anaphors with overt agreement, the semantics of factivity, eventivity and telicity, the interaction of argument positions and prosody, the status of clitics versus suffixes, the scope of negation as well as different types of negation, the parallels between universal quantification and prosody, as well as prosody domains that violate syntactic constraints such as the PIC. Issues of language contact and the resulting changes in basic syntactic properties of the Turkic languages have been mentioned in typological literature in the past (see, for example, entries on individual Turkic languages in Johanson & Csató 1998), but no formal account or even formal, in-depth description has been given; this special issue includes such a study for the Turkic languages of the Balkans. The influence of overt case morphology on the way noun phrases and their syntactic properties are acquired by children is an area of inquiry which might have been broached in the past (see, for example, Kornfilt 1994), but only superficially. This special issue includes a study of this area, based on original and novel field work.  

There is currently no single book or journal issue in the literature that consists of a set of theoretical, formal studies on different Turkic languages. There is a volume, entitled Turkic Languages (Johanson & Csató 1998), which includes structural and/or philological studies of those languages, but none of the articles included in that volume is theoretical or formal, nor in-depth. There is a special issue of the journal Lingua which does have theoretical articles, but those are limited to Turkish, and include only information-structural studies on focus and topic in Turkish (Göksel & Özsoy 2003). There also are a few theoretical articles on a number of Turkic languages (e.g. Turkish, Sakha) in a number of journals (e.g. NLLT, Glossa, Lingua, Linguistic Inquiry), but these are single studies on narrow issues. Thus, this special issue of Languages is unique in its nature as a cross-Turkic collection of theoretical and formal studies and will fill a gap in the theoretical literature on Turkic, while obviously being related to previous theoretical studies on the Turkic languages.

Note: This Special Issue includes only commissioned content. Please do not submit unsolicited manuscripts.


Johanson, Lars & Éva Á. Csató. 1998. The Turkic Languages. London and New York: Routledge.

Özsoy, A. Sumru & Aslı Göksel. 2003. Lingua. Special issue on: Focus in Turkish. Volume 113, issue 11.

Kornfilt, Jaklin. 1994. Some reamrks on the interaction of case and word order in Turkish: Implications for acquisition. In B. Lust, M. Suñer & J. Whitman (eds.), Syntactic Theory and First Language Acquisition: Cross Linguistic Perspectives, vol. 1, 171-199. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Kornfilt, Jaklin & John Whitman. 2011. Afterword: Nominalizations in linguistic theory. Lingua 121(7). 1297–1313.

Lees, Robert B. 1965. “Turkish nominalizations and a problem of ellipsis.” Foundations of Language 1(2), 112-121.

Prof. Dr. Jaklin Kornfilt
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Languages is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • turkic languages
  • syntax
  • morphology
  • syntax-phonology interface
  • syntax-semantics interface

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: On Adjectival Participles in Turkish
Author: Faruk Akkuş

Title: Reciprocal Constructions in Turkish
Author: Ümit Atlamaz and Balkız Öztürk

Title: Labeling, Concord and Nominal Syntax in Turkish
Author: İsa Kerem Bayırlı

Title: Factivity-alternating attitude verbs in Azeri
Author: Tatiana Igorevna Bondarenko

Title: Evidence for Case Containment from the Interaction of Case Morphology and Possessive Marking in Balkar
Author: Colin Davis

Title: On the prosodic exponence of universal quantification in Turkish relative clauses
Author: Ömer Demirok and Deniz Özyıldız 

Title: Are there aspectless tensed clauses in Turkish?
Author: Ömer Demirok and Yağmur Sağ-Parvardeh

Title: Processing Focus in Turkish
Author: Nazik Dinçtopal Deniz and Didem Bayrak Kurt

Title: Negation that isn't
Author: Martina Gračanin-Yüksek

Title: Variable prosodic domains and violations of the PIC
Author: Güliz Güneş

Title: On the semantic contributions of Turkish negative markers
Author: Paloma Jeretic

Title: Negative sensitive items in Turkish
Author: Beste Kamali and Hedde Zeijlstra

Title: On the Directionality of the Balkan Turkic Verb Phrase
Author: Cem Keskin

Title: Are bare objects in Turkish acquired differently?
Author: Nihan Ketrez

Title: The pluractionality marker in Turkish
Author: Gregory Key and Eszter Otott-Kovacs

Title: Person agreement with anaphors: Evidence from Tatar
Author: Ekaterina Lyutikova

Title: Disentangling words, clitics, and suffixes in Uyghur
Author: Travis Major, Gülnar Eziz and Connor Mayer

Title: Argument positions in Turkish: implications from prosody
Author: Öner Özçelik

Title: Conditionals and counterfactuals in Turkish
Author: Duygu Özge, Sena Gül and Semih Can Aktepe

Title: Actuality, bi-eventivity and telicity: Case studies in Balkar
Author: Dmitry Privoznov

Title: Allomorphy, Wordhood and Suspended Affixation in Turkish
Author: Deniz Tat

Title: Event structure and non-culminating readings in Turkic
Author: Sergei Tatevosov





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