Basque language
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Basque (; , ) is a language spoken by
Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ancient Vascones and Aquitanian ...
and others of the
Basque Country Image:Euskal Herriaren terminologia.png, Map showing the geographical and political divisions of the Basque Country Basque Country may refer to: *Basque Country (autonomous community) (''Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa'' in Basque; ''Comunidad Autónoma ...
, a region that straddles the westernmost
Pyrenees french: Pyrénées ca, Pirineus an, Pirineus oc, Pirenèus eu, Pirinioak, Auñamendiak , etymology=Named for Pyrene (mythology), Pyrene , photo=Central pyrenees.jpg , photo_caption=Central Pyrenees , country_type= Countries , country= , geol ...

Pyrenees
in adjacent parts of northern
Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_ ...

Spain
and south-western
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

France
. Linguistically, Basque is a
language isolate A language isolate is a language that is unrelated to any others. In the absolute sense, it is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or "genetic") relationship—one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor comm ...
(unrelated to any other existing languages). The Basques are indigenous to, and primarily inhabit, the Basque Country. The Basque language is spoken by 28.4% (751,500) of Basques in all territories. Of these, 93.2% (700,300) are in the Spanish area of the Basque Country and the remaining 6.8% (51,200) are in the French portion. Native speakers live in a contiguous area that includes parts of four Spanish provinces and the three "ancient provinces" in France.
Gipuzkoa Gipuzkoa (, , ; es, Guipúzcoa ; french: Guipuscoa) is a Provinces of Spain, province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country (autonomous community), autonomous community of the Basque Country. Its capital city is San Sebastiá ...

Gipuzkoa
, most of
Biscay Biscay (; eu, Bizkaia ; es, Vizcaya ) is a province of Spain, lying on the south shore of the eponymous bay. The name also refers to a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lordship of Biscay. Its capital city is Bi ...
, a few municipalities of
Álava Álava ( in Spanish) or Araba ( in Basque, dialectal: ), officially Araba/Álava, is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lordship of Álava, former medieval Catholic bishopric and now Lat ...

Álava
and the northern area of
Navarre Navarre (; es, Navarra ; eu, Nafarroa ; oc, Navarra ), officially the Chartered Community of Navarre ( es, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, links=no ; eu, Nafarroako Foru Komunitatea, links=no ), is an autonomous community and province A prov ...

Navarre
formed the core of the remaining Basque-speaking area before measures were introduced in the 1980s to strengthen Basque fluency. By contrast, most of Álava, the westernmost part of Biscay, and central and southern Navarre are predominantly populated by native speakers of
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_an ...

Spanish
, either because Basque was replaced by Spanish over the centuries (as in most of Álava and central Navarre), or because it may never have been spoken there (as in parts of
Enkarterri Enkarterri ( Spanish: ''Las Encartaciones'') is a comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrative division found in Portugal, Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag ...
and south-eastern Navarre). In
Francoist Spain Francoist Spain ( es, España franquista), known in Spain as the Francoist dictatorship ( es, dictadura franquista), was the period of Spanish history between 1936 and 1975, when Francisco Franco ruled Spain with the title '' Caudillo''. Afte ...
, Basque language use was affected by the government's repressive policies. In the Basque Country, "Francoist repression was not only political, but also linguistic and cultural." regime suppressed Basque from official discourse, education, and publishing, making it illegal to register newborn babies under Basque names, and even requiring tombstone engravings in Basque to be removed. In some provinces the public use of Basque was suppressed, with people fined for speaking it. Public use of Basque was frowned upon by supporters of the regime, often regarded as a sign of anti-Francoism or
separatism Separatism is the advocacy of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group. As with secession, separatism conventionally refers to full political separation. Groups simply seeking greater ...
. Overall, in the 1960s and later, the trend reversed and education and publishing in Basque began to flourish. As a part of this process, a standardised form of the Basque language, called Euskara Batua, was developed by the
Euskaltzaindia Euskaltzaindia (; often translated Royal Academy of the Basque Language) is the official academic language regulatory institution which watches over the Basque language Basque (; , ) is a language spoken by Basques The Basques ( or ; ...
in the late 1960s. Besides its standardised version, the five historic Basque dialects are
Biscayan Biscayan, sometimes Bizkaian ( eu, Bizkaiera, es, Vizcaíno) is a Basque dialects, dialect of the Basque language spoken mainly in Biscay, one of the provinces of the Basque Country (autonomous community), Basque Country of Spain. It is named a ...
,
Gipuzkoan Gipuzkoan ( eu, Gipuzkera; es, Guipuzcoano) is a dialect of the Basque language spoken mainly in the province of Gipuzkoa in Basque Country (autonomous community), Basque Country but also in a small part of Navarre. It is a central dialect, spoke ...
, and
Upper Navarrese Upper Navarrese (sometimes called High Navarrese) is a dialect of the Basque language spoken in the Navarre ( eu, Nafarroa or ''Nafarroa Garaia'') community of Spain, as established by linguist Louis Lucien Bonaparte in his famous 1869 map. He act ...
in Spain and Navarrese–Lapurdian and
Souletin Souletin or Zuberoan ( eu, Zuberera) is the Basque dialects, Basque dialect spoken in Soule, France. Name In English language, English sources, the Basque-based term ''Zuberoan'' is sometimes encountered. In Standard Basque, the dialect is known ...
in France. They take their names from the historic Basque provinces, but the dialect boundaries are not congruent with province boundaries. Euskara Batua was created so that the Basque language could be used—and easily understood by all Basque speakers—in formal situations (education, mass media, literature), and this is its main use today. In both Spain and France, the use of Basque for education varies from region to region and from school to school. Basque is the only surviving
language isolate A language isolate is a language that is unrelated to any others. In the absolute sense, it is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or "genetic") relationship—one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor comm ...
in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest ...

Europe
. The current mainstream scientific view on
origin of the Basques The origin of the Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ancie ...
and of their language is that early forms of Basque developed before the arrival of
Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
in the area, i.e. before the arrival of
Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: ...
and
Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of informal sociolects of Latin Latin (, or , ) ...

Romance languages
in particular, as the latter today geographically surround the Basque-speaking region. Typologically, with its agglutinative morphology and
ergative–absolutive alignment In linguistic typology, ergative–absolutive alignment is a type of morphosyntactic alignment in which the single argument ("subject (grammar), subject") of an intransitive verb behaves like the object (grammar), object of a transitive verb, and d ...
, Basque grammar remains markedly different from that of
Standard Average European Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrology), an object that bears a defined relationship to a unit ...
languages. Nevertheless, Basque has borrowed up to 40 percent of its vocabulary from Romance languages,"Basque Pidgin Vocabulary in European-Algonquian Trade Contacts." In Papers of the Nineteenth Algonquian Conference, edited by William Cowan, pp. 7–13. https://ojs.library.carleton.ca/index.php/ALGQP/article/download/967/851/0 and the
Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is a set of graphic signs (Writing system#General properties, script) based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet. This is derived from a form of the Cumae alphabet, Cumaean Greek version of the ...

Latin script
is used for the
Basque alphabet The Basque alphabet is a Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans to write the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages ...
.


Names of the language

In Basque, the name of the language is officially (alongside various
dialect The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of th ...
forms). In French, the language is normally called , though has become common in recent times. Spanish has a greater variety of names for the language. Today, it is most commonly referred to as , , or . Both terms, and , are inherited from the Latin
ethnonym An ethnonym (from the el, ἔθνος 'nation' and 'name') is a name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given c ...
, which in turn goes back to the Greek term (), an ethnonym used by
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pres ...

Strabo
in his (23 CE, Book III). The Spanish term , derived from Latin , has acquired negative connotations over the centuries and is not well-liked amongst Basque speakers generally. Its use is documented at least as far back as the 14th century when a law passed in
Huesca Huesca (; an, Uesca), (also known in Pre-Roman Iberian times as 'Bolskan", in Latin as 'Osca', and Arabic 'Wasqah'), is a city in north-eastern Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de E ...

Huesca
in 1349 stated that —essentially penalising the use of Arabic, Hebrew, or Basque in marketplaces with a fine of 30 sols (the equivalent of 30 sheep).


History and classification

Basque is geographically surrounded by
Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of informal sociolects of Latin Latin (, or , ) ...

Romance languages
but is a language isolate unrelated to them, and indeed, to any other language in the world. It is the last remaining descendant of one of the
pre-Indo-European languages The Pre-Indo-European languages are any of several ancient languages, not necessarily related to one another, that existed in Prehistoric Europe and South Asia before the arrival of speakers of Indo-European languages. The oldest Indo-European la ...
of
Prehistoric Europe Prehistoric Europe is Europe with human presence but before the start of recorded history, beginning in the Lower Paleolithic 250px, Four views of an Acheulean handaxe The Lower Paleolithic (or Lower Palaeolithic) is the earliest subdivision of ...
. Consequently, the prehistory of the Basque language may not be reconstructible by means of the traditional
comparative method In linguistics, the comparative method is a technique for studying the development of languages by performing a feature-by-feature comparison of two or more languages with genetic relationship (linguistics), common descent from a shared ancestor ...
except by applying it to differences between dialects within the language. Little is known of its origins, but it is likely that an early form of the Basque language was present in and around the area of modern Basque Country before the arrival of the Indo-European languages in western Europe. Authors such as
Miguel de Unamuno Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo (29 September 1864 – 31 December 1936) was a Spanish essay An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument, but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a letter, a pape ...
and
Louis Lucien Bonaparte Louis Lucien Bonaparte (4 January 1813 – 3 November 1891) was the third son of Napoleon's second surviving brother, Lucien Bonaparte Lucien Bonaparte, Prince Français, 1st Prince of Canino and Musignano (born Luciano Buonaparte; 21 May 1775 ...
have noted that the words for "knife" (), "axe" (), and "hoe" () appear to derive from the word for "stone" (), and have therefore concluded that the language dates to
prehistoric Europe Prehistoric Europe is Europe with human presence but before the start of recorded history, beginning in the Lower Paleolithic 250px, Four views of an Acheulean handaxe The Lower Paleolithic (or Lower Palaeolithic) is the earliest subdivision of ...
when those tools were made of stone. Others find this unlikely: see the controversy. Latin inscriptions in preserve a number of words with
cognate In linguistics, cognates, also called lexical cognates, are words that have a common etymology, etymological origin. Cognates are often inherited from a proto-language, shared parent language, but they may also involve loanword, borrowings from ...
s in the reconstructed
proto-Basque language Proto-Basque ( eu, Aitzineuskara; es, protoeuskera, protovasco; french: proto-basque), or more accurately Pre-Basque, is the reconstructed predecessor of the Basque language Basque (; , ) is a language spoken by Basques The Basques ( o ...
, for instance, the personal names and ( and mean 'young girl' and 'man', respectively in modern Basque). This language is generally referred to as Aquitanian and is assumed to have been spoken in the area before the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman people. Beginning with the Overthrow of the ...
's conquests in the western
Pyrenees french: Pyrénées ca, Pirineus an, Pirineus oc, Pirenèus eu, Pirinioak, Auñamendiak , etymology=Named for Pyrene (mythology), Pyrene , photo=Central pyrenees.jpg , photo_caption=Central Pyrenees , country_type= Countries , country= , geol ...

Pyrenees
. Some authors even argue for late Basquisation, that the language moved westward during
Late Antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Insti ...
after the
fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Rom ...
into the northern part of
Hispania Hispania ( ; ) was the Ancient Rome, Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces. Under the Roman Republic, Hispania was divided into two Roman province, provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. During the Principate, Hispa ...

Hispania
into what is now
Basque Country Image:Euskal Herriaren terminologia.png, Map showing the geographical and political divisions of the Basque Country Basque Country may refer to: *Basque Country (autonomous community) (''Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa'' in Basque; ''Comunidad Autónoma ...
. Roman neglect of this area allowed Aquitanian to survive while the
Iberian Iberian refers to Iberia (disambiguation), Iberia. Most commonly Iberian refers to: *Someone or something originating in the Iberian Peninsula, namely from Spain, Portugal and Andorra. The term ''Iberian'' is also used to refer to anything pertain ...
and
Tartessian language The Tartessian language is the extinct Paleo-Hispanic languages, Paleo-Hispanic language of inscriptions in the Southwest Paleohispanic script, Southwestern script found in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, mainly in the south of Portugal ( ...
s became extinct. Through the long contact with Romance languages, Basque adopted a sizeable number of Romance words. Initially the source was Latin, later Gascon (a branch of
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance languages, Romance language (or branch of numerous of these) spoken in Southern France, Monaco, Italy's Occitan Vall ...
) in the north-east,
Navarro-Aragonese Navarro-Aragonese is a Romance language The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin languages) are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the third and eighth centuries. They are a subgroup of the ...
in the south-east and
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_an ...

Spanish
in the south-west. Since 1968, Basque has been immersed in a revitalisation process, facing formidable obstacles. However, significant progress has been made in numerous areas. Six main factors have been identified to explain its relative success: 1) the implementation and acceptance of Unified Basque (Batua), 2) integration of Basque in the education system, 3) creation of media in Basque (radio, newspapers, and television); 4) the established new legal framework, 5) collaboration between public institutions and people's organisations, and 6) campaigns for Basque language literacy. While those six factors influenced the revitalisation process, the extensive development and use of language technologies is also considered a significant additional factor.


Hypotheses concerning Basque's connections to other languages

Once accepted as a non-Indo-European language, many attempts have been made to link the Basque language with more geographically distant languages. Apart from pseudoscientific comparisons, the appearance of long-range linguistics gave rise to several attempts to connect Basque with geographically very distant language families. Historical work on Basque is challenging since written material and documentation only is available for some few hundred years. Almost all hypotheses concerning the origin of Basque are controversial, and the suggested evidence is not generally accepted by mainstream linguists. Some of these hypothetical connections are: * Ligurian substrate: This hypothesis, proposed in the 19th century by d'Arbois de Jubainville, J. Pokorny, P. Kretschmer and several other linguists, encompasses the Basco-Iberian hypothesis. *
Iberian Iberian refers to Iberia (disambiguation), Iberia. Most commonly Iberian refers to: *Someone or something originating in the Iberian Peninsula, namely from Spain, Portugal and Andorra. The term ''Iberian'' is also used to refer to anything pertain ...
: another ancient language once spoken in the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region o ...
, shows several similarities with Aquitanian and Basque. However, not enough evidence exists to distinguish geographical connections from linguistic ones. Iberian itself remains unclassified. Eduardo Orduña Aznar claims to have established correspondences between Basque and Iberian numerals and noun case markers. *
Vasconic substratum theory Image:Proposed area of Vasconic languages.png, Proposed area of Vasconic substratum The Vasconic substrate hypothesis is a proposal that several Western European languages contain remnants of an old language family of Vasconic languages, of which ...
: This proposal, made by the German linguist
Theo Vennemann Theo Vennemann Hofname, genannt Nierfeld (; born 27 May 1937 in Oberhausen-Sterkrade) is a Germany, German historical linguistics, historical linguist known for his controversial theories of a "Vasconic substratum, Vasconic" and an "Atlantic (Semit ...
, claims that enough toponymical evidence exists to conclude that Basque is the only survivor of a larger family that once extended throughout most of western Europe, and has also left its mark in modern Indo-European languages spoken in Europe. *
Georgian Georgian may refer to: Common meanings * Anything related to, or originating from Georgia (country) **Georgians, an indigenous Caucasian ethnic group **Georgian language, a Kartvelian language spoken by Georgians **Georgian scripts, three scripts ...
: Linking Basque to the
Kartvelian languages The Kartvelian languages (; ka, ქართველური ენები, tr; also known as Iberian, South CaucasianBoeder (2002), p. 3 or Kartvelic) are a language family Languages of the Caucasus, indigenous to the South Caucasus and spoke ...

Kartvelian languages
is now widely discredited. The hypothesis was inspired by the existence of the ancient
Kingdom of Iberia In Greco-Roman geography, Iberia (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the ...
in the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven ...
and some similarities in societal practices and agriculture between the two populations. Historical comparisons are difficult due to the dearth of historical material for Basque and several of the Kartvelian languages. Typological similarities have been proposed for some of the phonological characteristics and most importantly for some of the details of the ergative constructions, but these alone cannot prove historical relatedness between languages since such characteristics are found in other languages across the world, even if not in Indo-European. According to
J. P. Mallory James Patrick Mallory (born October 25, 1945) is an American archaeologist and Indo-Europeanist. Mallory is an emeritus professor at Queen's University, Belfast; a member of the Royal Irish Academy The Royal Irish Academy (RIA; ga, Acad ...
, the hypothesis was also inspired by a Basque place-name ending in ''-dze'' which is common in Kartvelian. The theory suggested that Basque and Georgian were remnants of a pre-Indo-European group. *
Northeast Caucasian languages The Northeast Caucasian languages, also called East Caucasian or Nakh-Daghestanian languages, is a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed lan ...

Northeast Caucasian languages
, such as
ChechenChechen may refer to: *Chechens, an ethnic group of the Caucasus *Chechen language *Metopium brownei, also known as the chechen, chechem, or black poisonwood tree *Related to Chechnya (Chechen Republic) *Related to the former Chechen Republic of Ich ...
, are seen by some linguists as more likely candidates for a very distant connection. * Dené–Caucasian: Based on the possible Caucasian link, some linguists, for example
John Bengtson John D. Bengtson (born 1948) is an American historical and anthropological linguist. He is past president and currently vice-president of the Association for the Study of Language in Prehistory, and has served as editor (or co-editor) of the jour ...
and
Merritt Ruhlen Merritt Ruhlen (May 10, 1944 – January 29, 2021) was an American linguist who worked on the classification of languages and what this reveals about the origin and evolution of modern humans. Amongst other linguists, Ruhlen's work was recognized ...

Merritt Ruhlen
, have proposed including Basque in the Dené–Caucasian superfamily of languages, but this proposed superfamily includes languages from North America and Eurasia, and its existence is highly controversial. *
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
: A genetic link between Basque and the Indo-European languages has been proposed by Forni (2013). This proposal is rejected by most reviewers, both including scholars adhering to the mainstream view of Basque as a language isolate (Gorrochategui, Lakarra), as well as proponents of wide-range genetic relations (Bengtson).


Geographic distribution

Percentage of fluent speakers of Basque (areas where Basque is not spoken are included within the 0–4% interval) The region where Basque is spoken has become smaller over centuries, especially at the northern, southern, and eastern borders. Nothing is known about the limits of this region in ancient times, but on the basis of toponyms and epigraphs, it seems that in the beginning of the
Common Era Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar (and its predecessor, the Julian calendar The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in , was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on , by edict. I ...
it stretched to the river
Garonne The Garonne (, also , ; Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no , ), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin l ...

Garonne
in the north (including the south-western part of present-day France); at least to the
Val d'Aran Aran (; ; ) (previously officially called in Occitan Val d'Aran, Catalan: ''Vall d'Aran'', Spanish: ''Valle de Arán'') is an administrative entity (formerly considered a comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrati ...

Val d'Aran
in the east (now a Gascon-speaking part of
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, nationality'' by its Statute o ...
), including lands on both sides of the
Pyrenees french: Pyrénées ca, Pirineus an, Pirineus oc, Pirenèus eu, Pirinioak, Auñamendiak , etymology=Named for Pyrene (mythology), Pyrene , photo=Central pyrenees.jpg , photo_caption=Central Pyrenees , country_type= Countries , country= , geol ...

Pyrenees
; the southern and western boundaries are not clear at all. The
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese language, Portuguese and Spanish language, Spanish for "reconquest") was a period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula of about 781 years between the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711, the expansion of the Christendom, Chr ...

Reconquista
temporarily counteracted this contracting tendency when the Christian lords called on northern Iberian peoples — Basques,
Asturians Asturians ( ast, asturianos) are a Romance peoples, Romance ethnic group native to the autonomous community of Principality of Asturias, Asturias, in Spain. Culture and society Heritage The Asturians have Visigothic, Ancient Romans, Latin and H ...
, and "
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the Lower Rhine and the Ems River, on the edge of the Roman Empire. Later the term was ...

Franks
" — to colonise the new conquests. The Basque language became the main everyday language, while other languages like
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_an ...

Spanish
, Gascon,
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consistin ...

French
, or
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
were preferred for the administration and high education. By the 16th century, the Basque-speaking area was reduced basically to the present-day seven provinces of the Basque Country, excluding the southern part of Navarre, the south-western part of
Álava Álava ( in Spanish) or Araba ( in Basque, dialectal: ), officially Araba/Álava, is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lordship of Álava, former medieval Catholic bishopric and now Lat ...

Álava
, and the western part of Biscay, and including some parts of
Béarn Béarn (; ; oc, Bearn or ''Biarn''; eu, Bearno or ''Biarno''; or ''Bearnia'') is one of the traditional provinces of France, located in the Pyrenees mountains and in the plain at their feet, in southwest France. Along with the three Northern ...
. In 1807, Basque was still spoken in the northern half of Álava—including its capital city
Vitoria-Gasteiz es, vitoriano, vitoriana, , population_density_km2 = auto , blank_name_sec1 = Official language(s) , blank_info_sec1 = Spanish, Basque , timezone = CET , utc_offset = +1 , timezone_DST ...
—and a vast area in central Navarre, but in these two provinces, Basque experienced a rapid decline that pushed its border northwards. In the
French Basque Country The French Basque Country, or Northern Basque Country ( eu, Iparralde (), french: Pays basque, es, País Vasco francés) is a region lying on the west of the French department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Since 1 January 2017, it constitut ...
, Basque was still spoken in all the territory except in
Bayonne Bayonne (; eu, Baiona ; oc, label=Gascon dialect, Gascon, Baiona ; es, Bayona) is a city and Communes of France, commune and one of the two Subprefectures in France, sub-prefectures of the Departments of France, department of Pyrénées-Atlan ...
and some villages around, and including some bordering towns in
Béarn Béarn (; ; oc, Bearn or ''Biarn''; eu, Bearno or ''Biarno''; or ''Bearnia'') is one of the traditional provinces of France, located in the Pyrenees mountains and in the plain at their feet, in southwest France. Along with the three Northern ...
. In the 20th century, however, the rise of
Basque nationalism Basque nationalism ( eu, eusko abertzaletasuna, es, nacionalismo vasco, french: nationalisme basque) is a form of nationalism that asserts that Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern E ...
spurred increased interest in the language as a sign of ethnic identity, and with the establishment of autonomous governments in the
Southern Basque Country Image:Hegoaldea Kokapena.gif, The Basque Country (greater region), greater region Basque Country, with the Spanish Basque Country (or ''Hegoalde'') highlighted in green and the French Basque Country shown in grey. The Southern Basque Country ( eu, ...
, it has recently made a modest comeback. In the Spanish part, Basque-language schools for children and Basque-teaching centres for adults have brought the language to areas such as western
Enkarterri Enkarterri ( Spanish: ''Las Encartaciones'') is a comarca A ''comarca'' (, or ) is a traditional region or local administrative division found in Portugal, Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag ...
and the Ribera del Ebro in southern Navarre, where it is not known to ever have been widely spoken; and in the French Basque Country, these schools and centres have almost stopped the decline of the language.


Official status

Historically, Latin or Romance languages have been the official languages in this region. However, Basque was explicitly recognised in some areas. For instance, the ''
fuero confirming the ''fueros'' of Biscay at Guernica (town), Guernica in 1476 ''Fuero'' (), ''Fur'' (), ''Foro'' () or ''Foru'' () is a Spain, Spanish legal term and concept. The word comes from Latin ''Forum (Roman), forum'', an open space used as a ...

fuero
'' or charter of the Basque-colonised Ojacastro (now in La Rioja) allowed the inhabitants to use Basque in legal processes in the 13th and 14th centuries. The
Spanish Constitution of 1978 The Spanish Constitution (Spanish language, Spanish, Asturleonese language, Asturleonese, and gl, Constitución Española; eu, Espainiako Konstituzioa; ca, Constitució Espanyola; oc, Constitucion espanhòla) is the Democracy, democratic law ...
states in Article 3 that the
Spanish language Spanish ( or , ) is a Romance languages, Romance language of the Indo-European language family that evolved from colloquial spoken Latin in the Iberian Peninsula. Today, it is a world language, global language with nearly 500 million native spea ...

Spanish language
is the official language of the nation, but allows autonomous communities to provide a co-official language status for the other
languages of Spain The languages of Spain ( es, lenguas de España), or Spanish languages ( es, lenguas españolas), are the languages spoken or once spoken in Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de Es ...

languages of Spain
. Consequently, the Statute of Autonomy of the
Basque Autonomous Community The Basque Country (; eu, Euskadi ; es, País Vasco ; french: Pays Basque), officially the Basque Autonomous Community ( eu, Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa, EAE; es, Comunidad Autónoma Vasca, CAV) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkid ...
establishes Basque as the co-official language of the autonomous community. The Statute of Navarre establishes Spanish as the official language of Navarre, but grants co-official status to the Basque language in the Basque-speaking areas of northern Navarre. Basque has no official status in the French Basque Country and French citizens are barred from officially using Basque in a French court of law. However, the use of Basque by Spanish nationals in French courts is permitted (with translation), as Basque is officially recognised on the other side of the border. The positions of the various existing governments differ with regard to the promotion of Basque in areas where Basque is commonly spoken. The language has official status in those territories that are within the Basque Autonomous Community, where it is spoken and promoted heavily, but only partially in Navarre. The ''Ley del Vascuence'' ("Law of Basque"), seen as contentious by many Basques, but considered fitting Navarra's linguistic and cultural diversity by some of the main political parties of Navarre, divides Navarre into three language areas: Basque-speaking, non-Basque-speaking, and mixed. Support for the language and the linguistic rights of citizens vary, depending on the area. Others consider it unfair, since the rights of Basque speakers differ greatly depending on the place they live.


Demographics

The 2006 sociolinguistic survey of all Basque-speaking territories showed that in 2006, of all people aged 16 and above:''IV. Inkesta Soziolinguistikoa'' Gobierno Vasco, Servicio Central de Publicaciones del Gobierno Vasco 2008, * In the Basque Autonomous Community, 30.1% were fluent Basque speakers, 18.3% passive speakers and 51.5% did not speak Basque. The percentage was highest in
Gipuzkoa Gipuzkoa (, , ; es, Guipúzcoa ; french: Guipuscoa) is a Provinces of Spain, province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country (autonomous community), autonomous community of the Basque Country. Its capital city is San Sebastiá ...

Gipuzkoa
(49.1% speakers) and lowest in Álava (14.2%). These results represent an increase from previous years (29.5% in 2001, 27.7% in 1996 and 24.1% in 1991). The highest percentage of speakers can now be found in the 16–24 age range (57.5%) vs. 25.0% in the 65+ age range. The percentage of fluent speakers is even higher if counting those under 16, given that the proportion of bilinguals is particularly high in this age group (76.7% of those aged between 10 and 14 and 72.4% of those aged 5–9): 37.5% of the population aged 6 and above in the whole Basque Autonomous Community, 25.0% in Álava, 31.3% in
Biscay Biscay (; eu, Bizkaia ; es, Vizcaya ) is a province of Spain, lying on the south shore of the eponymous bay. The name also refers to a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lordship of Biscay. Its capital city is Bi ...
and 53.3% in Gipuzkoa. * In
French Basque Country The French Basque Country, or Northern Basque Country ( eu, Iparralde (), french: Pays basque, es, País Vasco francés) is a region lying on the west of the French department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Since 1 January 2017, it constitut ...
, 22.5% were fluent Basque speakers, 8.6% passive speakers, and 68.9% did not speak Basque. The percentage was highest in
Labourd Labourd ( eu, Lapurdi; la, Lapurdum; Gascon: ''Labord'') is a former French province and part of the present-day Pyrénées Atlantiques '' département''. It is one of the traditional Basque provinces, and identified as one of the territorial ...
and
Soule Soule ( Basque: Zuberoa; Zuberoan Basque: Xiberoa or Xiberua; Occitan: ''Sola'') is a former viscounty and French province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancien ...
(55.5% speakers) and lowest in the
Bayonne Bayonne (; eu, Baiona ; oc, label=Gascon dialect, Gascon, Baiona ; es, Bayona) is a city and Communes of France, commune and one of the two Subprefectures in France, sub-prefectures of the Departments of France, department of Pyrénées-Atlan ...
-
Anglet Anglet (; , eu, Angelu ) is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is wha ...

Anglet
-
Biarritz Biarritz ( , , , ; Basque also ; oc, Biàrritz ) is a city on the Bay of Biscay, on the Atlantic coast in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the French Basque Country in southwestern France. It is located from the border with Spai ...
conurbation (8.8%). These results represent another decrease from previous years (24.8% in 2001 and 26.4 in 1996). The highest percentage of speakers is in the 65+ age range (32.4%). The lowest percentage is found in the 25–34 age range (11.6%), but there is a slight increase in the 16–24 age range (16.1%) * In
Navarre Navarre (; es, Navarra ; eu, Nafarroa ; oc, Navarra ), officially the Chartered Community of Navarre ( es, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, links=no ; eu, Nafarroako Foru Komunitatea, links=no ), is an autonomous community and province A prov ...

Navarre
, 11.1% were fluent Basque speakers, 7.6% passive speakers, and 81.3% did not speak Basque. The percentage was highest in the Basque-speaking zone in the north (60.1% speakers) and lowest in the non-Basque-speaking zone in the south (1.9%). These results represent a slight increase from previous years (10.3% in 2001, 9.6% in 1996 and 9.5% in 1991). The highest percentage of speakers can now be found in the 16–24 age range (19.1%) vs. 9.1% in the 65+ age range. Taken together, in 2006, of a total population of 2,589,600 (1,850,500 in the Autonomous Community; 230,200 in the Northern provinces; and 508,900 in Navarre), 665,800 spoke Basque (aged 16 and above). This amounts to 25.7% Basque bilinguals overall, 15.4% passive speakers, and 58.9% non-speakers. Compared to the 1991 figures, this represents an overall increase of 137,000, from 528,500 (from a population of 2,371,100) 15 years previously. The 2011 figures show an increase of some 64,000 speakers compared to the 2006 figures to 714,136, with significant increases in the Autonomous Community, but a slight drop in the Northern Basque Country to 51,100, overall amounting to an increase to 27% of all inhabitants of Basque provinces (2,648,998 in total). Basque is used as a language of commerce both in the Basque Country and in locations around the world where Basques immigrated throughout history.


Dialects

The modern Basque dialects show a high degree of dialectal divergence, sometimes making cross-dialect communication difficult. This is especially true in the case of Biscayan and Souletin, which are regarded as the most divergent Basque dialects. Modern Basque dialectology distinguishes five dialects: * Biscayan or "Western" * Gipuzkoan or "Central" *
Upper Navarrese Upper Navarrese (sometimes called High Navarrese) is a dialect of the Basque language spoken in the Navarre ( eu, Nafarroa or ''Nafarroa Garaia'') community of Spain, as established by linguist Louis Lucien Bonaparte in his famous 1869 map. He act ...
* Navarro-Lapurdian * Souletin (Zuberoan) These dialects are divided in 11 subdialects, and 24 minor varieties among them. According to
Koldo Zuazo Koldo Zuazo (Eibar Eibar ( eu, Eibar, es, Éibar) is a city and municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted ...
, the Biscayan dialect or "Western" is the most widespread dialect, with around 300,000 speakers out of a total of around 660,000 speakers. This dialect is divided in two minor subdialects: the Western Biscayan and Eastern Biscayan, plus transitional dialects.


Influence on other languages

Although the influence of the neighbouring
Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of informal sociolects of Latin Latin (, or , ) ...

Romance languages
on the Basque language (especially the lexicon, but also to some degree Basque phonology and grammar) has been much more extensive, it is usually assumed that there has been some feedback from Basque into these languages as well. In particular Gascon and
Aragonese Aragonese or Aragones may refer to: * Something related to Aragon, an autonomous community and former kingdom in Spain * the Aragonese people, those originating from or living in the historical region of Aragon, in north-eastern Spain * the Aragone ...
, and to a lesser degree
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_an ...

Spanish
are thought to have received this influence in the past. In the case of Aragonese and Gascon, this would have been through
substrate Substrate may refer to: Physical layers *Substrate (biology), the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the surface or medium on which an organism grows or is attached **Substrate (locomotion), the surface over which an organism loco ...
interference following
language shift Language shift, also known as language transfer or language replacement or language assimilation, is the process whereby a speech community shifts to a different language, usually over an extended period of time. Often, languages that are perceiv ...
from Aquitanian or Basque to a Romance language, affecting all levels of the language, including place names around the Pyrenees. Although a number of words of alleged Basque origin in the Spanish language are circulated (e.g. 'anchovies', 'dashing, gallant, spirited', 'puppy', etc.), most of these have more easily explicable Romance etymologies or not particularly convincing derivations from Basque. Ignoring cultural terms, there is one strong
loanword A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (lin ...
candidate, , long considered the source of the Pyrenean and Iberian Romance words for "left (side)" (, , ). The lack of initial in Gascon could arguably be due to a Basque influence but this issue is under-researched. The other most commonly claimed substrate influences: * the
Old Spanish Old Spanish, also known as Old Castilian ( es, castellano antiguo; osp, romance castellano ) or Medieval Spanish ( es, español medieval), was originally a dialect of Vulgar Latin spoken in the former provinces of the Roman Empire that provided ...
merger of and . * the simple five vowel system. * change of initial into (e.g. ''fablar'' → ''hablar'', with Old Basque lacking but having ). *
voiceless alveolar retracted sibilant A voiceless alveolar fricative is a type of fricative consonant pronounced with the tip or tongue blade, blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge (gum line) just behind the teeth. This refers to a class of sounds, not a single sound. There ...
, a sound transitional between laminodental and
palatal The palate is the roof of the mouth in humans and other mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of ma ...

palatal
; this sound also influenced other
Ibero-Romance languages The Iberian Romance or Ibero-Romance is an areal grouping of Romance languages The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin languages) are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known ...

Ibero-Romance languages
and
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * Ca ...
. The first two features are common, widespread developments in many Romance (and non-Romance) languages. The change of to occurred historically only in a limited area (
Gascony Gascony (; french: Gascogne ; oc, Gasconha ; eu, Gaskoinia) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major terr ...
and
Old Castile . Old Castile ( es, Castilla la Vieja ) is a historic region of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto ...

Old Castile
) that corresponds almost exactly to areas where heavy Basque bilingualism is assumed, and as a result has been widely postulated (and equally strongly disputed). Substrate theories are often difficult to prove (especially in the case of phonetically plausible changes like to ). As a result, although many arguments have been made on both sides, the debate largely comes down to the a priori tendency on the part of particular linguists to accept or reject substrate arguments. Examples of arguments against the substrate theory, and possible responses: # Spanish did not fully shift to , instead, it has preserved before consonants such as and (cf ''fuerte'', ''frente''). (On the other hand, the occurrence of in these words might be a secondary development from an earlier sound such as or and learned words (or words influenced by written Latin form). Gascon does have in these words, which might reflect the original situation.) # Evidence of Arabic loanwords in Spanish points to continuing to exist long after a Basque substrate might have had any effect on Spanish. (On the other hand, the occurrence of in these words might be a late development. Many languages have come to accept new phonemes from other languages after a period of significant influence. For example, French lost /h/ but later regained it as a result of Germanic influence, and has recently gained as a result of English influence.) # Basque regularly developed Latin into or . # The same change also occurs in parts of Sardinia, Italy and the Romance languages of the Balkans where no Basque substrate can be reasonably argued for. (On the other hand, the fact that the same change might have occurred elsewhere independently does not disprove substrate influence. Furthermore, parts of
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the Mediterranean islands#By area, second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, and one of the Regions of Italy, 20 regions of Italy. It is located west of the Italian Penins ...

Sardinia
also have prothetic or before initial , just as in Basque and Gascon, which may actually argue for some type of influence between both areas.) Beyond these arguments, a number of
nomadic A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo ...

nomadic
groups of Castile are also said to use or have used Basque words in their jargon, such as the
gacería Gacería is the name of a slang or argot A cant is the jargon or language of a group, often employed to exclude or mislead people outside the group.McArthur, T. (ed.) ''The Oxford Companion to the English Language'' (1992) Oxford University Press ...

gacería
in
Segovia Segovia (, also , ) is a city in the autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Castile and León, Spain. It is the capital and most populated municipality of the Province of Segovia. Segovia is in the Inner Plateau, near the norther ...
, the mingaña, the Galician
fala dos arxinasFala may refer to: Places *Fala, Midlothian, Scotland *Fala, Ruše, Slovenia *Fala, Selnica ob Dravi, Slovenia *Fálá, Northern Sami-language name for Kvaløya, Finnmark, Norway Languages *Fala language, a Romance language from the Portuguese-Gali ...
and the Xíriga.Olaetxe, J. Mallea
"The Basques in the Mexican Regions: 16th–20th Centuries."
''Basque Studies Program Newsletter'' No. 51 (1995).
Part of the Romani people, Romani community in the Basque Country speaks Erromintxela language, Erromintxela, which is a rare mixed language, with a Kalderash Romani language, Romani vocabulary and Basque grammar.


Basque pidgins

A number of Basque-based or Basque-influenced pidgins have existed. In the 16th century, Basque sailors used a Basque–Icelandic pidgin in their contacts with Iceland.Deen 1937. The Algonquian–Basque pidgin arose from contact between Basque whaling, whalers and the Algonquian peoples in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and Strait of Belle Isle.


Phonology


Vowels

The Basque language features five vowels: , , , and (the same that are found in Spanish phonology#Vowels, Spanish, Asturian language#Vowels, Asturian and Aragonese language#Vowels, Aragonese). In the Zuberoan dialect, extra phonemes are featured: * the close front rounded vowel , graphically represented as ; * a set of contrasting nasal vowels, indicating a strong influence from Gascon.


Consonants

Basque has a distinction between laminal consonant, laminal and Apical consonant, apical articulation for the alveolar fricatives and affricates. With the laminal alveolar fricative , the friction occurs across the blade of the tongue, the tongue tip pointing toward the lower teeth. This is the usual in most European languages. It is written with an orthographic . By contrast, the voiceless apicoalveolar fricative is written ; the tip of the tongue points toward the upper teeth and friction occurs at the tip (apex). For example, ''zu'' "you" (singular, respectful) is distinguished from ''su'' "fire". The affricate counterparts are written and . So, ''etzi'' "the day after tomorrow" is distinguished from ''etsi'' "to give up"; ''atzo'' "yesterday" is distinguished from ''atso'' "old woman". In the westernmost parts of the Basque country, only the apical and the alveolar affricate are used. Basque also features postalveolar sibilants (, written , and , written ), sounding like English ''sh'' and ''ch''. There are two palatal stops, voiced and unvoiced, as well as a palatal nasal and a palatal lateral (the palatal stops are not present in all dialects). These and the postalveolar sounds are typical of diminutives, which are used frequently in child language and motherese (mainly to show affection rather than size). For example, ''tanta'' "drop" vs. ''ttantta'' "droplet". A few common words, such as ''txakur'' "dog", use palatal sounds even though in current usage they have lost the diminutive sense, the corresponding non-palatal forms now acquiring an augmentative or pejorative sense: ''zakur''—"big dog". Many Basque dialects exhibit a derived palatalisation effect, in which coronal onset consonants change into the palatal counterpart after the high front vowel . For example, the in ''egin'' "to act" becomes palatal in southern and western dialects when a suffix beginning with a vowel is added: = "the action", = "doing". The letter has a variety of realisations according to the regional dialect: , as pronounced from west to east in south Bizkaia and coastal Lapurdi, central Bizkaia, east Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa, south Navarre, inland Lapurdi and Low Navarre, and Zuberoa, respectively. The letter is silent in the southern dialects, but pronounced (although vanishing) in the northern ones. Unified Basque spells it except when it is predictable, in a position following a consonant. Unless they are recent loanwords (e.g. ''Ruanda'' "Rwanda", ''radar'', ''robot'' ... ), words may not have initial . In older loans, initial ''r-'' took a Prothesis (linguistics), prosthetic vowel, resulting in ''err-'' (''Erroma'' "Rome", ''Errusia'' "Russia"), more rarely ''irr-'' (for example ''irratia'' "radio", ''irrisa'' "rice") and ''arr-'' (for example ''arrazional'' "rational").


Stress and pitch

Basque features great dialectal variation in accentuation, from a weak Pitch-accent language, pitch accent in the western dialects to a marked stress in central and eastern dialects, with varying patterns of stress placement. Stress is in general not distinctive (and for historical comparisons not very useful); there are, however, a few instances where stress is phonemic, serving to distinguish between a few pairs of stress-marked words and between some grammatical forms (mainly plurals from other forms), e.g. ''basóà'' ("the forest", absolutive case) vs. ''básoà'' ("the glass", absolutive case; an adoption from Spanish ''vaso''); ''basóàk'' ("the forest", ergative case) vs. ''básoàk'' ("the glass", ergative case) vs. ''básoak'' ("the forests" or "the glasses", absolutive case). Given its great deal of variation among dialects, stress is not marked in the standard orthography and
Euskaltzaindia Euskaltzaindia (; often translated Royal Academy of the Basque Language) is the official academic language regulatory institution which watches over the Basque language Basque (; , ) is a language spoken by Basques The Basques ( or ; ...
(the Academy of the Basque Language) provides only general recommendations for a standard placement of stress, basically to place a high-pitched weak stress (weaker than that of Spanish, let alone that of English) on the second syllable of a Syntagmatic structure, syntagma, and a low-pitched even-weaker stress on its last syllable, except in plural forms where stress is moved to the first syllable. This scheme provides Basque with a distinct musicality that differentiates its sound from the Prosody (linguistics), prosodical patterns of Spanish (which tends to stress the second-to-last syllable). Some ''Euskaldun berriak'' ("new Basque-speakers", i.e. second-language Basque-speakers) with Spanish as their first language tend to carry the prosodical patterns of Spanish into their pronunciation of Basque, e.g. pronouncing ''nire ama'' ("my mum") as ''nire áma'' (– – ´ –), instead of as ''niré amà'' (– ´ – `).


Morphophonology

The combining forms of nominals in final vary across the regions of the Basque Country. The can stay unchanged, be lowered to an , or it can be lost. Loss is most common in the east, while lowering is most common in the west. For instance, ''buru'', "head", has the combining forms ''buru-'' and ''bur-'', as in ''buruko'', "cap", and ''burko'', "pillow", whereas ''katu'', "cat", has the combining form ''kata-'', as in ''katakume'', "kitten". Michelena suggests that the lowering to is generalised from cases of Romance borrowings in Basque that retained Romance stem alternations, such as ''kantu'', "song" with combining form ''kanta-'', borrowed from Romance ''canto'', ''canta-''.


Grammar

Basque is an ergative–absolutive language. The subject of an intransitive verb is in the absolutive case (which is unmarked), and the same case is used for the direct object of a transitive verb. The subject of the transitive verb is marked differently, with the ergative case (shown by the suffix ''-k''). This also triggers main and auxiliary verbal agreement. The auxiliary verb, which accompanies most main verbs, agrees not only with the subject, but with any direct object and the indirect object present. Among European languages, this polypersonal agreement is found only in Basque, some languages of the Caucasus (especially the
Kartvelian languages The Kartvelian languages (; ka, ქართველური ენები, tr; also known as Iberian, South CaucasianBoeder (2002), p. 3 or Kartvelic) are a language family Languages of the Caucasus, indigenous to the South Caucasus and spoke ...

Kartvelian languages
), Mordvinic languages, Hungarian language, Hungarian, and Maltese language, Maltese (all non-Indo-European). The ergative–absolutive alignment is also rare among European languages—occurring only in some languages of the Caucasus—but not infrequent worldwide. Consider the phrase: ''Martin-ek'' is the agent (transitive subject), so it is marked with the ergative case ending ''-k'' (with an epenthesis, epenthetic ''-e-''). ''Egunkariak'' has an ''-ak'' ending, which marks plural object (plural absolutive, direct object case). The verb is , in which is a kind of gerund ("buying") and the auxiliary means "he/she (does) them for me". This can be split like this: * ''di-'' is used in the present tense when the verb has a subject (ergative), a direct object (absolutive), and an indirect object, and the object is him/her/it/them. * ''-zki-'' means the absolutive (in this case the newspapers) is plural; if it were singular there would be no infix; and * ''-t'' or ''-da-'' means "to me/for me" (indirect object). * in this instance there is no suffix after ''-t''. A zero suffix in this position indicates that the ergative (the subject) is third person singular (he/she/it). The auxiliary verb is composed as di-zki-da-zue and means 'you pl. (do) them for me' * ''di-'' indicates that the main verb is transitive and in the present tense * ''-zki-'' indicates that the direct object is plural * ''-da-'' indicates that the indirect object is me (to me/for me; -t becomes -da- when not final) * ''-zue'' indicates that the subject is you (plural) The pronoun ''zuek'' 'you (plural)' has the same form both in the nominative or absolutive case (the subject of an intransitive sentence or direct object of a transitive sentence) and in the ergative case (the subject of a transitive sentence). In spoken Basque, the auxiliary verb is never dropped even if it is redundant, e.g. in 'you (pl.) are buying the newspapers for me'. However, the pronouns are almost always dropped, e.g. ''zuek'' in 'you (pl.) are buying the newspapers for me'. The pronouns are used only to show emphasis: 'it is you (pl.) who buys the newspapers for me', or 'it is me for whom you buy the newspapers'. Modern Basque dialects allow for the conjugation of about fifteen verbs, called synthetic verbs, some only in literary contexts. These can be put in the present and past tenses in the indicative and subjunctive moods, in three tenses in the conditional and potential moods, and in one tense in the imperative. Each verb that can be taken intransitively has a ''nor'' (absolutive) paradigm and possibly a ''nor-nori'' (absolutive–dative) paradigm, as in the sentence ''Aititeri txapela erori zaio'' ("The hat fell from grandfather['s head]"). Each verb that can be taken transitively uses those two paradigms for antipassive-voice contexts in which no agent is mentioned (Basque lacks a passive voice, and displays instead an antipassive voice paradigm), and also has a ''nor-nork'' (absolutive–ergative) paradigm and possibly a ''nor-nori-nork'' (absolutive–dative–ergative) paradigm. The last would entail the ''dizkidazue'' example above. In each paradigm, each constituent noun can take on any of eight persons, five singular and three plural, with the exception of ''nor-nori-nork'' in which the absolutive can only be third person singular or plural. The most ubiquitous auxiliary, ''izan,'' can be used in any of these paradigms, depending on the nature of the main verb. There are more persons in the singular (5) than in the plural (3) for synthetic (or filamentous) verbs because of the two familiar persons—T–V distinction, informal masculine and feminine second person singular. The pronoun ''hi'' is used for both of them, but where the masculine form of the verb uses a ''-k'', the feminine uses an ''-n.'' This is a property rarely found in Indo-European languages. The entire paradigm of the verb is further augmented by inflecting for "listener" (the allocutive) even if the verb contains no second person constituent. If the situation calls for the familiar masculine, the form is augmented and modified accordingly. Likewise for the familiar feminine. (''Gizon bat etorri da'', "a man has come"; ''gizon bat etorri duk'', "a man has come [you are a male close friend]", ''gizon bat etorri dun'', "a man has come [you are a female close friend]", ''gizon bat etorri duzu'', "a man has come [I talk to you (Sir / Madam)]")Aspecto, tiempo y modo
in Spanish

in Basque.
This multiplies the number of possible forms by nearly three. Still, the restriction on contexts in which these forms may be used is strong, since all participants in the conversation must be friends of the same sex, and not too far apart in age. Some dialects dispense with the familiar forms entirely. Note, however, that the formal second person singular conjugates in parallel to the other plural forms, perhaps indicating that it was originally the second person plural, later came to be used as a formal singular, and then later still the modern second person plural was formulated as an innovation. All the other verbs in Basque are called periphrastic, behaving much like a participle would in English. These have only three forms in total, called Grammatical aspect, aspects: perfect (various suffixes), habitual (suffix ''-t[z]en''), and future/potential (suffix. ''-ko/-go''). Verbs of Latinate origin in Basque, as well as many other verbs, have a suffix ''-tu'' in the perfect, adapted from the Latin perfect passive ''-tus'' suffix. The synthetic verbs also have periphrastic forms, for use in perfects and in simple tenses in which they are deponent. Within a verb phrase, the periphrastic verb comes first, followed by the auxiliary. A Basque noun-phrase is inflected in 17 different ways for case, multiplied by four ways for its definiteness and number (indefinite, definite singular, definite plural, and definite close plural: ''euskaldun'' [Basque speaker], ''euskalduna'' [the Basque speaker, a Basque speaker], ''euskaldunak'' [Basque speakers, the Basque speakers], and ''euskaldunok'' [we Basque speakers, those Basque speakers]). These first 68 forms are further modified based on other parts of the sentence, which in turn are inflected for the noun again. It has been estimated that, with two levels of recursion, a Basque noun may have 458,683 inflected forms. The proper name "Mikel" (Michael) is declined as follows: Within a noun phrase, modifying adjectives follow the noun. As an example of a Basque noun phrase, ''etxe zaharrean'' "in the old house" is morphologically analysed as follows by Agirre et al. Basic syntactic construction is subject–object–verb (unlike Spanish, French or English where a subject–verb–object construction is more common). The order of the phrases within a sentence can be changed with thematic purposes, whereas the order of the words within a phrase is usually rigid. As a matter of fact, Basque phrase order is topic–focus, meaning that in neutral sentences (such as sentences to inform someone of a fact or event) the Topic (linguistics), topic is stated first, then the Focus (linguistics), focus. In such sentences, the verb phrase comes at the end. In brief, the focus directly precedes the verb phrase. This rule is also applied in questions, for instance, ''What is this?'' can be translated as ''Zer da hau?'' or ''Hau zer da?'', but in both cases the question tag ''zer'' immediately precedes the verb ''da''. This rule is so important in Basque that, even in grammatical descriptions of Basque in other languages, the Basque word ''galdegai'' (focus) is used. In negative sentences, the order changes. Since the negative particle ''ez'' must always directly precede the auxiliary, the topic most often comes beforehand, and the rest of the sentence follows. This includes the periphrastic, if there is one: ''Aitak frantsesa irakasten du,'' "Father teaches French," in the negative becomes ''Aitak ez du frantsesa irakasten,'' in which ''irakasten'' ("teaching") is separated from its auxiliary and placed at the end.


Vocabulary

Through contact with neighbouring peoples, Basque has adopted many words from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
,
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_an ...

Spanish
, and Gascon, among other languages. There are a considerable number of Latin loans (sometimes obscured by being subject to Basque phonology and grammar for centuries), for example: ''lore'' ("flower", from ''florem''), ''errota'' ("mill", from ''rotam'', "[mill] wheel"), ''gela'' ("room", from ''cellam''), ''gauza'' ("thing", from ''causa'').


Writing system

Basque is written using the
Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is a set of graphic signs (Writing system#General properties, script) based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet. This is derived from a form of the Cumae alphabet, Cumaean Greek version of the ...

Latin script
including ''ñ'' and sometimes ''ç'' and ''ü''. Basque does not use ''Cc, Qq, Vv, Ww, Yy'' for native words, but the Basque alphabet (established by
Euskaltzaindia Euskaltzaindia (; often translated Royal Academy of the Basque Language) is the official academic language regulatory institution which watches over the Basque language Basque (; , ) is a language spoken by Basques The Basques ( or ; ...
) does include them for loanwords: : Aa Bb Cc (and, as a variant, Çç) Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Ññ Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz The phonetically meaningful Digraph (orthography), digraphs ''dd, ll, rr (digraph), rr, ts, tt, tx, tz'' are treated as pairs of letters. All letters and digraphs represent unique phonemes. The main exception is when ''l'' and ''n'' are preceded by ''i'', that in most dialects palatalises their sound into and , even if these are not written. Hence, ''Ikurriña'' can also be written ''Ikurrina'' without changing the sound, whereas the proper name ''Ainhoa'' requires the mute ''h'' to break the palatalisation of the ''n''. ''H'' is mute in most regions, but it is pronounced in many places in the north-east, the main reason for its existence in the Basque alphabet. Its acceptance was a matter of contention during the standardisation process because the speakers of the most extended dialects had to learn where to place these h's, silent for them. In Sabino Arana's (1865–1903) alphabet,''Lecciones de ortografía del euskera bizkaino'', Arana eta Goiri'tar Sabin, Bilbao, Bizkaya'ren Edestija ta Izkerea Pizkundia, 1896 (Sebastián de Amorrortu). digraphs and were replaced with ''ĺ'' and ''ŕ'', respectively. A typically Basque style of lettering is sometimes used for inscriptions. It derives from the work of stone and wood carvers and is characterised by thick serifs.


Number system used by millers

Basque millers traditionally employed a separate number system of unknown origin.Aguirre Sorondo ''Tratado de Molinología – Los Molinos de Guipúzcoa'' Eusko Ikaskuntza 1988 In this system the symbols are arranged either along a vertical line or horizontally. On the vertical line the single digits and Fraction (mathematics), fractions are usually off to one side, usually at the top. When used horizontally, the smallest units are usually on the right and the largest on the left. The system is, as is the Basque system of counting in general, vigesimal (base 20). Although the system is in theory capable of indicating numbers above 100, most recorded examples do not go above 100 in general. Fractions are relatively common, especially . The exact systems used vary from area to area but generally follow the same principle with 5 usually being a diagonal line or a curve off the vertical line (a V shape is used when writing a 5 horizontally). Units of ten are usually a horizontal line through the vertical. The twenties are based on a circle with intersecting lines. This system is no longer in general use but is occasionally employed for decorative purposes.


Examples


Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


''Esklabu erremintaria''


Language video gallery

File:WIKITONGUES- Jon speaking Basque.webm, A Basque speaker. File:WIKITONGUES- Txeli speaking Basque.webm, A Basque speaker, recorded in Basque Country, Spain. File:WIKITONGUES- Iñaki speaking Basque.webm, A Basque speaker, recorded during Wikimania 2019.


See also

* Basque dialects * Vasconic languages * List of Basques * Basque Country (historical territory), Basque Country * Late Basquisation * Languages of France * Languages of Spain * Aquitanian language * List of ideophones in Basque * wikt:Appendix:Basque Swadesh list, Wiktionary: Swadesh list of Basque words


Notes


Further reading


General and descriptive grammars

* Allières, Jacques (1979): ''Manuel pratique de basque'', "Connaissance des langues" v. 13, A. & J. Picard (Paris), . * de Azkue Aberasturi, Resurrección María (1969): ''Morfología vasca.'' La Gran enciclopedia vasca, Bilbao 1969. * Campion, Arturo (1884):
Gramática de los cuatro dialectos literarios de la lengua euskara
', Tolosa. * Euskara Institutua

, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Sareko Euskal Gramatika, SE

* José Ignacio Hualde, Hualde, José Ignacio & Ortiz de Urbina, Jon (eds.): ''A Grammar of Basque''. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2003. . * * Pierre Lafitte Ithurralde, Lafitte, Pierre (1962): ''Grammaire basque – navarro-labourdin littéraire.'' Elkarlanean, Donostia/Bayonne, . (Dialectal.) * Lafon, R. (1972): "Basque" In Thomas A. Sebeok (ed.) ''Current Trends in Linguistics. Vol. 9. Linguistics in Western Europe'', Mouton, The Hague, Mouton, pp. 1744–1792

* de Rijk, Rudolf P. G. (2007): ''Standard Basque: A Progressive Grammar''. (Current Studies in Linguistics) (Vol. 1), The MIT Press, Cambridge MA, * Tovar, Antonio, (1957): ''The Basque Language'', U. of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. * * Urquizu Sarasúa, Patricio (2007): ''Gramática de la lengua vasca''. UNED, Madrid, . * van Eys, Willem J. (1879):
Grammaire comparée des dialectes basques
', Paris.


Linguistic studies

* Agirre, Eneko, et al. (1992)
XUXEN: A spelling checker/corrector for Basque based on two-level morphology
* Gavel, Henri (1921):
Eléments de phonetique basque
' (= ''Revista Internacional de los Estudios Vascos = Revue Internationale des Etudes Basques'' 12, París. (Study of the dialects.) * José Ignacio Hualde, Hualde, José Ignacio (1991): ''Basque phonology'', Taylor & Francis, . * Lakarra Andrinua, Joseba A.; Hualde, José Ignacio (eds.) (2006): ''Studies in Basque and historical linguistics in memory of R. L. Trask – R. L. Trasken oroitzapenetan ikerketak euskalaritzaz eta hizkuntzalaritza historikoaz'', (= ''Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca Julio de Urquijo: International journal of Basque linguistics and philology'' Vol. 40, No. 1–2), San Sebastián. * Lakarra, J. & Ortiz de Urbina, J.(eds.) (1992): ''Syntactic Theory and Basque Syntax'', Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia, Donostia-San Sebastian, . * Orduña Aznar, Eduardo. 2005
Sobre algunos posibles numerales en textos ibéricos.
''Palaeohispanica'' 5:491–506. This fifth volume of the journal ''Palaeohispanica'' consists of Acta Palaeohispanica IX, the proceedings of the ninth conference on Paleohispanic studies. * de Rijk, R. (1972):
Studies in Basque Syntax: Relative clauses
' PhD Dissertation, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. * Uhlenbeck, C.C. (1909–1910): "Contribution à une phonétique comparative des dialectes basques", ''Revista Internacional de los Estudios Vascos = Revue Internationale des Etudes Basques''

pp. 465–503

pp. 65–120. * Koldo Zuazo, Zuazo, Koldo (2008): ''Euskalkiak: euskararen dialektoak.'' Elkar. . *


Lexicons

* Aulestia, Gorka (1989): ''Basque–English dictionary'' University of Nevada Press, Reno, . * Aulestia, Gorka & White, Linda (1990): ''English–Basque dictionary'', University of Nevada Press, Reno, . * Azkue Aberasturi, Resurrección María de (1905): ''Diccionario vasco–español–francés'', Geuthner, Bilbao/Paris (reprinted many times). * Michelena, Luis: ''Diccionario General Vasco/Orotariko Euskal Hiztegia.'' 16 vols. Real academia de la lengua vasca, Bilbao 1987ff. . * Morris, Mikel (1998): "Morris Student Euskara–Ingelesa Basque–English Dictionary", Klaudio Harluxet Fundazioa, Donostia * Sarasola, Ibon (2010–), "Egungo Euskararen Hiztegia EEH

Bilbo: Euskara Institutu

The University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU * Sarasola, Ibon (2010): "Zehazki

Bilbo: Euskara Institutu

The University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU * Sota, M. de la, et al., 1976: ''Diccionario Retana de autoridades de la lengua vasca: con cientos de miles de nuevas voces y acepciones, Antiguas y modernas'', Bilbao: La Gran Enciclopedia Vasca. . * Van Eys, W. J. 1873.
Dictionnaire basque–français
'. Paris/London: Maisonneuve/Williams & Norgate.


Basque corpora

* Sarasola, Ibon; Pello Salaburu, Josu Landa (2011): "ETC: Egungo Testuen Corpusa

Bilbo: Euskara Institutu

The University of the Basque Country UPV/EH

* Sarasola, Ibon; Pello Salaburu, Josu Landa (2009): "Ereduzko Prosa Gaur, EPG

Bilbo: Euskara Institutu

The University of the Basque Country UPV/EH

* Sarasola, Ibon; Pello Salaburu, Josu Landa (2009–): "Ereduzko Prosa Dinamikoa, EPD

Bilbo: Euskara Institutu

The University of the Basque Country UPV/EH

* Sarasola, Ibon; Pello Salaburu, Josu Landa (2013): "Euskal Klasikoen Corpusa, EKC

Bilbo: Euskara Institutu

The University of the Basque Country UPV/EH

* Sarasola, Ibon; Pello Salaburu, Josu Landa (2014): "Goenkale Corpusa

Bilbo: Euskara Institutu

The University of the Basque Country UPV/EH

* Sarasola, Ibon; Pello Salaburu, Josu Landa (2010): "Pentsamenduaren Klasikoak Corpusa

Bilbo: Euskara Institutu

The University of the Basque Country UPV/EH


Other

* Agirre Sorondo, Antxon. 1988. ''Tratado de Molinología: Los molinos en Guipúzcoa''. San Sebastián: Eusko Ikaskunza-Sociedad de Estudios Vascos. Fundación Miguel de Barandiarán. * * Bakker, Peter, et al. 1991. ''Basque pidgins in Iceland and Canada. Anejos del Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca "Julio de Urquijo"'', XXIII. * Deen, Nicolaas Gerard Hendrik. 1937. ''Glossaria duo vasco-islandica''. Amsterdam. Reprinted 1991 in ''Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca Julio de Urquijo'', 25(2):321–426. *


History of the language and etymologies

* Agirrezabal, Lore. 2003. ''Erromintxela, euskal ijitoen hizkera''. San Sebastián: Argia. * Joxe Azurmendi, Azurmendi, Joxe: "Die Bedeutung der Sprache in Renaissance und Reformation und die Entstehung der baskischen Literatur im religiösen und politischen Konfliktgebiet zwischen Spanien und Frankreich" In: Wolfgang W. Moelleken (Herausgeber), Peter J. Weber (Herausgeber): ''Neue Forschungsarbeiten zur Kontaktlinguistik'', Bonn: Dümmler, 1997. * Hualde, José Ignacio; Lakarra, Joseba A. & R.L. Trask (eds) (1996): ''Towards a History of the Basque Language'', "Current Issues in Linguistic Theory" 131, John Benjamin Publishing Company, Amsterdam, . * Koldo Mitxelena, Michelena, Luis, 1990. ''Fonética histórica vasca''. Bilbao. * Lafon, René (1944): ''Le système du verbe basque au XVIe siècle'', Delmas, Bordeaux. * Löpelmann, Martin (1968): ''Etymologisches Wörterbuch der baskischen Sprache.'' Dialekte von Labourd, Nieder-Navarra und La Soule. 2 Bde. de Gruyter, Berlin (non-standard etymologies; idiosyncratic). * Orpustan, J. B. (1999): ''La langue basque au Moyen-Age.'' Baïgorri, . * Pagola, Rosa Miren. 1984. ''Euskalkiz Euskalki''. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Eusko Jaurlaritzaren Argitalpe. * Rohlfs, Gerhard. 1980. Le Gascon: études de philologie pyrénéenne. ''Zeitschrift für Romanische Philologie'' 85. * Larry Trask, Trask, R.L.: ''History of Basque''. New York/London: Routledge, 1996. . * Trask, R.L. † (edited by Max W. Wheeler) (2008)
Etymological Dictionary of Basque
University of Sussex (unfinished). Also "Some Important Basque Words (And a Bit of Culture)

*


Relationship to other languages


General reviews of the theories

* Jacobsen, William H. Jr. (1999):
Basque Language Origin Theories
In ''Basque Cultural Studies'', edited by William A. Douglass, Carmelo Urza, Linda White, and Joseba Zulaika, 27–43. Basque Studies Program Occasional Papers Series, No. 5. Reno: Basque Studies Program, University of Nevada, Reno. * Lakarra Andrinua, Joseba (1998):
Hizkuntzalaritza konparatua eta aitzineuskararen erroa
(in Basque), ''Uztaro'' 25, pp. 47–110, (includes review of older theories). * Lakarra Andrinua, Joseba (1999):
Ná-De-Ná
(in Basque), ''Uztaro'' 31, pp. 15–84. * Trask, R.L. (1995): "Origin and Relatives of the Basque Language : Review of the Evidence" in Towards a History of the Basque Language, ed. J. Hualde, J. Lakarra, R.L. Trask, John Benjamins, Amsterdam / Philadelphia. * Trask, R.L.: ''History of Basque''. New York/London: Routledge, 1996. ; pp. 358–414.


Afroasiatic hypothesis

* Schuchardt, Hugo (1913):
Baskisch-Hamitische wortvergleichungen
''Revista Internacional de Estudios Vascos'' = "Revue Internationale des Etudes Basques" 7:289–340. * Mukarovsky, Hans Guenter (1964/66): "Les rapports du basque et du berbère", ''Comptes rendus du GLECS (Groupe Linguistique d'Etudes Chamito-Sémitiques)'' 10:177–184. * * Trombetti, Alfredo (1925): ''Le origini della lingua basca'', Bologna, (new edit ).


Dené–Caucasian hypothesis

* Bengtson, John D. (1999): ''The Comparison of Basque and North Caucasian.'' in: ''Mother Tongue (journal), Mother Tongue.'' ''Journal of the Association for the Study of Language in Prehistory''. Gloucester, Mass. * * Bengtson, John D. (2004):
Some features of Dene–Caucasian phonology (with special reference to Basque)
" Cahiers de l'Institut de Linguistique de Louvain (CILL) 30.4, pp. 33–54. * Bengtson, John D.. (2006): "Materials for a Comparative Grammar of the Dene–Caucasian (Sino-Caucasian) Languages." (there is also
preliminary draft
* Bengtson, John D. (1997): Review of "The History of Basque". London: Routledge, 1997. Pp.xxii,458" by R.L. Trask. * Bengtson, John D., (1996): "A Final (?) Response to the Basque Debate in Mother Tongue 1." *


Caucasian hypothesis

* Bouda, Karl (1950):
L'Euskaro-Caucasique
''Boletín de la Real Sociedad Vasca de Amigos del País. Homenaje a D. Julio de Urquijo e Ybarra'' vol. III, San Sebastián, pp. 207–232. * Klimov, Georgij A. (1994):
Einführung in die kaukasische Sprachwissenschaft
', Buske, Hamburg, ; pp. 208–215. * * * Trombetti, Alfredo (1925): ''Le origini della lingua basca'', Bologna, (new edit ). * Míchelena, Luis (1968): "L'euskaro-caucasien" in Martinet, A. (ed.) ''Le langage'', Paris, pp. 1414–1437 (criticism). * Uhlenbeck, Christian Cornelius (1924):
De la possibilité d' une parenté entre le basque et les langues caucasiques
, ''Revista Internacional de los Estudios Vascos'' = ''Revue Internationale des Etudes Basques'' 15, pp. 565–588. * Zelikov, Mixail (2005):
L’hypothèse basco-caucasienne dans les travaux de N. Marr
''Cahiers de l'ILSL'', N° 20, pp. 363–381. * Yuri Zytsar, Зыцарь Ю. В. O родстве баскского языка с кавказскими /
Вопросы языкознания. 1955. № 5.


Iberian hypothesis

* Bähr, Gerhard (1948): "Baskisch und Iberisch" ''Eusko Jakintza'' II, pp. 3–20, 167–194, 381–455. * Gorrochategui, Joaquín (1993): La onomástica aquitana y su relación con la ibérica, ''Lengua y cultura en Hispania prerromana : actas del V Coloquio sobre lenguas y culturas de la Península Ibérica: (Colonia 25–28 de Noviembre de 1989)'' (Francisco Villar and Jürgen Untermann, eds.), , pp. 609–634. * Rodríguez Ramos, Jesús (2002)
La hipótesis del vascoiberismo desde el punto de vista de la epigrafía íbera
''Fontes linguae vasconum: Studia et documenta'', 90, pp. 197–218, . * Schuchardt, Hugo Ernst Mario (1907): ''Die Iberische Deklination'', Wien.


Uralic-Altaic hypothesis

* Bonaparte, Louis Lucien (1862):
Langue basque et langues finnoises
', London.


Vasconic-Old European hypothesis

* Vennemann, Theo (2003): ''Europa Vasconica – Europa Semitica'', Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 138, De Gruyter, Berlin, . * Vennemann, Theo (2007): "Basken wie wir: Linguistisches und Genetisches zum europäischen Stammbaum", ''BiologenHeute'' 5/6, 6–11.


Other theories

* Thornton, R.W. (2002): ''Basque Parallels to Greenberg's Eurasiatic.'' in: ''Mother Tongue (journal), Mother Tongue.'' Gloucester, Mass., 2002.


External links

* – Euskaltzaindia (The Royal Academy of the Basque Language)
An overview of language technology tools for Basque
Automatic translators for Basque, dictionaries, resources to learn Basque... (~ 2016)
Euskara Institutua
The University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU
Ahotsak.eus - Basque Oral Archive
{{DEFAULTSORT:Basque Language Basque language, Agglutinative languages Articles containing video clips Basque culture Language isolates of Europe Languages of France Subject–object–verb languages Synthetic languages Vasconic languages Languages of Spain