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Hardcover | $106.00 Short | £91.95 | 1408 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 1 fig illus. | November 2007 | ISBN: 9780262042420
eBook | $74.00 Short | November 2007 | ISBN: 9780262251426

Standard Basque

A Progressive Grammar


A pre-Indo-European language with no known relatives, the Basque language survives in the Basque region of Spain and France, with about half a million native or near-native speakers. The local diversity of the language, with no fewer than eight different dialects, has hindered the development of a supradialectical written tradition. Twentieth-century Basque scholars recognized that the introduction of a standard language for written communication was vital for the continued existence of Basque, and the Euskaltzaindia, the Royal Academy of the Basque Language, has supervised the creation of a new shared form, Euskara Batua (“Unified Basque”), to be used as a written standard. Standard Basque: A Progressive Grammar is the first modern pedagogically oriented reference grammar in English for this new standard language. It guides the reader progressively through 33 chapters covering topics that range from orthography and pronunciation to case endings, verb forms, ergativity, and the antipassive and allocutive forms. In addition to information on the various dialects, the book includes thousands of example sentences drawn from Basque literature and extensive vocabulary listings. Most chapters conclude with exercises. Part 1 covers the grammar and Part 2 contains glosses for the example sentences and indexes. Rudolf P. G. de Rijk (1937-2003) brought the study of the Basque language into the generative syntax tradition with his MIT Ph.D. dissertation on Basque relative clauses in 1972. He taught at Leiden University in the Netherlands until his retirement in 2002. This book was prepared for publication after the author’s death by Virginia de Rijk-Chan with Armand De Coene and Fleur Veraart and the assistance of linguists at Cornell University, Leiden University, and the University of the Basque Country. The glosses and supplementary material in Part 2 were prepared by Armand De Coene.