Basque language

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Basque language,

tongue of uncertain relationship spoken by close to a million people, most of whom live in NE Spain and some of whom reside in SW France. The language has eight dialects. Speakers of Basque are for the most part bilingual, and there are many Basques who do not speak the language. Basque is definitely not an Indo-European tongue. Some scholars believe it is descended from Aquitanian, which was spoken on the Iberian peninsula and in S Gaul in ancient times. Other linguists think Basque is akin to the Caucasian languagesCaucasian languages,
family of languages spoken by about 7 million people in the Caucasus region of SE European Russia. The Caucasian languages take their name from the Caucasus Mountains, on the slopes of which their original homeland is believed to have been located.
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 and suggest that its speakers came from Asia Minor to Spain and Gaul c.2000 B.C. However, no relationship between Basque and any other language has been established with certainty. The alphabet used for Basque employs Roman letters. The first printed book in Basque appeared in the 16th cent. Basque is both agglutinative and polysynthetic. In an agglutinative language, different linguistic elements, each of which exists separately and has a fixed meaning, are often joined to form one word. In a polysynthetic language, a number of word elements are joined together to form a composite word that functions like a sentence or phrase in Indo-European languages, but each element has meaning usually only as part of the sentence or phrase and not as a separate item.


See W. J. Entwistle, The Spanish Language, Together with Portuguese, Catalan, and Basque (2d ed. 1962).

References in periodicals archive ?
But different to the Galacian and Basque language, Catalan has for centuries been a prestigious and cultural language.
It's very tough for a Spaniard to learn the Basque language so for an English-speaking person to do it is a massive challenge.
Euskerra, the Basque language, is everywhere - prominent not just on public signs and offices but also in hotels, shops and private businesses.
Demonstrators also wrote "Gure Erabaki", meaning "Our Decision" in the Basque language, and "Gure Eskubidea", which means "Our Right", in large white letters on hills along the route.
The programme's specific objectives were: 1) to foster the school and social inclusion of recently-arrived students, guaranteeing adequate induction and integration procedures and avoiding any type of discrimination; 2) to promote intercultural education, based on equality, solidarity and respect for cultural diversity; and 3) to contribute to the academic success of recently-arrived students by helping them learn both the official languages of our region, with special emphasis being placed on the Basque language.
For centuries, scholars of the Basque language have been most concerned with finding a relationship to any other known language.
The group was founded in 1959, in bitter opposition to military dictator General Franco, who banned the Basque language, quashed the area's culture and tortured its intellectuals.
Apart from the computational linguists, lexicographers and computer science engineers from Lucy Software Iberica, further linguists and lexicographers specialized in the Basque language from local Basque companies - UZEI, Emergiatech and Gizerbitek - also participated in the project.
ETA -- which means in Basque language Homeland for Freedom -- was founded
4) Ramon Menendez Pidal would declare the same during an invited lecture on Basque language unification given to the Basque Academy in Bilbao in 1920: "Facil relativamente es hacer un libro para uso de unos cuantos escritores, una combinacion del guipuzcoano y el labortano y proveerla de perfecciones de otros dialectos; pero esa creo no llegara nunca a ser la lengua de un pueblo" (qtd.
The Spanish city of San Sebastian - Donostia in the Basque language Euskara - is an easy drive south.
Eta, whose initials stand for Euskadi ta Askatasuna, or Basque Homeland and Freedom in the Basque language, is considered a "terrorist" group by Spain, the European Union and the US.