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Basque and Proto-Basque

Language-Internal and Typological Approaches to Linguistic Reconstruction

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Mikel Martinez Areta

This volume is an attempt to expound the current state of research into the past of the Basque language. This research has experienced two kinds of advance in recent years. First, more written records have been discovered, and the ones that we already knew have been more deeply studied. Second, since the 70s cross-linguistic typology has made huge progress in our knowledge of linguistic universals and grammaticalization paths. The purpose of this volume is precisely to provide an outline, comprehensible for Bascologists and diachronic typologists alike, of how these two aspects can help us to reconstruct, within the limits permitted by the principles of diachronic research, the main linguistic features of Common Basque (ca. 5th-6th cc. AD), Proto-Basque (ca. 3rd-1st cc. BC), and Pre-Proto-Basque.

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6. Noun Morphology

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Ekaitz Santazilia (Public University of Navarre, UPNA/NUP / University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU) 6.1. Introduction* This chapter deals with the functioning and grammaticalization of the Basque case system, including the marking of determination and number in the noun phrase. First, I present a synchronic description of that system, and later I ana- lyze the data from a diachronic perspective, summarizing the different hypothe- ses proposed by Bascologists, adding to these the latest contributions, and giving an account of the most recent avenues for research. 6.2. Description of today’s Basque noun declension system The Basque noun phrase presents a canonical structure which can be linearly represented in the way shown in Figure 6.1.1 Det.1 Noun Adjective Det.2 Number Case2 Figure 6.1. Canonical structure of the Basque NP As can be observed in (1a), it is the whole noun phrase that is marked for number and case in Basque, the morpheme being attached to the end of the * I wish to thank Maider Bedaxagar, Iván Igartua, Joseba Lakarra, Mikel Martínez-Areta and Patxi Salaberri-Zaratiegi for their interesting comments on previous versions of this work, and Mikel Martínez-Areta for translating the text. The work has been carried out thanks to the Grants for the Training of Researchers funded by the Basque Government (BFI-2010-221), to the Basque Government’s consolidated research group “Historia de la Lengua Vasca y Lingüística Histórico-Comparada” (HLMV-LHC), Ref. GIC 10/83, IT 486-10, and to the Formation and Research Unit LingTeDi (UFI11/14) of the UPV/EHU. 1 In...

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