Basque

Print

A language of Spain

Alternate Names
Euska, Euskara, Euskera, Euskerie, “Vascuense” (pej.)
Population

468,000 in Spain (European Commission 2012). 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. Total users in all countries: 545,800.

Location

País Vasco autonomous community: Alava, Bizkaia, and Gipuzkoa provinces; Navarra autonomous region.

Language Status

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

Dialects

Middle Basque (Gipuzkera, Gipuzkoan, Guipuzcoan, Guipuzcoano), South High Navarrese (Alto Navarro Meridional, Hegoaldeko goi nafarrera, High Navarrese, Upper Navarran), Western Basque (Biscayan, Mendebaldeko euskalkia, Vizcaino), Eastern Navarrese (Ekialdeko nafarrera, Roncalese), Alavan (Arabar euskalkia). Some inherent intelligibility among regional varieties except Souletin. Regional varieties sometimes preferred for oral use, but strong desire for Batua unified standard. The Alavan, Eastern Navarrese and South High Navarrese dialects are all extinct (2015 B. Garaio).

Typology

SOV; postpositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; question word initial; verb affix gender agreement obligatory; prefix marks causative; comparative shown lexically; case-marking (12 cases); verb affixes mark person, number, object; tense; 24 consonants, 5 vowels, 6 diphthongs; non-tonal.

Language Use

All ages. Also use Spanish [spa].

Language Development
Fully developed. Bible: 1855–1998.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

‘Euskadi’ is name of Basque region, not the language. Christian.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All
Free Views Left: