Deniz Zeyrek

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Prof. Dr. Deniz Zeyrek
Cognitive Science Department
Informatics Institute
Room No: 
Tel No: 
+90 (312) 210-7780

T.E.D. Ankara Koleji (Lycee diploma) 

Hacettepe University, Department of Linguistics (BA)

Kansas University, Department of Linguistics (MA)

Hacettepe University, Department of Linguistics (PhD)


Research Interests: 

I carry out interdisciplinary research by compliling (electronic) language resources and particularly by recording linguistic data in corpora (linguistic annotation). My other research specialties are Turkish discourse, pragmatics and language acquisition. In the area of discourse, I am interested in discourse relations and discourse relational devices. I analyze (written) Turkish texts, investigate explicit and implicit ways of signalling discourse relations and try to specify the features that could be important for discourse relations. I have been the pricipal developer of Turkish Discourse Bank or TDB (an electronic resource of Turkish annotated for discourse relations in the Penn Discourse TreeBank style). Linguistically annotated corpora are ultimately inputs to language technologies and TDB is the platform where the results of our theoretical investigations are recorded. My corpus development efforts go hand in hand with my research on discourse mechanisms.

I am interested in initiating new research proposals and projects involving the development of corpora targeting various aspects of Turkish. I was recenlty involved in the development of a corpus of children's literature (with my thesis advisee Elif Ahsen Tolgay).  

I was involved in the program committee or scientific committe of various interdisciplinary conferences and workshops, for example, Textlink - Structuring Discourse in Multilingual Europe: Second Action Conference, 2016; ISBCS 2014, 2015 (1st/2nd International Symposium on Brain and Cognitive Science); Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC)  2012, 2014, 2015, 2016; Language and Resources area of Association of Computational Linguistics Conference (ACL) 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. I also serve in the program committees of International Conference of Turkish Linguistics (ICTL) and National Turkish Linguistics Conferences (Ulusal Türk Dilbilim Kurultayı).

I was one of the organizers of 16th International Conference of Turkish Linguistics (ICTL), and LAEL (Linguistic Approaches to Endangered Languages: Theory and Description). 


I am the Editor of Dilbilim Araştırmaları Dergisi/Journal of Linguistic Research, one of the oldest peer-reviewed journals of linguistics in Turkey publishing research articles (primarily) on Turkish.  


Funded projects: 


TDB was built with a grant from TÜBİTAK, The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (2008-2011), where I was the primary investigator: Turkish Discourse Bank Project.


I am part of Textlink: Structuring Discourse in Multilingual Europe (ISCH COST Action IS1312), where I act as the Communication Manager and as a member of the Steering Committee. 


Between 2008-2010, I was part of the project Electronic In-Service Training for Novice English Teachers (e-INSET-NET), funded by Leonardo, Transfer of Innovation Projects (Principal Investigator: Fidel Çakmak, Mersin University). 

Courses / Laboratories: 

I usually teach Cogs 541 Language Acquisition and Cogs 528 Discourse Mechanisms. You can access my research group Turkish Discourse Bank from here as well.

Thesis / Research Information: 

I supervise master's and PhD research projects on the topics described under Research Interests above; I welcome thesis propososals on those or on related areas. 

Here are the most recent master's and doctoral theses I supervised: 



Assessment of the Turkish Discourse Bank and a Cascaded Model to Automatically Identify Discursive Phrasal Expressions in Turkish by Ayışığı B. Sevdik-Çallı  (2015)



Automatic Sense Prediction of Implicit Discourse Relations in Turkish, by Murathan Kurfalı (2016) METU, Cognitive Science. 

A Turkish Database for Psycholinguistic Studies: A Corpus Based Study on Frequency, Age of Acquisition and Imageability by Elif Ahsen Tolgay (2015), METU, Cognitive Science. 

Discovering the Discourse Role Of Converbs in Turkish, by Ahmet Faruk Acar (2014), METU, Cognitive Science. 


The following is a selection of my publications (journal articles, book chapters and articles in conference proceedings) from 2002 onwards. They represent my work in the research areas mentioned on this webpage.


Kaygusuz, Y. & Zeyrek, D. (2016). Turkish children’s early vocabulary: A study on the lexical diversity of two sisters. B. Haznedar & R. N. Ketez (Eds.) The Acquisition of Turkish in Childhood. Trends in Language Acquisition Research, 20. (pp. 57-78). 

Tolgay, A. E., Zeyrek, D., Kurfalı, M., Bozşahin, C. (2016). A Turkish database for psycholinguistic studies based on frequency, age of acquisition, and imageability. LREC 2016, 10th edition of the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference, 23-28 May 2016, Portorož (Slovenia).

Kurfalı, M., Zeyrek, D., Gonçalves, T. (2016) Automatic prediction of implicit discourse relations in Turkish.  Conference Handbook: Structuring Discourse in Multilingual Europe Second Action Conference. Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary Budapest, 11–14 April, 2016 (pp. 65-70).


Zeyrek, D., Sağın-Şimşek, Ç., Ataş, U., Rehbein, J. (Eds) (2015). Ankara Papers in Turkish and Turkic Linguistics. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz Verlag. 


Zeyrek, D., Demirşahin, I., Sevdik-Çallı, A. B., Kurfalı, M. (2015). Annotating implicit discourse relations in Turkish: The challenge of corrective discourse relations. Paper presented at the workshop Discourse connectives across languages and modes: Challenges for discourse annotation, organized by Sandrine Zufferey, Liesbeth Degand & Daniel Hardt. 14th International Pragmatics Association (IPRA) Conference. Antwerp, Belgium 26-31 July, 2015. Abstracts, http// (pp. 455-456). 


Zeyrek, D. (2014). On the distribution of the contrastive-concessive discourse connectives ama 'but/yet' and fakat 'but' in written Turkish. Suihkonen, P., & Whaley, L. J. (Eds.). (2014). On Diversity and Complexity of Languages Spoken in Europe and North and Central Asia (Vol. 164). John Benjamins Publishing Company (pp. 251-275). 

Zeyrek, D. & Acartürk, C. (2014). The distinction between unaccusative and unergative verbs in Turkish: an offline and an eyetracking study of split intransitivity. Cogsci 2014 Proceedings (pp.1832-1837). 

Demirşahin, I. & Zeyrek, D. (2014). Annotating discourse connectives in spoken Turkish. LAW VIII - The 8th Linguistic Annotation Workshop, Dublin, Ireland, August 23-24, 2014 (pp. 105-109).
Erten, B., Bozşahin, C., Zeyrek, D. (2014). Turkish resources for visual word recognition. LREC 2014,The 9th edition of the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference, 26-31 May, Reykjavik, Iceland (pp. 2106-2110). 
Zeyrek, D., Demirşahin, I., Sevdik-Çallı, Ayışığı, B., Çakıcı, R. (2013). Turkish Discourse Bank: Porting a discourse annotation style to a morphologically rich language. Dialogue & Discourse. Vol. 4, No. 2: 174-184. 

Demirşahin, I., Öztürel, A., Bozşahin, C., Zeyrek, D. (2013). Applicative structures and immediate discourse in the Turkish Discourse Bank. Proc. of the 7th Linguistic Annotation Workshop & Interoperability with Discourse (pages 122-130). Aug. 8-9 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Zeyrek, D. (2013) The discourse connective yerine 'instead' in Turkish (13th International Pragmatics Conference, 8-13 September, 2013, New Delhi, India).
Zeyrek, D., Turan Ü. D., Demirşahin I., & Çakıcı R. (2012). Differential properties of three discourse connectives in Turkish: A corpus-based analysis of Fakat, Yoksa, Ayrıca. In A. Benz, M. Stede, & P. Kühnlein (eds.). Constraints in Discourse 3. Representing and inferring discourse structure. (pp. 183-206) John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Demirşahin, Işın, Yalçınkaya İ., & Zeyrek D. (2012). Pair annotation: Adaption of Pair Programming to Corpus Annotation. Proceedings. Association of Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Sixth Linguistic Annotation Workshop (pp. 31-39).
Göy, E., Zeyrek D., & Otcu B. (2012). Developmental Patterns in Internal Modification Use in Requests: A Quantitative Study on Turkish Learners of English.In Helen Woodfield & Maria Kogetsidis (Eds.). Interlanguage Request Modification (pp. 51-87). John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Şirin, U., Çakıcı R., & Zeyrek D. (2012). METU Turkish Discourse Bank Browser. Proceedings, The 8th edition of the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC), 21-27 May, 2012, Istanbul, Turkey. 

Demirşahin, Işın, Çallı A. B. S., Balaban H. Ö., Çakıcı R., & Zeyrek D. (2012). Turkish Discourse Bank: Ongoing Developments. Proceedings, Workshop on Turkic Languages. The 8th edition of the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC), 21-27 May, 2012, Istanbul, Turkey. 

Zeyrek, D. (2012). Thanking in Turkish: a Corpus-based Analysis. In Leire Luiz Zarobe and Yolanda Luiz Zarobe (Eds.). Speech Acts and Politeness across Languages and Cultures. Speech Acts and Politeness across Languages and Cultures (pp. 27-52). Peter Lang.

Turan, Ü. D., & Zeyrek D. (2011). Context, contrast, and the structure of discourse in Turkish. In Anita Fetzer & Etsuko Oishi (Eds.). Context and contexts: Parts meets whole? (pp. 147-170). John Benjamins.
Zeyrek, D., Demirşahin Işın, Çallı A. B. S., Balaban H. Ö., Yalçınkaya İ., & Turan Ü. D. (2010). The annotation scheme of the Turkish Discourse Bank and an evaluation of inconsistent annotations. Proceedings of the Fourth Linguistic Annotation Workshop (pp. 282–289). 15-16 July 2010, Uppsala, Sweden.
Aktaş, B., Bozşahin C., & Zeyrek D. (2010). Discourse Relation Configurations in Turkish and an Annotation Environment. ACL 2010. LAW IV. Fourth Linguistic Annotation Workshop.Proceedings of the Workshop (pp. 202-206).15-16 July 2010, Uppsala, Sweden.
Akgün, M., Çağıltay K., & Zeyrek D. (2010). The effect of apologetic error messages and mood stated on computer users’ self-appraisal of performance. Journal of Pragmatics. 42(9), 2349-2448.
Acartürk, C., & Zeyrek D. (2010). Unaccusative/Unergative Distinction in Turkish: A Connectionist Approach. The 23rd International Conference on Computational Linguistics. Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Asian Language Resources.
Zeyrek, D., Turan Ü. D., & Bozşahin C. (2009). The role of annotation in understanding discourse. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Turkish Linguistics (pp. 303-313). Harrasowitz. 

Zeyrek, D., Turan Ü. D., Bozşahin C., Çakıcı R., Çallı A. B. S., Demirşahin Işın, et al. (2009). Annotating Subordinators in the Turkish Discourse Bank. ACL-IJCNLP, Linguistic Annotation Workshop III (pp. 44–48). August 6-7 2009, Singapore.
Zeyrek, D. (2009). Türkçe İşaretleme Çalışması [Turkish Corpus Annotation]. 23. Ulusal Dilbilim Kurultayı Bildirileri (pp. 78-88). Mersin Üniversitesi.
Zeyrek, D., Demirşahin Işın, & Çallı A. B. S. (2008). ODTÜ Metin Düzeyinde İşaretlenmiş Derlem Projesi Tanıtımı [Introducing METU Turkish Discourse Bank Project]. Mersin Üniversitesi Sempozyumu Bildirileri (pp. 544-553). Mersin Üniversitesi.
Zeyrek, D., & Webber B. (2008). A Discourse Resource for Turkish: Annotating Discourse Connectives in the METU Corpus. The 6th Workshop on Asian Language Resources, The Third International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, (IJNLP) (pp. 65-71).
Zeyrek, D., Hatipoğlu Ç., & Atalay N. B. (2008). Türkçe /r/’nin akustik incelenmesi: Bölge ve Cinsiyet Farklılıkları [An acoustic analysis or Turkish /r/]. 21. Ulusal Dilbilim Kurultayı Bildirileri (pp. 10-18).
Otcu, B., & Zeyrek D. (2008). Development of requests: A study on Turkish Learners of English. In Martin Pütz and JoAnne Neff-van Aertselaer (Eds.). Interlanguage and Cross-Cultural Perspectives (pp. 265-301). Mouton De Gruyter.
Zeyrek, D. (2006). Dil Edinimi [Language Acquisition]. Ahmet Kocaman (Haz.) Dilbilim Temel Sorunlar Tartışmalar (s. 137-148). Dil Derneği Yay.
Say, B., Zeyrek, D., Oflazer, K., Özge, U. (2004). Development of a corpus and treebank for present day written Turkish. İmer, K., Doğan, G. (eds.) Current Research in Turkish Linguistics, ICTL 2002. Cyprus: Eastern Mediterrenean University. 183-192. 
Zeyrek, D. (2003). Temporal organization and discourse structure. In Özsoy, A. S., Akar, D., Nakipoğlu-Demiralp, M. Erguvanlı-Taylan, E. Aksu-Koç. A.  (eds).  Studies in Turkish Linguistics. Proceedings, 10th International Conference in Turkish Linguistics. Istanbul: Boğaziçi University Press. 419-428. 
Kapusuz E. & Zeyrek, D. (2002). Incorporating the use of grammatical information into construction-integration model of comprehension. Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Society for Text and Discourse (p. 24)