Talk:Basque language

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A study concerning Basque language and its potential relations[edit]

according to the link the studies that lie beneath, Basque language is to be related to Dravidian, and Ainu. The most relevant point is the language comparison between Ainu and Basque vocabulary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:51, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Sorry but that's linguistic junk of the highest degree. It's just another random comparison of random words. Whoever this person is, they haven't even bothered to eliminate clear loanwords and establish some crazy link between Basque ponte and Ainu, even though ponte is a clear loanword from Latin. The rest is no better. Ignore. Akerbeltz (talk) 14:22, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I just eliminated a section called: Basque on the internet[edit]

I just deleted the following from this article:

Basque on the Internet[edit]

One in a thousand (0.1%) websites are in Basque[1].

It appears no such information existed in the chicago Sun times on that date.
Furthermore, if even close to .1% of all webpages are written in basque that might add up to something like 20-100 pages per native basque speaker. (using ~600,000 basque speakers, and 4billion or so web pages) please delete this post if you agree, or restore the text if you disagree with my edits.

-- (talk) 00:07, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Interesting fact that for now, I feel, just doesn't fit in the article[edit]

The first book written in Basque did not appear until 1545.

  • Jansen, Wim (2002). "Introduction". Beginner's Basque. New York, NY: Hippocrene Books, Inc. pp. p. 7. ISBN 0-7818-0933-9. 
In a roundabout way there is, it's there but hidden on the Bernard Etxepare page (which needs a good cleanup). I think we need a page on Basque publishing or at least Basque literature. Akerbeltz (talk) 12:35, 20 November 2008 (UTC)


I've added some info on the language name and its variants. This section is getting quite large, any thoughts on whether we should shift most of the dialect stuff to a new page Basque dialects? Akerbeltz (talk) 02:22, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Dialects again - similarities, differences, correspondences[edit]

Hello everyone! I think it would be wonderful if we created a table of of correspondences between the individual dialects. I don't think it would be necessary to mention the reconstructed phonemes, although it would be highly interesting, of course - the problem is that various scholars reconstruct the common ancestor of the Basque dialects somewhat differently, hence Luis Michelena's Pre-Basque is a bit different from Larry Trask's Pre-Basque, which in turn is quite different from John Bengtson's Proto-Basque (which might represent an older stage of the same language, judging from the phonotactic restrictions Trask described in his etymological dictionary).

So, the table should be totally "scholar-neutral", showing ONLY the correspondences WITHOUT attempting to reconstruct proto-phonemes or to ascribe specific phonological features to them. Your opinions?

Oh, I'm not sure the main article is the right place for this, but I wonder what you all think about this idea, anyway.

Please, leave me a message if you are willing to help. I'm not a vascologist, just an interested linguist, so any help will be welcome, as I would like it to be as accurate as possible. Thanks for any help or advice in advance!--Pet'usek [petrdothrubisatgmaildotcom] 11:38, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm working on the dialect section currently and will probably start a Basque dialects page, currently it's all still stuck on User:Akerbeltz/sandbox - feel free to have a look and chip in I don't think there's enough data to reconstruct the individual verb forms for PB... well, I've never seen anything like it in print anyway. I'll see if Michelena and LT have anything for the naiz-haiz paradigm in the present tense perhaps. Akerbeltz (talk) 13:16, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Ok, done. I've created a page on Basque dialects and moved most of the dialect stuff there. I'll be working to expand it when i get my head back after finishing my current translation job. Akerbeltz (talk) 02:42, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Runestone with Basque inscription?[edit]

A language professor from Sweden has tried to decipher a runestone in Denmark from around the 11th century, and by comparing with numerous languages, he has come to the conclusion that it was carved in Basque.

According to the article, the text fragment above is supposed to mean something like this: "Basa carved these runes for her husband Etxe­hegi, and Isifus for his aunt Izeba"

Unfortunately I don´t have any more information on this, but it sounds interesting indeed...

McLoaf (talk) 03:48, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Hm thanks for that. I found the inscription and stone here It looks like a typical case of "this rune carver was clearly mad and we can't read him so it must be Basque". This looks nothing like Basque, Pre-Basque or Proto-Basque to me. Let's see:
m- * srnes-sn : urn=u=kb(h) -a=si ¶ s(n)rþmi : itssih(k)i × li isifuþrlak * iseRa * li
"Basa carved these runes for her husband Etxe­hegi, and Isifus for his aunt Izeba."
Ok by the looks of it he picks urn=u=k for urnak, b(h) -a=si for Basa, s(n)rþmi for senarrari "to the husband", itssih(k)i × li for Etxehegiri, isifuþrlak for Isifu?rlak and iseRa * li for izebari "to the aunt". Aside from the "bam, here's the translation but no interlinear version"
No f in Pre-Basque, that makes Isifu and unlikely Basque name. If the reads the -þrlak as -ak ergative, then why is Basa not marked as ergative but shows up as Basi? No m in Pre-Basque either, so ¶ s(n)rþmi is also impossible from that angle. itssih(k)i - I don't think i- vowels ever show up in Basque dialects in etxe "house", current or reconstructed.
Ok, I'm no expert on runes but it looks... unlikely to me. Akerbeltz (talk) 12:03, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
PS yes, it may not be Pre-Basque but Stig hasn't provided a date for the inscription. Aquitanian has m of course and the vikings are post-roman but it still looks unlikely to me. Akerbeltz (talk) 12:05, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Maybe, it would be a good idea to read the original scholarly articles on the inscription in order to see what the author actually says? This might save us from possible inaccuracies and erroneous conclusions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Mistake on the claimer of the Veleia inscriptions[edit]

There was a serious mistake in the paragraph on the Veleia inscriptions. The claimer was Eliseo Gil (then director of the Veleia site excavations), whereas M. Rius was the person consulted on the Egyptian inscriptions. As this means nothing on the alleged Basque inscriptions IMHO all the mention to her and the note/reference should be deleted from this article.

I quote from a recent paper: "El equipo de Eliseo Gil adelantó parte de sus hallazgos el 8 de junio de 2006 " [1]

--Dilvish 10 words (talk) 13:05, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Right now the article still states "However the whole finding has come under serious question, even to the point of tarnishing Rius's scholarly pedigree." and gives [2] as reference. Should this be changed as well? AxelBoldt (talk) 16:04, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I do think so, as this is on the "alleged" Egyptian inscriptions (for which the Veleia team asked to M. Rius, and they said she is an egyptologist) and on the Latin inscriptions with the name Nefertiti. It's an interview to an egyptologist (Prof. Moreno), so the data has nothing to do with the Basque language.
Unfortunately the copy of Gorrochategui's and Lakarra's reports seems to have been deleted from internet and, although I saved a copy, it's now an unpublished text.
A better link could be Iruña-Veleia y sus "revolucionarios" grafitos: Un triste y anunciado final (Alicia Canto is a University Professor and epigraphist) where there are reference to the "official" reports and many quotes to newspapers or this one from a newspaper Estalla el escándalo de Iruña Veleia por la falsedad de los hallazgos or Los expertos concluyen que los grafitos en euskara del siglo III son 'totalmente falsos' .
But as the inscriptions seem to be definitely a fake, probably sooner or later all the paragraph on the Veleia Basque inscriptions will be deleted. What a pity all this unfortunate matter. --Dilvish 10 words (talk) 18:26, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I nominate the paragraph on the Veleia inscriptions for deletion. It probably deserves its own article (very interesting case of apparent archaeological forgery); in this article it deserves nothing but a very short sentence along the lines of: In 2006, a set of early Basque inscriptions were reported at Veleia, seeming to push the earliest dated writing in Basque to the third Century, but the were soon discovered to be forgeries.-jackbrown (talk) 03:59, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Now, one year later, it is completly clear that the Iruña Veleia inscriptions were forgeries. I really think we should take out that paragraph. It seems really out of place now (and kind of shameful) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Leirus (talkcontribs) 10:21, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the deletion - I'd personally leave it there. It was big news and there will be people wanting to know about it. Also, I'm not entirely sure if the debate is all "done and dusted", there are some that still maintain it wasn't a forgery AFAIK. Akerbeltz (talk) 14:24, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Guys, let's talk about this? After all, there are pages like Piltdown Man. Akerbeltz (talk) 23:22, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I have no prob with the paragraph itself, just not where it was. It's irrelevant for the classification of the language. kwami (talk) 00:58, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
The addition also seems rather long for the content it adds. A (very) brief note (maybe a single sentence) might be appropriate, but a whole paragraph seems to be overkill on what is, essentially, a forgery (from what I can tell) and not, in the end, relevant to the issue of describing the Basque language. (Taivo (talk) 04:36, 23 March 2010 (UTC))
I see your points. Though it seems to me stating (if one could get hold of the papers) what the scientific basis for refuting their authenticity would be useful. It has actually made me realise we have virtually nothing on the page that talks about the broad timeline of the documented history of the language... seems to me we need a History of Basque section where the IV thing could be discussed briefly. Akerbeltz (talk) 11:27, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Kwami. From an encyclopedic viewpoint they have the same sense here as in the articles on Latin Epigraphy, Ancient Egyptian an some others. The same as the conspiracy theories on the Apolo XI as a fake voyage in the article on the moon or in the biography of Armstrong. At best they belong to [Iruña-Veleia]. On the claimers that it is not a forgery, their "arguments" are so absurd, as their oblivion on what they cannot explain. A graphologic forensic report (reported to a judge) concludes that most of the inscriptions were made by the same hand that wrote a modern reconstruction (of 2004 AC !) and there is more evidence... --Dumu Eduba (talk) 11:45, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
A history of Basque article would be cool, but a serious one requires far more time than I have. If someone is up to it, I find really interesant Oppenheimer opinions on the matter, about a "protobasque" family of languages starting in the iberian peninsula and south of france, just after the LGM and expanding through the repopulation of the british islands. Also, there was some german author proposing a proto basque substrate under lusitanian, but I can not remember his name right now.

Even in that case, I would exclude Iruña Veleia from there. I also do not want to have an Article called Iruña Veleia about the hoax, because IV is an important archaelogical site and does not deserve that. I just do not know where to put that info, even if I recognize it is important. Any ideas? Leirus (talk) 17:09, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Tidying the page[edit]

Progressivly tidying up the page - done various bits now. I think we need a slightly better section on the demographics of the language, which I was going to do next. Should be easy once I figure out how to do graphs, I got all the sociolinguistic atlases here. Beyond that, anything else you guys reckon that needs expanding/sorting? Perhaps more on Aquitanian? Open to suggestions. Akerbeltz (talk) 14:48, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

PS anyone know what this article is rated low importance? Akerbeltz (talk) 14:49, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Where? I don't see any importance rating. kwami (talk) 23:51, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Right underneath this talk section, at the very bottom of the page. Akerbeltz (talk) 00:00, 17 February 2009

Tidying this page of a libel[edit]

I kindly ask you to clean up your perfectly organised page of a libel.If you do not speak Spanish I will translate you what this page says ANONIMOUSLY against internationally respected University professors.You have restored what another user cleaned yesterday:the libel. In fact,the author is being searched by the Spanish police to be taken to Court.Even the people who worked close to him do not know where he is,we are all astonished of the quick dissapearance (as far as we know he worked some time ago in one of the Barcelona's University ,as assistant,close to us).I am not going to delete this reference.You can of course support him.--Iberomesornix (talk) 16:56, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but I have no idea what you're talking about. Can you explain again please? Akerbeltz (talk) 17:12, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

You already know what is going on.I have informed you.If you want I will translate what is said in the page ,edited by an anonimous user for you and me ,but not for Guardia Civil expert squad.However ,I think it is better that a 3rd part translates this to you.I will have to inform to Wikipedia staff about this.--Iberomesornix (talk) 17:41, 27 February 2009 (UTC)--Iberomesornix (talk) 18:23, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Err... feel free - I hope they will understand what you're trying to say :) Akerbeltz (talk) 18:02, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Now that Iberomesornix and Virginal6 (at the same time, ooooh great coincidence;-) are again accusing of censorship of Arnaiz-Villena theories (in spite of the fact that we showed them many reliable sources stating that Arnaiz-Villena theories are an "unmitigated disaster" and "compulsory comic" whereas their supporters could not show any supporting their theories), accusing others of bullying, conspirations, hidden interests, poppetry and some other nasty things against users as me, Kwami, Trigaranus, Akerbeltz; may I remember that Iberomesormix still has not explained two things:
First: he is writing offending comments on an alleged anonymous person (a deceiving assert itself that shows a deceiving intention, as they deleted the name just before) accusing him of being a fugitive, but I asked elsewhere some reference, and mumm is the word.
Second: I showed some clear clues on the fact that user Iberomesornix was using the same IP that an "anonymous" that claimed to be Arnaiz-Villena [3] (as a matter of fact it is easy to see that this IP is a public IP from a health institution of Madrid). This suggest that Iberomesornix publishes original research and self promotion, while he is writing libels. This also remains unexplained.
So before claiming imaginary conspiration and accusing other users of "bullying" some explanations are needed. I bet you, Iberomesornix and company, have as many references (that is to say none at all, absolutely nothing), as when I asked references for the alleged Sumerian words and their alleged meanings that allegedly confirmed Arnaiz-Villena theories. You know, Wikipedia works with reliable sources, not with interested wishful-thinkings and badmouthing. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 22:54, 14 May 2009 (UTC)


I did not throw anything TO you (not AT),I was innocent.Now,I am not.Is this a big deceit? I thought you were half or full British born according to your page.I am not British,as you know, Akerbeltz.Should I make a page for myself? I will do,but with the few real data I want to be known. Larry Trask was recalling arguments for finding Iberian and Basque languages relationships.He enumerated the 5 SAME vowels as one argument.I agree that we cannot be sure about this.In fact ,Trask was enumerating arguments for dismissing them as you also know.But I thought you were British-borne.,and thought you might not know the book.

On the other hand, I think it is not useful for the Wiki-readers that when I write a reference about Veleia problems , you delete all references about Veleia findings:quite a few experts independent from the official Local Government Commitee are contesting[4] the “official “outcome:”hundreds of 3rd century Basque inscriptions on ceramics are a "fake” .Who has made the fake? What for? How? [5]--Virginal6 (talk) 23:59, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Of course I am in favour of information about the hot debate that is nowadays going on about Veleia.I am not a supporter of the “true” hypothesis.

Basque language page is not complete without this Veleia discussion.--Virginal6 (talk) 21:48, 27 February 2009 (UTC)--Virginal6 (talk) 21:50, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Responded on the Iberian page to the Iberian issue. The deletion of Veleia stuff wasn't me. Akerbeltz (talk) 22:42, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Akerbeltz,why don't you leave Kwa to state "Vasconic languages"? Your position that Basque is an isolate is now difficult to keep? Virginal6 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:16, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Not at all. It is clearly an isolate if you accept that all lects are varieties of a single language, which is generally the case. There are lots of "isolates" which may be considered small families, depending on how you classify their dialects (Yapen, Nambikwara, Japanese, etc). That is just the language/dialect debate, and doesn't diminish the huge gap that exists between them and other languages. And every isolate belongs to a family, albeit a family of one. kwami (talk) 11:36, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
But I think "Vasconic languages",anyway , is more appropriate.How many Basque,say ,"variants" have existed before the Batua compilation? I would say that many more than the main recognized

"dialects":valleys,towns... differences. And Aquitan? In this sense present day Basque is not an isolate,but an artificial language.-- (talk) 19:25, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Yeah right... I presume you similarly want to argue there's no German language and no French language cause they're "artificial forms" because they're not organic dialects but standardised forms? Sorry, I won't even enter that discussion, that's just too silly for words. Akerbeltz (talk) 19:31, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Possible connections ...[edit]

Well, after clearly reading some of the Basque text on this article, it seems to me that Basque is a mix of Japanese and Turkish. Some say Japanese is an Altaic language, and if it is, it will be related to Turkish. As for now, I have no doubt that it came from some sort of Altaic root. IlStudioso 05:36, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

You are the only one who thinks so, and personal opinion doesn't count in Wikipedia. Basque has not been demonstrated to be related to any other recorded language. (Taivo (talk) 05:47, 1 April 2009 (UTC))
Correct, and this page is not a forum for discussing personal opinions. Dougweller (talk) 06:42, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
Good work! The section on Hypotheses on connections with other languages seems quite balanced at the moment. Thanks to everyone for their efforts! --Pet'usek [petrdothrubisatgmaildotcom] 10:58, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Pre-Indo-European? Are Indo-Europeans the center of the world?[edit]

I read that some languages are defined as pre-Indo-European once and again. But, IMHO, this is a clear mistake as it is not a linguistic classification, as language are not divided in Indo-European and not Indo-European. It is an ethnocentric definition, coming from outdated invasion theories in which there is only a subject in the languages history: the expansion of Indo-European languages over the substrata.

It is like saying that Irish is pre-English. Or in Alexander the Great conquest, Semitic language (as Arab) were pre-Indoeuropan; in Medieval Spain Arab was post-Indo-European, but pre-Spanish, English a post-Latin, Latin a pre-English, etc. etc.. Just to put it clear (in a big exageration) it is like saying that Apache is a pre-Caucasian race people.

BTW: In fact there is no data to know if there was an Indo-European substratum or not in the land where Basque is spoken today. I am not claiming that there do were Indo-Europeans before, I am only stating that we know nothing about (as, for example, Etruscan is likely to be post-Indo-European in Italy; and Hugarian obviously is), and so that the pre-Indoeuropean terminology it is not only a linguistic absurd, but an unproven hypothesis. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 16:03, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

That the Indo-European languages did not originate in Western or Central Europe is a fact. They came from somewhere else and moved into the rest of Europe. Therefore, it is unambiguous what the term "pre-Indo-European" means in this context and it is not a genetic classification, but a historical timeframe. Basque is, indeed, the only language still spoken in Europe that predates the arrival of the Indo-European languages. (Taivo (talk) 16:33, 5 May 2009 (UTC))
My point is that saying that a language is pre-IndoEuropean has no sense at all.
On what is fact or what is not: any proof that Basque was spoken in West Europe before the Indo-European languages?
I have no problem if people prefer to keep a non scientific and very doubious term as "pre-Indo-European" , especially as that phrasing assumes that we know something that we do not know, but it deservers a warning. The assert is as unambiguous as irrelevant (I beg perdon for the joke, but it is as saying: it is the only Western language who begings with the letters BA-; yes it is a bad joke, but I hope that it states my oppinion).
I am simply tired of this habit of using Indo-European as a measure for everything. Some people may think that the label pre-Indoeuropean is a honour for the Basque language, I think that to define a language according to other languages and not by itself is not exactly an honour. If editors believe that definition to be good, keep (as you wish), I am only oppinating that it is a clear mistake that it is a assert as good as the example of 'featherless biped' by Aristotle. But it is only my oppinion, of course. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 17:16, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
But what makes Basque intriguing is precisely this point. It attests to a historical diversity in Europe that is not otherwise preserved; IE is pretty much the norm in Europe now, so that even the Hungarians and Finns feel somewhat out of place linguistically. Non-IE langs such as Maltese are no big deal, since they're recent introductions.
Taivo, I do wonder about your statement that the introduction of Finno-Ugric is recent. In Hungary, yes, but even Khanty and Mansi lie within Europe. kwami (talk) 17:39, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
It depends on how far east you want to draw the line. Khanty and Mansi are east of the Urals, so they are outside Europe. Most English speakers think of "Europe" as being the non-Soviet part of Europe. Few people realize that the actual geographic center of Europe is within the borders of Ukraine. Most of the Finno-Ugric literature I've read has the Finnic branch spreading west out of the Urals. So it all depends on the common perception of where the eastern edge of Europe is. (Taivo (talk) 22:01, 5 May 2009 (UTC))

I don't see a problem with the term. It has scientific relevance, it denotes linguistic (and to some extent cultural) continuity for a certain timespan for example. In Western Europe, using IE or non-IE as a comparative yardstick is acceptable. The Hadza language for example sticks out for being non-Bantu in a sea of Bantu, or the Brahui language which is equally surrounded by IE. These are important facts. Akerbeltz (talk) 19:14, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Let it so then. To me it is not a satisfactory definition (something like saying that Basque is a not-transitive, not-tonal, not-isolating...), too subjective, showing what is a absolutely normal language as something odd. For example, in Europe it is more exceptional the English language as being the most isolating language (in its structure Basque has parallels in Europe, but I do not remember any European language as isolating as the English one).
I would prefer to use the pre- prefix only in its historical context (so Aztec was a pre-Hispanic / pre-Spanish culture, but not a pre-Spanish / pre-Hispanic language), or when the language has no other name because is unknown or only known as a substratum (as the Celtic subtratum or the ancient Greek subtratum). But doesn't mind.
The other caveat is that, as a matter of fact, we do not know for sure that the Basque language pre-dates Indoeuropean languages. When we have the first information on a Basque kind of language, we know many Indo-Europeans in West Spain (even in the Basque Country) (an many references claim that Tartessian (in SW Iberia in the VIII c. bC) was an Indo-European language (see John Koch's (University of Wales) 2009 book Tartessian: Celtic in the South-west at the Dawn of History). Remember also the Etruscan language, for which many experts consider an Aegean origin, when the alleged Italic substratum ("pre-idoeuropean") may be in fact an adstratum. Remember also when the mainstream theory on Basque origin was that it was an Afrasian language akin to Berber (so non European, but rather an African adstratum; although I do not believe this theory, but it is as alive and kicking as the Caucasian theory: you can even find it in Trask p. 361 ).
I am aware that I am spliting hairs (looking to details), but maybe (only maybe) the wording should be more careful on these details, as the reader may think that we know data that at the best are more or less probable inductions in an ocean of lack of information.--Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:13, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Dumu, I'm not sure how you figure we can't say with a fair amount of certainty it's pre-IE. We have a date for IE arriving in Europe and the Aquitanians are mentioned fairly early on in the records by the romans and to some extent the Greeks. Their long-term presence is also backed up by the genetic record.
Fair point about Etruscan etc but the thing is, Basque is the only *surviving* pre-IE language of Western Europe - which makes it unusual enough to merit mentioning. People hone in on things that make something stick out more so than they hone in on commonalities. That's why a lungfish is called a lungfish!
Either way, it's described as non-IE often enough in the wider literature, so I don't think this is something we should spend out energy on. I could do with some help on the Basque dialects page or perhaps bringing Aizkolaritza or one of the other Basque rural sports pages to GA status :) Akerbeltz (talk) 10:48, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
ALl that matters is that we quote reliable/verifiable sources correctly, if they use the term, we should, if they don't, we shouldn't. It's not up to us to decide what it should be. Dougweller (talk) 10:49, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Well,to me it is not the best way to define a language (not logic, too subjective) , but I have exposed my reasons and my worryings, and if nobody else sees this as a problem, better than trying to expand the explanations of my reasons is to forget about it. Case closed. Regards. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 11:11, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

You know, I agree with Dumu a bit. Modern Basque is not "pre-Indo-European" unless it hasn't changed since (Proto-)Indo-European began being spoken. The important information conveyed by the sentence in question is that Basque is a language isolate. Presumably it descends from a non-IE language that was spoken in the Pyrenees region before the arrival of Indo-European speakers, and is in that sense "pre-Indo-European"; some scholarly references call Basque a "pre-Indo-European" language in this way. But others simply use "non-Indo-European", which avoids giving the impression that Basque hasn't changed since primeval times; so I'd prefer to use "non-Indo-European" rather than "pre-Indo-European". --Akhilleus (talk) 02:50, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

We could say the only "indigenous non-IE language", at least for W Europe. It's not the only non-IE language. kwami (talk) 05:15, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, either of those would be better than 'pre-Indo-European'. Dougweller (talk) 06:59, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The real question is what does Trask call it since this is clearly a comment from one of his books. (Taivo (talk) 07:02, 8 May 2009 (UTC))
At least in east Europe it is not an option. There are problems with the Caucasian languages (many families), and of course Uralic, which are known to have been in contact with common Proto-IE and most probably in Europe. I am sure that references can be find on the birth place of the Uralic languages.
Of course I still think that telling that a language is pre-IE or not IE is more a comment that a definition (as saying that Basque is not a transitive language instead of saying ergative language, but that's another story.... --Dumu Eduba (talk) 12:52, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

The Basques are Indo-Europeans in 85% (one of the highest proportion in Europe). The Basque language is a koine of Iberian, Celtic and Latin, is easily verifiable. It emerged around the IIIBC century. Basque nationalism created and maintains the myth. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:47, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

I needed a good laugh,, thanks for that! Akerbeltz (talk) 12:37, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Just read this in the early morning today - that was enuff to make my OJ come out of my nose. Tell me, if you are still out there, anon IP, what colour is the sky in your LSD-linguistic world?HammerFilmFan (talk) 12:16, 29 December 2014 (UTC)


I think that the bibliography as it is now is somewhat odd:

  • many (5 of 12) references to Bengtson, an author that most (or all) experts on Basque do not agree with. So he should be, at best, secundary, not a prominent reference.
  • reference to a yet unpublished book! (the second of Morvan)
  • many interesting references lack

maybe be it could be copied the bibliographical section of the German version (very good), and adapt it adding more English references (although some of the German language references are worth keeping. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 13:06, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Hm, I think we should shift Morvan to an inline citation about his *ahem* theory about the origins of Basque but remove it from the main text. Too tired to think about the others ones right now but you're probably right! Akerbeltz (talk) 00:07, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
The German version has a section for "Relationship" in which the Morvan (his first book) would be adequate. What I can't understand is the presence of an unpublished book (especially when there are neither Tovar dictionary nor Löpelmann, this one far from satisfactory though).
What I don't want is to enter and make a great change in the bibliography if nobody else believe it is needed. But if somebody has a good level translating German, could be a good idea, as "Baskische Sprache" has good material. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 07:54, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Hello again. I have prepared a much enlarged bibliography (see [User:Dumu_Eduba/sandbox_BB this page] the part previous to the German). Although probably I will add some more references, I think that it could be added now; but as it is thematic (and I think that so is how it ought to be) it could make more complicated the reference system. As I do not like to make "great" changes without consensus I would like to hear opinions.

The section on relationships is maybe a bit too long, but the idea is to prepare the section in case that in the future a specific article is created on the question. Regards.--Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:47, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Done.Maybe the format should be revised,as there may problems with the nesting of paragraphs and sections (or maybe not). In my opinion, there are too many references to Bengtson publications, and some of them should be deleted. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 14:37, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I am certainly no expert but the bibliography still looks unbalanced and too long. As is the list, however divided of external links which should be minimal. And something is broken, I'm assuming it's having a reference in the bibliography after the notes section. Dougweller (talk) 17:54, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I have tried to put the more important works (as I know) and the more interesting material whose content can be read, as I expect this will make easier to improve the article. Especially, I missed references on the dialects (pre- modern Batua, which is a recent "creation").
The section on external links is long for two reasons: first, it is an issue which attracts attention and needs more references and less rumours; second, if the section get larger the ideal should be to put it in its own (sub)-article, and then the bibliography will be useful. I put some "historical" and some recent.
Unbalanced? Sure, but on some themes I do not know what more to add (tons of minor articles but nothing really clear to me). Of course the bibliography needs improvements. Although I am a bit biased: I prefer good, long, categorized (and much better if commented) bibliographys to little sketches.--Dumu Eduba (talk) 23:01, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
To Taivo. That "curiosity" on Niger-Congo is of course secondary, but it looks that it has been published: look here where is sold an with the ISBN 10: 1877211583 / 1-877211-58-3 ISBN 13: 9781877211584; or herewith more details. Probably it is a self-publication (I saw a reference I can't find now) but has ISBN. Regards. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 23:11, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Basque is related very distantly to pre nostratic Turkic with R1b haplotype being dene caucasian marker[edit]

Basque is related very distantly to pre nostratic Turkic with R1b haplotype being dene caucasian marker Basque grammar is very very similar to that of Turkish Humanbyrace (talk) 00:01, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

For Turk ultra-nationalists, is any language not somehow related to Turkish? HammerFilmFan (talk) 19:11, 17 May 2011 (UTC) HammerFilmFan
Eh, no and no? Also genetics is not linguistic evidence. ·Maunus·ƛ· 00:09, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
You obviously known next to nothing about both Basque and Turkish grammar. That aside, as Maunus points out, languages aren't coded in our genes. Next. Akerbeltz (talk) 00:37, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
The classic example of the non-linguistic nature of genetics is the Pygmy tribes of central Africa. They are a unique and ancient genetically separate people. But they speak languages in no less than four separate groups of the Niger-Congo family. There is no such thing as a "Pygmy language group" even though there is a very clear "Pygmy genetic group". (Taivo (talk) 09:34, 18 July 2009 (UTC))

Shift in Portuguese?[edit]

The text claims there was a "similar" merger of /v/ and /b/ in Portuguese. I am a native speaker of Portuguese and I am completely unaware of any such merger. I would also like to know if the same is true in Occitan, Catalan, etc like the text claims. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:16, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Surely there are better sources, but for instance see here and here on Portuguese /v/. Such phenomena use to begin as dialectal ones, then may spread until becoming "standard" or not. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:01, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. I wonder though how recent is this merger and if it is due in part to contact with Castillian. But I guess that's beyond the scope of the discussion for this page. Thanks anyway. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
No offense, but being a native speaker is never a guarantee of being familiar with the historical development of that language. I'm a native speaker of German (amongst others) but I couldn't explain Grimm's law to you! Akerbeltz (talk) 13:15, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I never said I was attempting to explain a shift, I had just never heard nor seen any evidence for a /v/-/b/ merger in Portuguese. You can't explain Grimm's law but you definitely know the consequences, from comparing the contemporary languages. As the references Dumu pointed out, only certain dialects in Northern Portugal merge /v/ and /b/, of which I was unaware, both from my own anecdotal evidence gathered as a native speaker as well as my apparently limited reading on descriptions of contemporary Portuguese dialects. My bad.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
According to what I remember (although my memory is not perfect) it uses to be believed that in Portuguese it is not related with Castillian, but rather as a phenomenon that also affected Castillian (but I am not aware of the medieval proofs). In Eastern Catalan the Castillian influence is modern, but the "phenomenon", but in Western Catalan is more ancient and seems more related to the Pyrenees. Hence the idea of a "northern" Basque (or similar) influence over Portuguese, Castillian, Catalan and Occitan. Regards. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:41, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, I can't vouch for its accuracy but it also says so on the Galician-Portuguese#Phonology page. Perhaps - given no one here seems to be a specialist in Portuguese phonology - you might want to take it up there and once the matter has been clarified by some experts, we can adjust this page if necessary? Akerbeltz (talk) 10:56, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

ETA example[edit]

Is it really appropriate to use a poem by Joseba Sarrionandia, a convicted ETA member, as an example of Basque text? Surely something less controversial should be used. (talk) 23:00, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

The new president of the Basque Autonomous Community, the Spanish nationalist (unionist... use the term you prefer) Patxi López, cited Joseba Sarrionandia in its inauguration, so it cannot be that bad to have Sarrionandia's texts in this article.--Assargar (talk) 13:49, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Nevertheless, I don't see why it has to be that example. Why not pick something else that would cause no offense to anyone? As a proud Basque, I'm not too happy seeing the works of an ETA member used as generic example of Basque text. There are countless different things that could be used, why use something from Sarrionandia? It seems unnecessary. Would you put a poem written by Osama Bin Laden as an example of Arabic text? (talk) 01:29, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

If it's a good poem, then why not? (talk) 10:28, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Translation of Huesca quote from 1349 in "Names of Language" section[edit]

This may be getting nitpicky, and I don't have an etymological dictionary in front of me, but I think that the phrase:

"Item nuyl corridor nonsia usado que faga mercadería ninguna que compre nin venda entre ningunas personas, faulando en algaravia nin en abraych nin en basquenç"

prohibits the doing business with (faga mercadería = haga negocios), or buying or selling between, persons who speak these three languages. note that the next sentence:

"et qui lo fara pague por coto XXX sol"

fara = hara, not habla, so the fine is for doing business, not for speaking. Not that the language wasn't outlawed at this time in this community, but the example is specifically conducting business in Arabic, Hebrew or Euskara.

Again, I may be rusty - I did an undergrad research project to contribute to the DOSL in college, but that was a decade ago. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Girzirz (talkcontribs) 20:19, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Trask (History of Basque 40) translates "Let no merchant be employed who buys or sells with anybody speaking in Arabic, Hebrew or Basque". The target of the law is rather excluding its public use, it prohibits to have an employee who speaks Basque at work; but seems that the idea was that no commerce to be done in those languages. (For not Romance readers: "corridor" = "merchant"; "faulando" = "speaking". In any case the article now says penalising the use, not prohibiting; so I am not sure whether there is any problem. Maybe the wording could be more precise? Maybe the translation should be added to avoid misunderstandings? --Dumu Eduba (talk) 22:01, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
But now I realise that maybe the problem is conceptual. The quote is about the use of Basque in Huesca in the XIVth century, not on its "prohibition". For example, there is another text from La Rioja (Ojacastro; XIIIth) granting its use in legal processes which is not mentioned. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 22:26, 30 July 2009 (UTC)


Working on the russian transcription for the Basque language I have met the problem, when different sources provide the different IPA transcription for the same phonemes. There are samples from the English and German Wikipedias:

Basque DE-Wiki EN-Wiki
s [ɕ] [s̺]
x [ʃ] [ʃ]
z [s] [s̻]

Please, clarify, which version is closer to the Truth. --RYUS (talk) 18:13, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

According to Trask (History of Basque, Routledge 1997)

  • s is an apico-alveolar voiceless fricative
  • z is a lamino-alveolar voiceless fricative
  • x a palato-alveolar voiceless fricative

According to Hualde (Basque Phonology, Routledge 1991)

  • s is an apico-alveolar voiceless fricative
  • z is a dorso-alveolar voiceless fricative
  • x a pre-palatal voiceless fricative

The forms with t- represent the corresponding affricates. ɕ is a alveo-palatal fricative and not appropriate in the Basque context, so the ones on the English Wiki are better. Hope that helps. Akerbeltz (talk) 19:06, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, if you were going to use /ɕ/ due to legibility or typographic concerns (say, the way we use /r/ for English, even though it's not a trill), then I'd think you'd use it for z, not for s. In any case, I'd only recommend s.t. like that if your readers were Basque speakers and didn't need an accurate transcription. kwami (talk) 19:28, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry too much about legibility in this case if they're described at least once - the (t)s/(t)z distinction has fallen by the way for the majority of speakers anyway. Akerbeltz (talk) 19:43, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
There is no problem with affricates (ts, tz, tx) as Russian has the same mechanism ([ʦ], [ʧ]). Unclear is the pronunciation of s, x, z. So, your sorces also give two different explanations... --RYUS (talk) 21:16, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
If there's no problem with the affricates, then there's no problem with the fricatives, since they have the same place of articulation. kwami (talk) 00:21, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for unclear expression, "no problem with affricates" means "I know, how affricates are articulated generally (not in Basque only), no need to explain them especially", answering to "The forms with t- represent the corresponding affricates". The problem is with the "simple" phonemes. --RYUS (talk) 19:59, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
There's a certain amount of nit-picking about apical vs laminal. Checked a few more:

According to Rebuschi (Structure de l'énoncé en basque, SELAF 1984)

  • s is a retroflex or apico-alveolar voiceless fricative (transcribed /ʂ/)
  • z (transcribed /s/)
  • x (transcribed /š/)

According to Saltarelli (Basque, Croom Helm 1988)

  • s is an apico-alveolar voiceless fricative (transcribed /ś/)
  • z is a lamino-alveolar voiceless fricative (transcribed /s/)
  • x is a lamino-postalveolar voiceless fricative (transcribed /š/)

For s the leaning is towards apico-alveolar therefore so you need the bridge below symbol. z either is described as laminal or just transcribed as /s/. The default pronunciation of the IPA s is either laminal or apical, so the combining box below to indicate laminal is needed to be specific as it's a contrasting pair in some dialects. So use [s̺] and [s̻] Akerbeltz (talk) 11:20, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Thank you both for help! --RYUS (talk) 19:59, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

You're welcome Akerbeltz (talk) 20:51, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

The realization of /s/ is the same in Spanish; I suggest reading the following article: Voiceless alveolar retracted sibilant. --Daniel bg (talk) 23:53, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

How does that help though? They use Hualde as a source, which we mention above already. It doesn't solve the problem that there is no total agreement on what it is. Akerbeltz (talk) 07:44, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

The citations and the bibliography are a huge, incompetent mess[edit]

As for the footnotes (citations), given the sophistication of the research that produced these citations, it's even more amazing how ignorant the person who composed them is. No page numbers. Excessive proportion of them are in Basque, another excessive proportion are in other foreign languages. Punctuation all wrong, even seems to be sui generis.

The bibliography is excessively classified, almost a dozen categories. This is quite inappropriate, and also unwieldy. Very difficult to edit a list when it is categorized so much. Hurmata (talk) 04:32, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Map of basque as inicitial language[edit]

I have corrected de "errors" reported by Egitan several times ( I have kept only contrasted data: I have checked all data in the sources appeared in the map and they are all correct to the date they indicates (it tooke me hours!...) So, information of the map is completely right an the only person displeased with it is Egitan (as we can see the history of Basque language page), but I think he can now accept it, once "errors" he reported were corrected. In the other hand, map information has a high value, so it shows clearly the family transmision of basque language and shows the actual process of des-basconization of areas like Navarre Pyrenees, Bilbao metropolitan area or Oiartzualdea region. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andrew Champs (talkcontribs) 17:47, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Advanced phrases[edit]

   * Eup! = The colloquial way of greeting someone on the street, also apa or aupa or iep!.

The above information in the article is of great interest to me as a resident of Derbyshire, England. Derbyshire has a distinctive language/ dialect which seems to be related to Old English. Please note that I have no knowledge of linguistics so that even that statement may be not correct.

The dialect is often used on sentimental occasions for entertainment and is regarded with great esteem.

But in it there is one phrase or word which is more commonly and widely used and that is:

"AYUP" or "EHUP" - sometimes with the addition of "me duck!"

It means, in a friendly way, "hello my friend or comrade".

(But it can also mean "wait a minute - there is something wrong here" again in a friendly way.)

So it is a friendly greeting (or the drawing attention to something in which there is mutual interest).

Accepting the warnings on cognates being alluded to by the non scholarly would somebody please look at the possibility of a connection with the Euskara word "Eup!"? Derbyshire was a very isolated region of what is now England and if it is not the same word it would also be facinating for an analysis of how it could have been "borrowed" in either direction.

The Derbyshire phrase could of course have an origin far predating the use of "Old English" in the area of Derbyshire. Compagnero (talk) 17:29, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Chance coincidence. Definitely. Akerbeltz (talk) 18:43, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
What is the basis of it being definite? There are surely many unknowns?

Compagnero (talk) 19:57, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

(in a hurry) 1) no genetic link has ever been established between Basque and other IE languages and believe me, people have tried. 2) You must always, when working on an etymology, provide "motive and opportunity". Better even to work off general patterns of borrowing, not just a single word. In this case how would the word have been borrowed and most importantly, why? Also, you must never compare modern surface forms. You must go back as far as possible and compare historical forms. In this case, I very much suspect a two word origin for eyup such as hey up rather than a Basque root. Akerbeltz (talk) 22:53, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Speaker numbers[edit]

I've tidied the numbers but just in case someone is wondering about the discrepancy between the over-a-million claim and the current figure: I believe whoever added the OAM figure mistook the meaning of "passive speaker" (of whom there are 397.900) and added the two figures up, which gives you a figure of 1,063.700 "speakers". But since passive speakers don't count as speakers in such census data, I've revised them down to the figures of actual speakers. Akerbeltz (talk) 14:40, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

There is something important to mention, this number is for the 16 years old and above. A more realistic number would be closed to 800 000 people, but I did not find any recent statistics for the 16 years old and below. -- Zorion blabla 24 January 2010 13:23 (ET) —Preceding undated comment added 18:23, 24 January 2010 (UTC).
Most research doesn't include those age groups and since the Inkestak have consistently ignored that, we can use these numbers. Next one is 2010 so we'll get a better idea. Akerbeltz (talk) 16:00, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Basque not really ergative/absolutive?[edit]

I recall reading, some years ago, a paper by Larry Trask in which (if I remember correctly) he argued that Basque is not a "true" ergative/absolutive language. He analysed subordinate clauses, pronoun references, etc., and he concluded that Basque's deep structure was of a conventional subject/object variety, and that the case markings were a surface phenomenon. Does anyone else remember seeing this paper (or something like it)? If my recollection is reasonably on the mark, it would be good to track down the source and mention it in the article in some way. Richwales (talk) 22:19, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Nothing springs to mind. He only calls it the ergative in his opus magnum The History of Basque and does not debate its status. Akerbeltz (talk) 22:32, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Maybe that paragraph was in the section in which Trask speculated on how should have been pre-Basque, suggesting that Basque comes from a non-ergative language. Trask wrote this section more like a try or experiment that as a formal proposal. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 11:59, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Which, given the general tendencies of language evolution and grammaticalisation, wouldn't really be earth-shattering news... Akerbeltz (talk) 12:35, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

A popular reference: Would this be of interest?[edit]

This page is very scholarly, and so I hesitate to add a reference -- since it is a reference to a novel where the Basque country and in particular the Basque language plays something of a part. The novel "Shibumi" by Trevanian, a somewhat noted novelist, has the main character imprisoned with nothing more than some Basque language material, including a Basque dictionary. From this he learns how to speak the language, though with odd pronunciation since there was no one to teach it. He then later lives in the mountains of northern Spain, obviously Basque country. I thought it an interesting reference, but as I said, it may not commensurate with the scholarly description in this article.

Saxonthedog (talk) 22:30, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Allow me a reductio ad absurdum. Imagine such a level of references for every language (such as English, German, Russian...). BTW It looks to me too much reminiscent of the argument of Schachnovelle. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 11:08, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I must concur with Dumu but thank you for talking about it on the talk page first!! Akerbeltz (talk) 11:49, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I totally understand, no worries on that front. My only thought was that Basque country let alone the Basque language doesn't show up as a significant component of a widely distributed novel, at least not in the United States, so that it might be of interest. Something that's hardly the case with English, German or Russian. Basque is very unique and not widely known, certainly not widely spoken. But if folks want to keep the article free of such a popular culture reference, that's fine. It's unfortunate that most Americans know nothing of the Basques, or if they do, it's all about ETA and bombs. But America is not the world, so if others have more experience with such material, so that the novel is not as unique as I do, or if others think it an inappropriate addition, I totally understand. (I guess that's why I asked!) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saxonthedog (talkcontribs) 03:49, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

No problem at all. My viewpoint is that any person able to reach this article gets much more information on the Basque country and language. IMHO the Basque language should be dealt as a normal language (what it is), because there are too many people that sees it as a very odd thing, almost as if it was Martian. This "esoteric" approach has damaged the study of the Basque language (at least this is my opinion). Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:26, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Names of the language[edit]

"goes back to the Greek term ουασκωνους (ouaskōnous), an ethnonym used by Strabo"

Not correct: The Greek term in nominative is ουασκωνοι (ouaskōnoi) - ουασκωνους is the accusative ... --JFritsche (talk) 17:34, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

No, this is correct. You'll find that there are relatively few incidents of languages borrowing nominative forms, borrowing accusative/dative or other common case forms is much more frequent. Akerbeltz (talk) 17:44, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Basque phonology[edit]

Should there be an article for this topic? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bruinfan12 (talkcontribs) 15:53, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't see why there should. Oh, and please sign your talk page posts. --JorisvS (talk) 15:56, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Ok Thank you! Bruinfan12 (talk) 12:24, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't see why there shouldn't. Admittedly, it would be in need of expanding but lots of languages have separate phonology articles. I guess it depends on whether you intend to xpand it. Akerbeltz (talk) 13:16, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

aspirated consonants[edit]

I've come across several articles which apparently attribute aspirated C's to Basque, such as "Apʰara" mentioned in Aran (river). There's also "*Barrʰun(a)" at Barhoue. I don't know whether this should be explained on this article, on changed in those. — kwami (talk) 21:04, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Northern varieties often distinguish /b/ /p/ /pʰ/ but southern varieties rarely. It depends on whether we're aiming to transcribe something broadly mid-ground (in which case /pʰ/ and /rʰ/ are out or hardcore dialect. Akerbeltz (talk) 21:34, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Figures don't add up[edit]

According to the article, the Basque language "is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories (1.105.331 out of 2,589,600). Of these, 614,000 live in the Spanish part of the Basque country and the remaining 51,800 live in the French part.". This does not add up: 1,105,331 is not 25.7% of 2,589,600, nor is it the sum of 614,000 + 51,800. Shouldn't the figure be 665800? It appears to have been changed from this by An13sa on 14th June 2011 without any explanatory comment. (talk) 15:51, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Discrepancies among different versions of Wikipedia[edit]

Right now the English wiki says there are 665,000 speakers of this language (in 2006); the French and Basque versions say 775,000 (in 2008); the Spanish version gives 883,146 (also from 2006); the German version says "690,000 to 800,000". Which is it? (talk) 03:46, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

We're "right". As in, we're using the most recent reliable census data (the 2006 Sociolinguistic Inquest). The Spanish Wiki is citing the 2011 figures, the German page isn't citing any source, just a random figure vaguely in the right area. The French page cites a source which is no longer there, apparently a page on EITb (Basque radio and tv) but the figure also includes passive speakers which isn't a good idea. So overall, our figure is the most reliable unless we can find a source for the claim the French wiki makes. I'd love a figure above a million but I don't think we're quite there yet. Akerbeltz (talk) 10:15, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
PS I've just checked, the 2011 figures aren't all out yet, they're done a preliminary report on the BAC but I'd rather wait for the full report before changing figures. Looking at it, I'd say the 1m+ figure is wrong. Akerbeltz (talk) 10:23, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
The Basque Gov has just published some preliminary figures, stating that the total has just topped 850,000. I've added a note in the demographics section but not yet changed the infobox figure as that gives native speakers only and the figures published so far only give the total. I'll add the detailed new figures as soon as they're published. Akerbeltz (talk) 10:02, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

"This article needs additional citations for verification"[edit]

What is this for? The page looks accurate and with enough links, doesn't it? StasMalyga (talk) 14:24, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

I would say so too but there's always some drive by tagger who puts it back so I've given up. Akerbeltz (talk) 23:32, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
In other words, the tag is of no value to editors. Anyone who wishes such a tag should tag specific statements with {{Citation needed}}.--JorisvS (talk) 10:48, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Basque related to east coast n american languages?[edit]

Archaeological and genetic studies seem to suggest a tenuous link between Europe and the NE and E coast of N America - presumably via European bands skirting the edge of the ice shelf circa 15000 years ago and thereby heading west into N America. If this is the case, might there be links between Basque and the Native languages along the NE coast of N America? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

No, this is a bit out of reality. StasMalyga (talk) 14:02, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Although a decade or so ago there were suggestions of a genetic link, this has been dropped as more research was done. There are a couple of archaeologists still putting this forward as a hypothesis but that's all, the general feeling among archaeologists and so far as I know the unanimous opinion of geneticists is that the Native Americans came from Asia. Dougweller (talk) 14:46, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Even more importantly 15,000 years ago these people wouldn't have been "Basque" - they were not yet a nation then. These would have been primitive hunter-gatherers with the most rudimentary culture.HammerFilmFan (talk) 13:16, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
rudimentary culture? yikes, which antiquated texbook did that come from? In any case, nation or no nation they would have still spoken a language, unless you're suggesting grunts? :) Akerbeltz (talk) 15:46, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
YES, rudimentary. What history texts are YOU reading that has anything beyond extremely primitive lifestyles in 11,000 B.C.???? Sorry, doesn't fly except in fringe theories.HammerFilmFan (talk) 20:57, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Rudimentary technology, not necessarily culture. Unless by "culture" you mean a stratified society, written literature, and organized religion. — kwami (talk) 21:42, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
The only thing we know is that Basque predates IE in Westernmost Europe (or better said, descends from a language that was spoken in the general area before IEs showed up), who arrived there around 1000 BC. For all we know, Basque could have arrived there in an earlier migration, say, with agriculture c.4700 BC, or with Bronze c.2500 BC. We have no evidence it was spoken in any form in Western Europe in 15000 BC, which is what you suggest.-- (talk) 21:47, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Are dogon and Basque language related?[edit]

It would be interesting to include the hypothesis that the Basque language proceeds from Dogon. According to the news from several newspapers, a linguistic study done by James Martin, professor at the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:48, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, there are too many crackpot theories in the Hypotheses on connections with other languages section already. Not until it has become a widely accepted theory, the crazy theories connecting Basque with anything from Navajo to Martian would fill a small library. Akerbeltz (talk) 21:54, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
For what it's worth, here's an article on Martin's study (in Spanish). Mutt Lunker (talk) 16:21, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Yeurgh, another random comparison of modern forms. Honestly, some journals have NO standards. Kuia and pipil when Vasconists agree that no Basque term of any antiquity can contain initial k or p, barring onomatopoeia. Soro, a Latin loanword (solum)? <sigh> Akerbeltz (talk) 22:53, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Establishment of uniqueness.[edit]

Who was the linguist that was the first one to realize that Basque is unrelated to Indo-European? (talk) 23:38, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Good question. I don't know and a cursory glance through the literature doesn't come up with anything either. A bit of daterange manipulation on Google Scholar seems to point at the 1920/30s as the first (cf the roundabout mention as Basque being non IE in Three Etymologies in Early Celtic by LH Gray) period in which Basque is bandied around as non-IE but that's just based on what Google has in it's search engine. But I would say that that's probably right for the first period in which the scientific community considered the idea. I think the general notion that Basque is very alien to IE has probably been around for a long time, as it's obvious even to the casual observer. Akerbeltz (talk) 14:06, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Depends ... early Roman scholars recognized it, but they were not scientific by today's standards. HammerFilmFan (talk) 20:55, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Hammer, that wasn't the question. In order to recognise Basque as not being IE, the concept of IE as a linguistic family had to be recognised first and that didn't happen until the 20th century. Akerbeltz (talk) 11:05, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Issue with coherency[edit]

Under the second example in the grammar section (you buy the newspapers), the descriptions of didzidazue or whatever don't match up very well. They should be closer to duplicates of one another. Also, niri isn't introduced until explained in the following parapraph, which is confusing.

I recommend putting niri in the pronunciation link, and changing the the breakdown descpription. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:19, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Further reading and external links[edit]

So it looks like we have to have a discussion about those sections. The further reading section is clearly an arbitrary list, and I don't see how the external links conforms to our guideline. Why should we keep them as they currently stand? Thargor Orlando (talk) 19:03, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Since you nixed highly relevant links such as that to the Academy of the Basque Language, why don't you list those you have beef with and we'll deal with it that way? The list currently looks no worse than that on French language so I don't quite get you. Akerbeltz (talk) 19:22, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
That was an error on my part, I did misread what that link was saying. Looking again at what is there, my "beef" is with all of them, the one you've highlighted excluded. As for french language, I'm only currently in the middle of the letter B. I'll get to France eventually. Thargor Orlando (talk) 19:28, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Phonostatistical research[edit]

I've not removed or tagged it but this new section worries me. If I google "phonostatistical" on Google Scholar, I mostly get stuff by the same author, Tambovtsev, and on the whole, it does not seem a widely used technique. Intuitively, it would worry me as a scientific technique as it compares surface phenomena and, reading the article, seems to have made little or no effort to filter for known loanwords which would, given the relatively small corpus, skew the output. It's a bit like trying to grade the relationship between insects based on leg thickness and wing length - interesting but not obviously meaningful. I don't think this clears WP:PSTS but does anyone have other thoughts? Akerbeltz (talk) 16:25, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Deleted. No indication of why one would make such calculations, what they mean, or why they would be of interest to the reader of this article. — kwami (talk) 01:56, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
@kwami As it is indicated by Tambovtsev, the work gives very important clues about the phonetics of languages by using the method of Euclidean distance. Here are some important clues to keep the text in the article:
  1. "The structure of the frequency of occurrence of consonants in the speech sound chain" which "is a good clue of understanding the typological closeness of languages."
  2. "It is interesting to compare how the computer and how different linguists place them in different language families and super-families."
  3. Because "... consonants bear the semantic load in the word, not vowels ... it is more possible to understand the meaning of the message by consonants, rather by vowels."
They have chosen Basque because...
4."... Basque as well as Japanese, Korean, Ainu, Burushaski, Nivh (Gilyak), Yukaghir are considered to be isolated languages, i.e. languages that do not belong to the known language families."
Furthermore Tambovtsev and his team believe...
5."... that under the circumstances even some traits and hints from the typological point may help to find the languages genetically related to Basque (Tambovtsev, 2001: 83-85)." and that "the chosen features" appear "to be the >> most informative << from the phonetic point of view."
And here comes the most important clue:
6."As a conclusion, we can say that the phonostatistical distances >> allow us to find out how similar Basque is to the other world languages << under investigation."
@Akerbeltz What is your opinion on this issue, except WP:PSTS :) ? Talgatov (talk) 12:34, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
I think it's bordering on pseudo-science, I'm afraid. Many techniques in science can be applied in other areas and give us interesting insights but that has to be done with great care and sensitivity to the subject areas in question. To begin with, as I already stated, comparing such phonetic corpora MUST filter out known loanwords in all languages being compared. There seems to have been no effort at doing so. Given the small corpus, the presence of common Romance borrowings in Basque and, for the same of argument, Chinese loanwords in Korean (which are *very* common, between ~20% (speech) and 60% (overall count), which is very bad news for such a project) will skew the result. He's also comparing modern sound inventories rather than the earliest known inventories. For example, modern Basque has <m> but we know this is an innovation which was not present in older forms of Basque. This will make Basque seem x degrees closer to Ainu which has <m> too. There also seems no effort at differentiating initial, medial and final position. There is also NO indication that they actually compared phonemes across all these languages as opposed to letters - some of the languages involve rather complex letter-to-sound rules. And last but not least, it is FULL of typos which doesn't fill me with confidence either in the author or the publication which allowed such careless mistakes to be published. Akerbeltz (talk) 12:50, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your appreciation on this issue. Interesting publication, but it's rather still in a baby-phase. I thinks it need more attention by other scientists, too, be it inter- or intradisciplinary. With regards. Talgatov (talk) 13:00, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

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This paper at says Basque is Niger Congo and very close to the Siwu or Akpafu language and Niger-Congo. [[6]].Do you think this is true? To me, this seems totally false! —User:Alexlatham96

That is a fringe theory not even notable, so WP:NFRINGE applies. Should not even be mentioned in the article. --Xabier Armendaritz(talk) 08:39, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Basque is a Indo European languge[edit]

As its in Western Europe and uses Latin Letters the Basque Language is a Indo European languge — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:30, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Those characteristics have no relation with classifying a language as Indo-European. Please read the article on Indo-European languages. You'll see that Basque is not one of them. --Xabier Armendaritz(talk) 06:02, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

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What does it mean to say that the Basque language is "ancestral" to the Basque people? --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 18:48, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Fair point, I tweaked it. Akerbeltz (talk) 12:57, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Chicago Sun Times, March 9, 2008