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Gobierno de Navarra

Workshop 6: The itinerary of dialectology in relationship with neighbouring disciplines


Iñaki Camino (UPV/EHU)


Dialectology is part of linguistics, but its relationship with ethnography has also been relevant in the 20th century and its significant link with philology must not be forgotten. As has happened in other traditions, dialectology in the Basque Country has had a close relationship with the history of the language, with the work of Koldo Mitxelena bearing witness. But since the 1980s, synchronist trends have gained significant weight in the presentation and study of the dialects of the Basque language. Therefore, in the 21st century Basque dialectology has leant towards a return to diachronic analysis. A lot of work remains to be done, however, and, beyond the objectives of the study, a productive discussion between experts about the methods being used to conduct research is essential. 

Meanwhile, many local varieties do not have much of a future in our territory. Consequently, it is necessary to initiate field work compiling them in the Basque Autonomous Community, Navarre and the French Basque Country, because the traditional varieties of some regions will last no longer than one or two decades in the mouths of competent Basque speakers. There can be no doubt that work like this will shed light on the importance of sociolinguistic work and its conditions.

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