Basque

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A language of Spain

Alternate Names
Euskara, Euskera, Vascuense
Population

580,000 in Spain (Trask 1997). 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. Population total all countries: 657,872.

Location

France-Spain border, 3 Basque provinces: Alava, Bizkaia, and Gipuzkoa of Autonomous Basque Community; north central Spain, north Autonomous Region of Navarra. Also in Australia, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Philippines, United States.

Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in Basque Country AC (1979, Basque Country AC 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.
Other Comments

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

Also spoken in:

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