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Gobierno de Navarra

Workshop 9: «The study of the history of Basque can be an example to the study of other isolated languages» and we hadn't realised it?

Directors

Joseba A. Lakarra (UPV/EHU)

Céline Mounole (Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, IKER UMR5478)

Description

After decades and even centuries of fruitless search for kinship, the scientific age of the historical grammar of the Basque language dawned in the 1950s, with the dissemination of the paradigm of Martinet’s pioneering work and subsequent Mitxelena’s excellent research in various domains.     

The next decade began with the first publication of Fonética Histórica Vasca, immediately followed by its close relatives Lenguas y Protolenguas (1963), Sobre el pasado de la lengua vasca (1964) and Textos arcaicos vascos (1964). The Mitxelenian paradigm builds on these, but, from the very outset (1950, 1956...) until his death (1987), the author addressed the fundaments of and advances in philology and diachrony, especially after realising, around 1970, that mixed reconstruction, which aimed to shed light on ancient vocabulary on the basis of loans, was completely or almost exhausted.

In this workshop, we want to work on aspects of the diachrony of Basque mentioned above —in phonology, morphosyntax and the lexicon—, and others related to them: loan words, old lexicon, (internal) reconstruction, chronology, the need for philology and the most up-to-date linguistic theory, typology, grammaticalisation, etymology…

All these issues are as such interesting and fundamental to the work of diachronists. Here we would like to reflect on them because of the power they (can) provide the diachronist with in search of more effective tools which would bring more accurate and deeper explanation of the evolution of the language. The quote by Campbell and the history of the field show us that it might be the most fruitful approach to achieve our goals.

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