Turkic lexicon

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Some notes on how to go about making a Turkic lexicon for use in Apertium.


General points:

  • The lexicon will be made in one file, it will have the suffix .lexc
  • The file will be laid out in the following order:
    1. The multicharacter symbols
    2. The Root lexicon, pointing to the stem lexicons
    3. The morphotactics (continuation lexica)
    4. The stem lexicons

Multicharacter symbols

Morphological categories must be encased in < and > tags. They may contain the letters a-z and numbers 0-9. In extreme cases they may include the letters A-Z They must begin with a letter, they may not begin with a number.


  • %<n%> Noun
  • %<p3%> Third person
  • %<evid%> Evidential

For information on archiphonemes, see the corresponding page.

The list of symbols should be laid out in the following order:

  • The major parts of speech
  • The morphological categories
  • Archiphonemes
  • Other symbols, e.g. Morpheme boundary, ' ', '-' etc.

Every symbol should have a comment. The comments should line up.


Naming continuation lexica

  • Continuation lexica will be named in upper case, and may contain letters, numbers and the symbol -.

What sorts of distinctions to make

TODO: TV vs. IV, Russian vs. non-Russian in Chuvash

Stem lexicons

TODO: Why stems go in lexicon and not infinitives

Lines in the stem lexicons should follow the following pattern:

  • Left side (lexical form)
  • Colon :
  • Right side (surface form)
  • Space
  • Continuation lexicon
  • Space
  • Semicolon ;
  • Space
  • Exclamation mark
  • Open quote "
  • Gloss (optional)
  • Close quote "


кӗнеке:кӗнек N2 ; ! "llibre, книга"


TODO: px3 is sIn (and why)



Compound Nouns

TODO: N-N compounds with <px3>


  • A1: adjectives that can be both substantivised and adverbialised;
    • All three readings (<adj>, <adj.subst> and <adj.advl>)
    • have comparison levels.
  • A2: derived/not fully lexicalised adjectives without adverbial reading
    • <adj> and <adj.subst> readings
    • have comparison levels.
  • A3: derived/not fully lexicalised adjectives without adverbial reading
    • so-called "predicatives" (бар, жоқ)
    • no comparison levels at all.
  • A4: "pure" adjectives
    • no adverbial and substantive readings,
    • no comparison levels;

Examples by language

Type Example Reading Phrase
A1 лайӑх "good" <adj> Ку лайӑх кĕнеке.
лайӑхтарах <adj><comp> Ку лайӑхтарахчĕ.
лайӑх <adj><advl> Вӑл лайӑх ишет.
лайӑххисем <adj><subst><pl>
A2 кӑвак "blue" <adj>
кӑвакрах <adj><comp>
*кӑвак <adj><advl>
кӑвак <adj><subst><pl>
A3 вилĕ "dead" <adj>
*вилĕрех, *вилĕтерех <adj><comp>
*вилĕ <adj><advl>
вилĕ <adj><subst><pl>
A4 тĕп "main" <adj>
*тĕпрех, *тĕптерех <adj><comp>
*тĕп <adj><advl>
*тĕп <adj><subst>



TODO: "postpositions" which take poss./case are nouns

Finite verbs

Non-finite verbs

This section outlines what categories of non-finite verb forms exist in Turkic, and how to identify the type of category created by a given affix.

Language specific issues

Turkmen: stem-final voiced and voiceless stops

In Turkmen, there are three types of stem-final stops:

  • voiced stops
  • voiceless stops
  • stops that are voiceless syllable finally and voiced intervocalically

TODO: finish description of this and explain how it can be / is dealt with

Chuvash: Russian loans ending in -a with non-final stress