Learning Turkish

Spitzer, Leo
Emigration is translation. Written by Leo Spitzer in 1934, “Learning Turkish” offers a glimpse into the historical circumstances of his and other German academics' exile in Istanbul—an exile that plays a foundational role in comparative literature, as Erich Auerbach, Edward Said, Aamir Mufti, and Emily Apter have argued. Spitzer's attempt to analyze the characteristics of the Turkish language while that language was transforming amplifies recent critical attempts to understand “modern Turkey's nation-based and state-directed poiesis” (Yaeger 11). Bridging the gap between exile in Istanbul and the modern Turkish language, “Learning Turkish” introduces complexity to contemporary paradigms of global comparatism and identifies symptoms of literary studies' relocation to the context of a new nation-state; the article exemplifies the complicity between local nationalisms and cultural imperialisms and illuminates, on a personal level, how linguistic estrangement becomes a way of negotiating the experience of deportation, of emigration, and of the foreignness of adoptive cultures for Spitzer.


English skills needed for graduate study in the US: Multiple perspectives
Seferoğlu, Gölge (Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2001-07-05)
This paper reports on a study of needs analysis conducted with Turkish government-sponsored students who are studying towards master’s or doctoral degrees in the US and with students who attended a specific language program in Ankara, Turkey before they started graduate programs in the US. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to gather information about these students’ needs in learning English from both graduate students’ and prospective graduate students’ perspectives, and (2) to explore the extent...
Conceptualizing face and relational work in (im)politeness: Revelations from politeness lexemes and idioms in Turkish
Ruhi, Şükriye; Işık Güler, Hale (Elsevier BV, 2007-04-01)
This article addresses two issues: the conceptualization of face and related aspects of self in Turkish, and the implications of the conceptualization of face and the self in interaction in Turkish for understanding relational work at the emic and the etic levels. The paper analyses two root lexemes and idioms derived from the lexemes in Turkish, which are posited as being crucial to understanding (im)politeness and relational work in Turkish culture, and discusses the implications of the analysis for conce...
Experiences of International Language Teachers at a Turkish University
Kahraman, Hasibe; Pıpes, Ashleıgh Carter (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2018-09-01)
Using a multiple case study approach, this short research article describes the experiences of three teachers (of German, French, and Korean) in a Turkish university where English is also mandatorily taught. Three themes common to the participants' experiences emerged: use of the Turkish language, integrative adaptability, and international self-awareness. We suggest that understanding these themes may help teachers, students, and administrators better understand the rich and potentially unique fonts of kno...
Discourse particles in Kurmanji Kurdish-Turkish contact
Çabuk Ballı, Sakine (Informa UK Limited, 2020-10-01)
Exploring interaction among Kurdish speaking family members, this paper investigates the use of discourse particles in Kurmanji-Kurdish in relation to the contact phenomenon between the Kurdish and Turkish languages. Corpus analysis of data obtained from audio and video recordings of family talk on the phone was carried out to examine semantic-pragmatic properties of discourse particles. Although some particles in the corpus seem to be unique to Kurdish, some others appear to be borrowed from Turkish and in...
A note on the contact between Kurmanji Kurdish and Turkish at lexical and morphological level
Çabuk Ballı, Sakine (SAGE Publications, 2019-08-01)
Turkish-Kurdish social setting where the Turkish and Kurdish languages are in contact for a long time induces borrowing and change at different levels.This study explores the contact between Kurmanji Kurdish and Turkish that take place at both morphological and lexical level. The data consist of three hours of recordings of family talks on the phone. Corpus analysis of data obtained from audio and video recordings of a family talk on the phone was done. Preliminary findings revealed that verbs are borrowed ...
Citation Formats
L. Spitzer, “Learning Turkish,” PMLA-PUBLICATIONS OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, pp. 763–779, 2011, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/64339.