Basque

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A language of Spain

Alternate Names
Euskara, Euskera, Vascuense
Population

468,000 in Spain (ELDIA 2012). Population total all countries: 545,872. Ethnic population: 2,000,000 residents of 3 provinces of Basque territory; 25% born outside territory, 40% in territory born to Basque parents. 4,400,000 in Spain have Basque surname; 19% live in Basque country.

Location

France-Spain border, 3 Basque provinces: Alava, Bizkaia, and Gipuzkoa of Autonomous Basque Community; north central Spain, north Autonomous Region of Navarra.

Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in Basque Country Autonomous Community (1979, Basque Country Autonomous Community Act 3, 1979, Article 6.1).

Dialects

Alavan, Alto Navarro Meridional, Alto Navarro Septentrional (High Navarrese, Upper Navarran), Biscayan (Vizcaino), Gipuzkera (Gipuzkoan, Guipuzcoan, Guipuzcoano), Roncalese. Some inherent intelligibility among regional varieties except Souletin. Regional varieties sometimes preferred for oral use, but strong desire for Batua unified standard.

Typology

SOV; prepositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; question word initial; verb affix gender agreement obligatory; prefix marks causative; comparative shown lexically.

Language Use

All ages. Also use Spanish [spa].

Language Development
Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1855–1998.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

‘Euskadi’ is name of Basque region, not the language. Alavan no longer spoken. Christian.

Also spoken in:

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