Turkish

Since the beginning of the Islamization of the Turks more than one millennium ago, Arabic loanwords have formed an important layer in the lexicon of the Turkish language. Only a certain part of the Arabic layer in the Turkish lexicon is the result of direct language contact; more important is the Arabic component which entered the Turkish lexical stock through Persian. For many centuries, nearly every Arabic lexeme, with the exception of finite verbs, could be used in a Turkish text as a learned or poetic expression. In the last decades of the Ottoman Empire, a vast number of pseudo-Arabic words were created by Turkish scientists to substitute for European terminology. Together with Arabic lexical elements, several features of Arabic morphology and – to a lesser extent – syntax made their entrance into the Turkish language. Even the elimination of thousands of Arabic loanwords during the Turkish Language Reform in the course of the 20th century left traces, such as loan-translations and imitations, in the Turkish lexical stock.

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