The Vowel Triangle of Turkish and Phonological Processes of Laxing and Fronting in Turkish
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One of the motives for this thesis is the need for a universal vowel chart based on acoustic fact. The vowel quadrilateral represented in the IPA chart distorts the vowel space in terms of acoustic phonetics. Lindsey (2017) proposes a sound-based vowel triangle as an alternative to the IPA chart. The vowel triangle of Turkish is meant to be the first language-specific vowel chart in line with the alternative vowel chart of Lindsey (2017). 51 words, in which 12 allophones occur 8 times each, were selected for the study. These words containing a total of 96 (12 x 8) vowel allophones were presented to the participants with short definitions in PowerPoint slides. F1 and F2 values of the vowels were calculated with the help of PRAAT. The Lobanov (1971) method of normalization was employed on the overall means of F1 and F2 of the vowels of the speakers. Based on these values, the vowel triangle of Turkish is demonstrated. Turkish vowels have been examined in different bodies of work (Coşkun, 2008; Ergenç & Uzun, 2017; Selen, 1979; Demircan, 2009; Erguvanlı-Taylan, 2015). Nevertheless, vowel allophones and phonemes in Turkish have not been comprehensively explained yet. The phonological processes regarding these vowel allophones and phonemes are introduced in this thesis. In addition, this study attempts to cover the rules outputting these phonological processes. Turkish seems to possess at least two phonological processes regarding vowels, namely fronting and laxing. This study puts forward one rule for vowel fronting and four rules for laxing. With the help of these rules, the phonological relations observed between the vowel allophones and phonemes of standard Turkish are clarified.
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