|Region||Biscay, into Álava and Gipuzkoa|
It is named as Western in the Basque dialects' classification drawn up by linguist Koldo Zuazo, since it is not only spoken in Biscay but also extends slightly into the Northern fringes of Alava and deeper in the Western part of Gipuzkoa. The dialect's territory bears great similarity to that of the Caristii tribe, as described by Roman authors.
While it is treated as stylish to write in Biscayan and the dialect is still spoken generally in about half of Biscay and some other municipalities, it suffers from the double pressure of Unified Basque and Spanish.
Some features of Biscayan as perceived by other dialect speakers may be summed up as follows:
- The verb root "eutsi" used for the dative auxiliary verb (NOR-NORI-NORK), e.g. "dosku"/"deusku" vs. "digu".
- Auxiliary verb forms "dot - dok - dozu" most of the times, as opposed to general Basque "dut".
- Convergence of sibilants: z, x and s > x, s and tz, tx and ts > tz.
- Clusters -itz generally turned into -tx, e.g. "gaitza" > "gatxa".
- The conspicuous absence of past tense 3rd person mark z- at the beginning of auxiliary verbs, e.g. "eban" vs. "zuen".
- Assimilation in vowel clusters at the end of the noun phrase, notably -ea > -ie/i and -oa > -ue/u.
- v-Ñ-v ending words, as opposed to the Beterri Gipuzkoan v-Y-v: konstituziño vs konstituziyo, standard Basque konstituzio.
- In spelling, it has no h and it has -iñ- and -ill- where standard Basque has -in- and -il-.
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Biscayan". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Alavan". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
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