Basque language

  • basque
    euskara
    pronunciationipa: [eus̺ˈkaɾa]
    native tospain, france
    regionbasque country, basque diaspora.
    ethnicitybasque
    native speakers
    750,000 [1] (2016)
    1,185,500 passive speakers
    language family
    language isolate
    (vasconic)
    early forms
    proto-basque
    • aquitanian
    dialects
    • biscayan
    • gipuzkoan
    • upper navarrese
    • navarro-lapurdian dialect
    • eastern navarrese
    • souletin (zuberoan)
    writing system
    basque alphabet (latin script)
    basque braille
    official status
    official language in
     basque autonomous community
     navarre
    recognised minority
    language in
    drapeau pyreneesatlantiques.svg pyrénées-atlantiques
    regulated byeuskaltzaindia
    language codes
    eu
    eus (t)
    iso 639-3eus
    basq1248[2]
    linguasphere40-aaa-a
    euskalkiak.svg
    schematic dialect areas of basque. light-coloured dialects are extinct. see dialects below for details.
    euskara eh 2011.svg
    basque speakers + passive speakers (2011).
    this article contains ipa phonetic symbols. without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of unicode characters. for an introductory guide on ipa symbols, see help:ipa.
    family transmission of basque language (basque as initial language)
    percentage of students registered in basque language schools (2000–2005).
    location of the basque-language provinces within spain and france
    file:wikitongues- iñaki speaking basque.webmplay media
    a basque speaker recorded for wikitongues at wikimania 2019

    basque (k/;[3] euskara [eus̺ˈkaɾa]) is a language spoken in the basque country, a region that straddles the westernmost pyrenees in adjacent parts of northern spain and southwestern france. linguistically, basque is unrelated to the other languages of europe and is a language isolate in relation to any other known living language. 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.[1]

    native speakers live in a contiguous area that includes parts of four spanish provinces and the three "ancient provinces" in france. gipuzkoa, most of biscay, a few municipalities of Álava, and the northern area of navarre formed the core of the remaining basque-speaking area before measures were introduced in the 1980s to strengthen the language. by contrast, most of Álava, the western part of biscay and central and southern areas of navarre are predominantly populated by native speakers of spanish, either because basque was replaced by spanish over the centuries, in some areas (most of Álava and central navarre), or because it was possibly never spoken there, in other areas (parts of the enkarterri and southeastern navarre).

    in francoist spain, basque language use was affected by the repressive policies. in the basque country, "francoist repression was not only political, but also linguistic and cultural".[4] the regime placed legal restrictions on the use of language, which was suppressed from official discourse, education, and publishing,[5] making it illegal to register new-born babies under basque names,[6] and even requiring tombstone engravings in basque to be removed.[7] in some provinces, the public use of the language was suppressed, with people fined for speaking basque.[8] public use of basque was frowned upon by supporters of the regime, often regarded as a sign of anti-francoism or separatism.[9] overall, in the 1960s and later, the trend reversed and education and publishing in basque began to flourish.[10] as a part of this process, a standardised form of the basque language, called euskara batua, was developed by the euskaltzaindia in the late 1960s. besides its standardised version, the five historic basque dialects are biscayan, gipuzkoan, and upper navarrese in spain, and navarrese–lapurdian and souletin 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.[11]

    a language isolate, basque is believed to be one of the few surviving pre-indo-european languages in europe, and is the only one in western europe. the origin of the basques and of their languages is not conclusively known, though the most accepted current theory is that early forms of basque developed before the arrival of indo-european languages in the area, including the romance languages that geographically surround the basque-speaking region. basque has adopted a good deal of its vocabulary from the romance languages, and basque speakers have in turn lent their own words to romance speakers.

    the basque alphabet uses the latin script.

  • names of the language
  • history and classification
  • geographic distribution
  • grammar
  • phonology
  • vocabulary
  • writing system
  • examples
  • see also
  • notes
  • further reading
  • external links

Basque
euskara
PronunciationIPA: [eus̺ˈkaɾa]
Native toSpain, France
RegionBasque Country, Basque diaspora.
EthnicityBasque
Native speakers
750,000 [1] (2016)
1,185,500 passive speakers
Early forms
Dialects
Basque alphabet (Latin script)
Basque Braille
Official status
Official language in
 Basque Autonomous Community
 Navarre
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byEuskaltzaindia
Language codes
eu
eus (T)
ISO 639-3eus
basq1248[2]
Linguasphere40-AAA-a
Euskalkiak.svg
Schematic dialect areas of Basque. Light-coloured dialects are extinct. See dialects below for details.
Euskara EH 2011.svg
Basque speakers + passive speakers (2011).
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Family transmission of Basque language (Basque as initial language)
Percentage of students registered in Basque language schools (2000–2005).
Location of the Basque-language provinces within Spain and France
A Basque speaker recorded for Wikitongues at Wikimania 2019

Basque (k/;[3] euskara [eus̺ˈkaɾa]) is a language spoken in the Basque Country, a region that straddles the westernmost Pyrenees in adjacent parts of northern Spain and southwestern France. Linguistically, Basque is unrelated to the other languages of Europe and is a language isolate in relation to any other known living language. 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.[1]

Native speakers live in a contiguous area that includes parts of four Spanish provinces and the three "ancient provinces" in France. Gipuzkoa, most of Biscay, a few municipalities of Álava, and the northern area of Navarre formed the core of the remaining Basque-speaking area before measures were introduced in the 1980s to strengthen the language. By contrast, most of Álava, the western part of Biscay and central and southern areas of Navarre are predominantly populated by native speakers of Spanish, either because Basque was replaced by Spanish over the centuries, in some areas (most of Álava and central Navarre), or because it was possibly never spoken there, in other areas (parts of the Enkarterri and southeastern Navarre).

In Francoist Spain, Basque language use was affected by the repressive policies. In the Basque Country, "Francoist repression was not only political, but also linguistic and cultural".[4] The regime placed legal restrictions on the use of language, which was suppressed from official discourse, education, and publishing,[5] making it illegal to register new-born babies under Basque names,[6] and even requiring tombstone engravings in Basque to be removed.[7] In some provinces, the public use of the language was suppressed, with people fined for speaking Basque.[8] Public use of Basque was frowned upon by supporters of the regime, often regarded as a sign of anti-Francoism or separatism.[9] Overall, in the 1960s and later, the trend reversed and education and publishing in Basque began to flourish.[10] As a part of this process, a standardised form of the Basque language, called Euskara Batua, was developed by the Euskaltzaindia in the late 1960s. Besides its standardised version, the five historic Basque dialects are Biscayan, Gipuzkoan, and Upper Navarrese in Spain, and Navarrese–Lapurdian and Souletin 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.[11]

A language isolate, Basque is believed to be one of the few surviving pre-Indo-European languages in Europe, and is the only one in Western Europe. The origin of the Basques and of their languages is not conclusively known, though the most accepted current theory is that early forms of Basque developed before the arrival of Indo-European languages in the area, including the Romance languages that geographically surround the Basque-speaking region. Basque has adopted a good deal of its vocabulary from the Romance languages, and Basque speakers have in turn lent their own words to Romance speakers.

The Basque alphabet uses the Latin script.