Longest word in Turkish

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As an agglutinative language, Turkish allows the construction of words by adding many suffixes to a word stem. The longest word in the Turkish language used in a text is "muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine" which has 70 letters. It is derived from the noun "muvaffakiyet" (success) and means As though you are from those whom we may not be able to easily make into a maker of unsuccessful ones. It was used in a contrived story designed to use this word.[1][2]

Not considering suffixes, the longest Turkish dictionary words have 20 letters: These are "kuyruksallayangiller" (the biological genus Motacillidae), "ademimerkeziyetçilik" (decentralization) and "elektroansefalografi" (electroencephalography). In comparison, the word "muvaffakiyet" has 12 letters, so it is possible to use the same suffixes used for the longest word referred to above and make an even longer word from these ones.

There is no principled grammatical reason for not being able to make a Turkish word indefinitely long, as there are suffixes that can act recursively on a word stem. In practice, however, such words would become unintelligible after a few cycles of recursion.

Grammar[edit]

Turkish grammar is highly agglutinative, enabling the construction of words by stringing various morphemes. It is theoretically possible for some words to be inflected an infinite number of times, because certain suffixes generate words of the same type as the stem word, such that the new word can be modified again with the same suffix(es). An example for such a recursive pattern is[3]

ev-de-ki-nin-ki-ler-de-ki . . .
house-LOC-REL-POS3s-REL-PLU-LOC-REL . .
... the one of the one in the one at the house.

Thus, case and possessive suffixes interspersed with the -ki- suffix can be added indefinitely to a noun, although in practice this would not be observed more than a few times.

The causative morpheme can also be used recursively to generate indefinitely long words that are grammatically valid. This morpheme shows quite some irregularity, taking one of six forms depending on the verb root. Otherwise it alternates between -DIr (D=d or t, I=ı,i,u or ü) and -t depending on the preceding letter.[3]

piş-ir-di             = she cooked
piş-ir-t-ti           = she caused it to be cooked (she had it cooked) 
piş-ir-t-tir-di       = she caused it to be caused it to be cooked (she had someone have it cooked)
piş-ir-t-tir-t-ti     = she caused it to be caused it to be caused it to be cooked (she had someone have someone have it cooked)
piş-ir-t-tir-t-tir-di = she caused it to be caused it to be caused it to be caused it to be cooked (she had someone have someone have someone have it cooked)

Multiple usage of this suffix is rare, but there is no theoretical reason to put a limit to its use.

History[edit]

The tongue twister "Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdan mısınız" is often said to be the longest word in Turkish, although, because the question particle mi needs to be separated from the verb, it really is two words (36+7 letters). It means "Are you one of those people whom we could not make to be Czechoslovakian?" A slight modification "Çekoslovakyalılaştıramadıklarımızdanmışsınız" (43 letters) (you are reportedly one of those that we could not make Czechoslovakian) overcomes this objection.

After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, "Afyonkarahisarlılaştırabildiklerimizdenmişsinizcesine" (53 letters) was often been said to be the longest word in Turkish. It means "As if you are one of the people that we made to be originating from Afyonkarahisar". After publication of longer words in popular media, it lost its popularity.

Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesineyken[edit]

The word "Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesineyken" (74 letters) has been proposed as the longest word in Turkish. Its use is illustrated by the following situation:[1][2]

Kötü amaçların güdüldüğü bir öğretmen okulundayız. Yetiştirilen öğretmenlere öğrencileri nasıl muvaffakiyetsizleştirecekleri öğretiliyor. Yani öğretmenler birer muvaffakiyetsizleştirici olarak yetiştiriliyorlar. Fakat öğretmenlerden biri muvaffakiyetsizleştirici olmayı, yani muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştirilmeyi reddediyor, bu konuda ileri geri konuşuyor. Bütün öğretmenleri kolayca muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriverebileceğini sanan okul müdürü bu duruma sinirleniyor, ve söz konusu öğretmeni makamına çağırıp ona diyor ki: "Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine laflar ediyormuşsunuz ha?".Öğretmeninin özür dilemesi üzerine ise ; "Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesineyken daha saygıdeğer görünüyordunuz.

We are in a teachers' training school that has evil purposes. How to make unsuccessful ones is being taught to the teachers who are being educated in that school. So, teachers are educated as makers of unsuccessful ones. However, one of those teachers refuses to be maker of unsuccessful ones, in other words, to be made a maker of unsuccessful ones; he talks about and criticizes the school's stand on the issue. The headmaster who thinks every teacher can be made easily/quickly into a maker of unsuccessful ones gets angry. He invites the teacher to his room and says "You are talking as if you were one of those we can not easily/quickly turn into a maker of unsuccessful ones, right?" .After the apology of the teacher ,The headmaster continued "You seemed to be more respectful When as if you were one of those we can not easily/quickly turn into a maker of unsuccessful ones

Word formation[edit]

Turkish English
Muvaffak Successful
Muvaffakiyet Success
Muvaffakiyetsiz Unsuccessful ('without success')
Muvaffakiyetsizleş(-mek) (To) become unsuccessful
Muvaffakiyetsizleştir(-mek) (To) make one unsuccessful
Muvaffakiyetsizleştirici Maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileş(-mek) (To) become a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştir(-mek) (To) make one a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriver(-mek) (To) easily/quickly make one a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriverebil(-mek) (To) be able to make one easily/quickly a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebil(-mek) Not (to) be able to make one easily/quickly a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebilecek One who is not able to make one easily/quickly a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebilecekler Those who are not able to make one easily/quickly a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimiz Those who we cannot make easily/quickly a maker unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizden From those we can not easily/quickly make a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmiş (Would be) from those we can not easily/quickly make a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsiniz You would be from those we can not easily/quickly make a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine As if you would be from those we can not easily/quickly make a maker of unsuccessful ones
Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesineyken WhenAs if you would be from those we can not easily/quickly make a maker of unsuccessful ones

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Yeni Mesaj, Turkish newspaper
  2. ^ a b Papatyam
  3. ^ a b Çöltekin Ç., A Freely Available Morphological Analyzer for Turkish [1] In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC2010), Valletta, Malta, May 2010.