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EUSKARA - The Language of the Basque People

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Author Topic: EUSKARA - The Language of the Basque People  (Read 2518 times)
Bianca
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« on: November 28, 2008, 09:32:07 am »


               

               An example of Basque lettering in a funerary stela.









Writing system


 
Basque is written using the Latin alphabet. The universal special letter is ; sometimes and are also used. Basque does not use Cc, Qq, Vv, Ww, Yy except for loanwords; nevertheless, the adopted Basque alphabet (established by Euskaltzaindia) does include them.



Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

The phonetically meaningful digraphs dd, ll, rr, ts, tt, tx, tz are treated as double letters.



All letters and digraphs represent unique phonemes. The main exception is when l or n are preceded by i, that in most dialects palatalizes their sound into /ʎ/ and /ɲ/, even if these are not written. Hence, Ikurria can also be written Ikurrina without changing the sound, while the proper name Ainhoa requires the mute h to break the palatalization of the n.

H is mute in most regions, but in the Northeast is pronounced in many places, the main reason for its existence in the Basque alphabet. Its acceptance was a matter of contention during the standardization since the speakers of the most extended dialects had to learn where to place these silent h's.




The letters of the alphabet in a Basque style font.





In Sabino Arana's (1865-1903) orthography, ll and rr were replaced with ĺ and ŕ, respectively.

A typically Basque style of lettering is sometimes used for inscriptions. It derives from the work of stone and
wood carvers and is characterized by thick serifs.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 09:38:37 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


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