The Emergence of Turkish Approximant Frication

  • Ethan Kutlu University of Florida


This study examined acoustic realizations of Turkish /l/ and /r/ in various phonetic contexts. The results revealed that, not only /r/, but also /l/ are produced with frication in word-final position, especially before a high front vowel /i/. On this basis, a natural class uniting /r/ and /l/ is proposed. The proposal is consistent with the Emergent Feature Theory by Mielke (2004) who argues that phonological features are abstract categories based on generalizations that emerge from phonological patterns rather than the other way around.