The Basque language or, as the Basque people say, “Euskara,” is the only isolated language in Europe and is spoken in the Basque Country on the border between Spain and France by less than one million people. The majority of Basque speakers live in the Hispanic community Autónoma Vasca in the center of the Basque Country. A few others live in Navarre and in the three departments of French Pyrenees Labourd, Basse Navarre, and Soule.
The Basque language is comprised of ten total dialects. Those on the Spanish side are Salazarese, Gipuzkoan, Biscayan, Upper Navarrese, and Roncalese. On the French side, there are Zuberoan, Cizain, Mixain, Lapurdian, and Eastern and Western Lower Navarrese. The governmental status of Basque is not uniform on the federal or district levels. In some regions, the language has official status, but not in others.Instant quote
Compared to other European languages, Basque comes across as rather unique. For this reason, the interest received quite early in the field of linguistics is not surprising. Even though Basque was subject to Roman curiosities during the time of the Roman empire, the origin of this language remains unknown. What’s peculiar about the Basque language is the preservation of such a unique morphology and vocabulary.
Some English and Romance words have made their way into Basque through technical terminology. Conversely, only a few Basque words can be found in other languages.Instant quote
The Basque language is characterized by a highly agglutinative word structure, which can be found in Hungarian or Turkish, for example. There is also no grammatical gendering. The most difficult aspect of Basque grammar is the lack of abstract nouns.
Modern linguistics remain unable to explain a number of peculiarities of the Basque language. For example, the language has a word for every specific type of tree found in the Basque Country but no term for the word, “tree.” Therefore, Basque is rather unusual for speakers of other European languages.
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