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In French, the language is normally called basque, though in recent times euskara has become common.
Spanish has a greater variety of names for the language. Today, it is most commonly referred to as el vasco, la lengua vasca, or el euskera. History of the Basque language Basque is geographically surrounded by 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 of Western Europe, the others being extinct outright.
Little is known of its origins, but an early form of the Basque language likely was present in Western Europe before the arrival of the Indo-European languages to the area.
Authors such as Miguel de Unamuno and Louis Lucien Bonaparte have noted that the words for "knife" aizto"axe" aizkoraand "hoe" aitzur derive from the word for "stone" haitzand have therefore concluded that the language dates to prehistoric Europe when those tools were made of stone.
Latin inscriptions in Gallia Aquitania preserve a number of words with cognates in the reconstructed proto-Basque languagefor instance, the personal names Nescato and Cison neskato and gizon 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 's conquests in the western Pyrenees.
Some authors even argue for late Basquisationthat the language moved westward during Late Antiquity after the fall of the Western Roman Empire into the northern part of Hispania into what is now Basque Country. Through the long contact with Romance languages, Basque adopted a sizable number of Romance words.
Initially the source was Latin, later Gascon a branch of Occitan in the northeast, Navarro-Aragonese in the southeast and Spanish in the southwest.
Hypotheses concerning Basque's connections to other languages[ edit ] The statistical improbability and chronological difficulty of linking Basque with its Indo-European neighbors in Europe has inspired many scholars to search for its possible relatives elsewhere.
Besides many pseudoscientific comparisonsthe appearance of long-range linguistics gave rise to several attempts to connect Basque with geographically very distant language families. Almost all hypotheses concerning the origin of Basque are controversial, and the suggested evidence is not generally accepted by most linguists.
Some of these hypothetical connections are: However, not enough evidence exists to distinguish geographical connections from linguistic ones. Iberian itself remains unclassified. Koch in his review of Forni's paper outlining why an Indo-European classification of Basque cannot be accepted, even if some of Forni's data is accepted.
This proposal, made by the German linguist Theo Vennemannclaims 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.
This hypothesis proposed in the 19th century by d'Arbois de Jubainville, J. Kretschmer and several other linguists encompasses the Basco-Iberian hypothesis.
Linking Basque to the Kartvelian languages is now widely discredited. The hypothesis was inspired by the existence of the ancient Kingdom of Iberia in the Caucasus and further by some typological similarities between the two languages.
Mallorythe hypothesis was also inspired by a Basque place-name ending in -dze which is common in Kartvelian.
Northeast Caucasiansuch as Chechenare seen by some linguists as more likely candidates for a very distant connection.To be either writing-questions, or objectives or hypotheses, but not a combination.
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