Talk:Basque language

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Undue Weight?[edit]

Am I the only one who feels that Forni's arguments are given undue weight? I've done a background check and he is not a professional linguist, he is an admitted hobbyist. Not to mention the fact that his hypotheses completely contradicts the basic foundations of historical linguistics. The other theories have their detractors (obviously they can't all be true) but here proposed by actual linguists (albeit not always in the relevant sub-field). His appearance in the JEIS was basically a stunt meant to disprove his claims, it's his only published work in an English-language academic journal. Debunking his claims just tells us what we already knew, I don't really see the point in keeping him in the article. MToumbola (talk) 17:33, 7 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's a bit of a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't one with that section. The problem is that ever since Basque caught the attention of philologists, there have been countless attempts to tie it to this, that or the next thing. The moment you remove it, it'll boomerang back.
Having said that, perhaps we could keep the sections, like the one on IE, and write them in a more general way without giving weight to individual crackpots other than perhaps as a source i.e. remove Forni from the text but keep the ref? Akerbeltz (talk) 20:45, 7 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Might it make sense to relegate all of the theories to the History of the Basque language article, where, relatively speaking, their weight would be less undue than it is in the main article about the language? It's weird to give them not only more prominence here than there, but to give them prominence only here and not mention to them there. Largoplazo (talk) 22:06, 7 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Come to think of it, it doesn't even make sense that the "main article" about the language's history has no more lines of text than the history section here does even if we ignore the hypotheses subsection. When a section points to a "main article", the point is supposed to be that the full coverage is at the "main article" and the section should be only a summary, at a higher level and/or feature only highlights. Largoplazo (talk) 22:12, 7 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, it's difficult to say much about the history of a language isolate :D Anyway, other language articles (Sumerian language, Burushaski) for isolates have classification attempts in the main article. I actually think it would be worse to have this on the 'history' page because it would suggest hat these - mostly crazy - attempts at classification are part of its history. But I do think that we could reduce the length of each section broadly in line with how Sumerian language presents this data i.e. name the proposed affiliation + link to proponent (if they have a bio page) + ref and leave it with the general statement that these are all refuted by mainstream linguists. Akerbeltz (talk) 10:05, 8 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is no History of the Sumerian language or History of Burushaski, so in the absence of an article split, any theory about their origins would have to be in the top-level articles. In this case, there is a history article, so that's where details about history would logically go. I don't see that we're giving any less of a sense that those conjectures are part of the language's history by including them in a history section instead of in a history article. Even if they're crackpot conjectures, the language's history is what they're crackpot conjectures about! It doesn't make sense to include information that falls into a subtopic in an article on the general topic but not in an existing article about the subtopic. Largoplazo (talk) 10:15, 8 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm actually not sure that History of the Basque language page wouldn't be better off being merged into this article. Most of the (relatively few) History of language X pages (History of the Irish language, History of the Welsh language, History of French) cover really well documented languages but in many cases, like Japanese or Chinese, there's not even a single History of X page but it's split off by period like Middle Chinese and Old Chinese. We're not ever going to have enough material to turn History of the Basque language into anything beyond a stub because the material we do have is to all intents and purposes modern Basque and further back, there's nothing except for Aquitanian which is covered on the Aquitanian language page.

I also note that the closest match to a language difficult to classify would be Japanese and that various attempts at classification are not covered by History of the Japanese Language but a fairly specific Classification of the Japonic languages. Maybe User:Iñaki_LL can shed some light on what the intention behind that page was? Maybe I missed something. Akerbeltz (talk) 15:48, 8 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I wouldn't disagree with merging the history article here. It is definitely awfully short to have been spun off into a separate article. Conversely, there's such a thing as spinning off a section precisely to serve as a focus for fringe theory enthusiasts and to deter them from the top-level article. Largoplazo (talk) 16:13, 8 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we should seriously consider an article Hypotheses about the classification of Basque (or whatever we may call it, as long as its not a monstrosity such as Alternative theories of Hungarian language origins). @Largoplazo: Not as a magnet and dumping ground (or more positively: a diversion strategy) for fringe amateur crap like Basque-Dogon, but as an earnest reflection of long-range hypotheses put forward by the leading figures among long-range comparatist. Of course, this should be done with all necessary caveats and an overall emphasis on the mainstream view that rejects these hypotheses. Sure, it will not be easy to write a good article about it, and it will be hard enough afterwards to shepherd it from drive-by additions of fluff. Just an idea.
As for the IE connection mentioned in this present article, Forni is given to much room both in the prose and in the citekill from scholars rejecting his position. This is clearly undue, also when we consider the much more detailed effort by Blevins (2018). @Akerbeltz: We have talked about this book before, and agreed then that it was premature to include mention of an unreviewed hypothesis. In the meantime, I have found a lengthy review by Peter Bakker. Bakker calls the book "a brilliant endeavor" and "without doubt one of the best argued cases for a link of Basque with other languages", but at the same time concludes "that the case is not proven". Blevins is an eminent scholar; admittedly, her efforts in historical linguistics were not always fortunate (cf. Austronesian–Ongan languages), but maybe time is ripe to add at least a brief mention of Blevins's proposal here. –Austronesier (talk) 16:47, 8 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi, I have been called here, so here we go. Not my intention to dwell on Forni, which I do not know really. Hypotheses on Basque and its history are very different things. My initial intent was to develop the article, which can easily go beyond 100,000 bytes, considering its history, both internal and external. However, for the time being that will not happen, as far as I am concerned. Regards Iñaki LL (talk) 19:50, 8 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Iñaki. Perhaps we should merge it back into the main article for now until someone has time to do something more significant? About Hypotheses about the classification of Basque my main worry would be that there are few enough people watching Basque articles and that such a page would be watched by fewer than this page and attract significantly more crackpots, resulting either in a bad article or the same names having to police yet another page. Especially if something similar has happened to the Hungarian page, a language that must have quite a few more editors following it than Basque pages. Are we at risk of making rope to hang ourselves? ;) Akerbeltz (talk) 10:52, 9 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the article on the history of Basque is pretty inoffensive, and could provide some grounds for further development, but will not oppose any move if the article is seen as a nuisance or not functional. Regards Iñaki LL (talk) 08:51, 10 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think it's a nuisance or offensive at all :) It's just a bit small and forlorn and purely based on that, I'm not sure if it requires its own page. Akerbeltz (talk) 11:03, 10 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
'Forni... is not a professional linguist, he is an admitted hobbyist' - then why discuss him at all? All that matters are what scholarly linguists state. (talk) 20:17, 11 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Young infiltration hypothesis.[edit]

Couldn't Basque idiom have been brought by one of the tribes in the multy-language Magyar tribal confederation or something like that? -- (talk) 16:17, 4 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In a word, no. Akerbeltz (talk) 16:28, 4 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Has anyone ever tried to look for clues that could point to Basque being of Early Bronze-age European steppe (R1b-M269, WSH) origin?

Hello. Wikipedia article talk pages are reserved for discussion of ways to improve the article, not for general conversation about their subject. Please see WP:NOTFORUM. Largoplazo (talk) 09:44, 2 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hand of Irulegi - Earliest Basque inscription[edit]

An interesting discovery was made in January 2022, but only reported today, stating that the earliest inscription in Basque has been dated to the first century B.C., and speculates on potential connections to the Iberian language. [1] [2] Culloty82 (talk) 20:13, 14 November 2022 (UTC) Culloty82 (talk) 20:13, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hm yes, it's an important find but I think, given we can't read most of it and only have a single word that admittedly looks a lot like a Basque word, it's a bit premature to call this a Basque text. The state we're at, for all we know it may be a Basque loanword in Iberian (think of how the word benedictus has made it into languages like Irish in the form of beannacht in the wake of Christianity. Akerbeltz (talk) 22:46, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Can any linguist bet his head that the ancestor of Basque language was present in Western Europe before Late Neolithic? "Late Neolithic and later are IE times" is not a linguistic arguement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:53, 30 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this related to anything that is currently mentioned in the article or that needs to be added to it? Otherwise, please see WP:NOTFORUM. –Austronesier (talk) 20:27, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Video is messed up[edit]

The "Euskara iparraldean" video in the "Demographics" section loses sound about a minute in. It might be a poor recording or it might be fixable, but that's beyond my humble skill. Anyone who knows anything about these sort of things should take a look at it. Gamle Kvitrafn (talk) 18:47, 8 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It plays fine for me all the way through, maybe you were on a slow connection and had a buffering issue? Akerbeltz (talk) 11:16, 1 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems ok to me. In the last minute the sound does drop down somewhat and sounds like it's off in the distance compared to the first part of the tape - but still totally audible. It may be that if the sound on the device you're using is not strong that bit may be problematic. DeCausa (talk) 11:45, 1 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Map not supported by source?[edit]

The map made and added by user User:Enekorga [1] is very helpful indeed for an overview of where Basque is spoken and where the strongholds of the language are. For all the municipalities on the Spanish side, everything seems entirely accurate. Enekorga provides the sources, and they detail the how many speak Basque per municipality. Big thanks to Enekorga for creating a map to show all data! My concern is with Iparralde, the French side. The source given was a telephone survey that did give indications of language use for Lapurdi, Behe Nafarroa and Zuberroa - but despite going through it in detail, I can find no data per municipality nor even any indication that such was collected. As the map is so useful, I hope we can keep it. That would require a source of the data from Iparralde actually containing the data used. If Enekorga or anyone else know of such a source and can add it, that's great. In the absence of such a source, the map might be seen to violate WP:OR. Rather than tagging it, not to mention removing it (neither of which I want), I hope we can simply find and add the proper source. (Apart from Enekorga, also tagging User:Akerbeltz, User:Austronesier, User:Ksarasola and User:DeCausa (active contributors) as it's my wish to find a source to keep the very useful map in the article). Jeppiz (talk) 12:36, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My guess is that Enekorga has access to the raw data. I have a copy of the 2nd Linguistic Survey of the Basque Country (I think the last one where they published both a short and a long version) and it has down-to-the-district data. It may just be that Enekorga wasn't entirely sure how to reference a data source that isn't published? Not sure I would know how to reference that myself :) Akerbeltz (talk) 16:32, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Surely, an unpublished source shouldn't be referenced. It won't be WP:RS. DeCausa (talk) 18:17, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Akerbeltz, it's possible Enekorga has raw data, but as DeCausa already wrote, that would not meet WP:RS. The data should be verifiable, and at the moment it is not. I really hope Enekorga (or anyone else) can provide the data so we can keep the map. There's no hurry, but in the absence of any source/data in the next few days, the correct procedure will be remove the map pending data to support it. Jeppiz (talk) 20:13, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
PS I left a comment on Enekorga's page on Basque wikipedia about this discussion [2] Jeppiz (talk) 20:34, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi everybody,
the data for Iparralde does come from the cited source. The precise document I used was actually online, but I guess it must not be accessible anymore. Still, there is this tool created by Udalbiltza called Euskal Herriari Begira which takes back the same data from the Office public de la langue basque and is actually available online as of today, in case that would suit you.
The website does not show exclusively that data, there is a lot more about various topics. The one I am referring to is named Euskararen ezagutza tasa (%) and is found under Tokiko nortasunaren bizitasuna. However, I must warn you that the scale used for the displayed map is somewhat different to the one used on my map, since I decided to use the same scale of the precedent map. Still, the numeric data, which I think is the thing that you are more interested in, can also be found on the website.
I hope this helps. Enekorga (talk) 18:41, 12 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Milesker ainitz, that is very helpful. Thanks again for your great contributions to Wikipedia! Jeppiz (talk) 00:44, 13 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shameless editors[edit]

You don't care about the truth. A native Gipuzkera Basque speaker, added a LINK with evidence proving tt is extremely common in both Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia and that the DD sound is very much used there and you choose to silence an actual euskalduna. SHAME ON YOU. (talk) 20:30, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

here the tt sound all over Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa (talk) 20:34, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Map not supported by source? how dare you??? That map was created by the Euskaltzaindia! (talk) 20:39, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. Have you heard that meme before? In Wikipedia we have a very important policy called No original research. That means we must not take account of the personal knowledge of anyone who tries to edit Wikipedia because it is impossible to know whether or not they have real expertise. Instead, we only accept verifiable information. This is explained in this policy: WP:V. The most important aspect of this is that what is written here should be supported by reliable sources which are defined here: WP:RS and these should be cited. You are trying to replace information that is cited to reliable sources with your own knowledge and alternative sources. That is why you have been reverted. If you want to change what is written in the article (and you can do that) you need to persuade other people editing this page that:
  • existing information and the cited sources are incorrect
  • you have reliable sources that make it clear it is incorrect
  • the sources you cite are more reliable than the existing sources
This is a collaborative project an changes are only made with consensus agreement. The onus is on the person wanting to make the change to persuade everyone else. You will find that editors here are happy to change incorrect information if you present the evidence on this talk page. What they will not do is change the article just because you say it should be changed. I hope this leads you to understand Wikipedia better. Please therefore compare the sources you are putting forward and explain why they should be followed rather than the existing sources. Please avoid arguments that are based on your personal knowledge. Please also do not insult other people editing here. We have a very strict policy of No personal attacks and if you continue to attack other editors you will be blocked. DeCausa (talk) 20:49, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's a euskaltzandia page, with a map in which the word "aita" pronounce either atta or atte is ALL OVER GIPUZKOA AND BIZKAIA. the nerve you have! (talk) 20:54, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will always defend my language, you're the ones acting like you know better and ignoring information, do as you wish, you've proven how little you care about the Basque language already. Your ego is more importan than actual facts. I'd certainty be ashamed. (talk) 20:56, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The tldr version of my previous post is no one cares what you think unless you are prepared to understand and comply with Wikipedia policy. DeCausa (talk) 20:58, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not about what I think. I most definitely provided evidence that you're willingly choosing to ignore. (talk) 21:02, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Imagine the frustration you'd feel if someone were spreading misinformation about your language, and completely ignoring evidence you're presenting. Evidence from an official academic language regulatory institution. Of course I'm upset because it's absolutely outrageous. (talk) 21:00, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Stop lying about it too! my argument is based on the Euskaltzaindia! Not simply "personal experience"! (talk) 21:05, 11 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're blocking a legit correction backed up by the Euskaltzaindia and still think you are in the right. That level of ego is beyond my comprehension. 2A0C:5A80:1307:EA00:191:668C:FF76:59AA (talk) 21:09, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mesedez, can we calm this down? :) So let's see what the article says In the Gipuzkoan and Biscayan dialects tt is often pronounced the same as tx, that is, as [tʃ], and dd does not exist.

So to begin with, it does not state that tt does not exist, it merely states that where tt may be expected, it is often realized as tx. It also states that (according to de Rijk), dd does not exist in Gipuzkoan and Biscayan.

Formalities first, the Euskaltzaindia uses non-standard IPA dd instead of [c] and tt instead of [ɟ] (NB this is not criticism, I'm merely clarifying so we're all on the same sheet, because [atta] in pure IPA means something else). Also, to locate items with a particular letter sequence, wildcards can be used in the Zer field e.g. *dd* to find words containing dd.

Let's do the easy one first: dd. This is not easy to pin down in the Atlas. We might expect it in onddo 'mushroom' but here we find the Euskaltzaindia data backs up de Rijk, onddo is realised as ondo in G and B. I can't find any other items with dd which would contradict that but I haven't looked at all.

For tt, the picture is more complex, there are clearly things going on that govern where tt appears as [c] in G and B which are beyond my ken. Yes, there is the aita map but this data shows that tt is realized as [ɟ] in aita in parts of G and B, but it does NOT state that tt is never realized as tx.

The main problem is that by and large, tt and dd are the result of palatalising t and d and while in some words these forms are the citation forms (e.g. Maddalen, onddo), such words are rare (especially with tt) and as a result it's really hard to pin down where an organic (for the want of a better word) tt is realised as [ɟ] and there it is tx.

Where we're talking active palatalization i.e. a word with underlying t being realised as tt or tx, the picture is very mixed. The inflected verb ditu in G and B largely is realized as dittu but note also the tx in part of B. At the same time, tortola > ttorttola does NOT appear to appear in G and B at all, nor with tanta/ttantta/txanta Ignoring the fact that what I just did may be argued as being OR, I think it's safe to say that the source is clearly correct regarding dd in G and B. Regarding tt, while the picture is much more complicated, it would be difficult to argue using the Atlas data that "tt realized as tx" is incorrect in a lot of cases. But I stress again that de Rijk doesn't say tt is absent in G and B, just that it CAN often be heard as tx. Akerbeltz (talk) 12:37, 13 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ttantto is extremely common in gipuzkera Basque and so is atta, attona, ze ittezu (egiten duzu). No shame at all... 2A0C:5A80:1307:EA00:191:668C:FF76:59AA (talk) 21:06, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

2021 Sociolinguistic Survey results[edit]

I cannot read Basque, but it appears 680,629 (36.2%) of population in the Basque Autonomous Community claim to speak Basque, with a further 18% stating they are passive speakers: Culloty82 (talk) 12:41, 9 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tt sound[edit]

As a native gipuzkera speaker, the VAST majority of gipuzkera subdialects do have a tt sound very clearly distinguished from tx and dd also does exist. It's an absolute disgrace you will not allow me and many others to correct that. Shame on all of you. 2A0C:5A80:1307:EA00:191:668C:FF76:59AA (talk) 21:04, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's an absolute disgrace that Wikipedia isn't left to being a collection of claims that thousands of anonymous users make, all accepted just because they say so? If you're correct and it's documented in a reliable source, then you need only provide such a source. If there isn't any, then it's going to have to remain one of the many true things that aren't covered here because the alternative would be also to allow millions of falsehoods. Largoplazo (talk) 23:53, 24 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Steppe hypothesis[edit]

We now know that the Basques have one of the highest Steppe migrant Y-DNA - almost 100%. Did anyone address the Basque language in this regard? Did anyone try to analize it on the possibility of it being a Steppe language, searching for Steppe traits in it, like Indo-European has been studied? -- (talk) 15:26, 30 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]