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Basque and Proto-Basque

Language-Internal and Typological Approaches to Linguistic Reconstruction


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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9. Finite Verbal Morphology


Borja Ariztimuño (University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU) 9.1. Introduction* In this chapter, I give an overview of the Basque finite verb, from both a syn- chronic and a diachronic point of view. Since the Basque language has a rather peculiar verb conjugation (at least from the point of view of the other European languages), I should specify that here I shall analyze on one hand the (somewhat marginal) synthetic conjugation, and on the other hand the finite verbal forms of periphrastic constructions, i.e. auxiliaries (the synthetic origin of which is gener- ally assumed). This chapter, then, is closely related to the previous one (§8. “Non-Finite Verbal Morphology”), to the extent that it is there that the peri- phrastic constructions are studied, which include the finite verbal forms con- tained in them (see also HB: 218-236, GB: 195-323, de Rijk 2008). 9.2. Background and brief description 9.2.1. Previous works Whenever the Basque language is mentioned, one of the topics most frequently referred to is its verb morphology. This area has been studied by most scholars who have worked on Basque, and quoting Trask we can say, at least from the point of view of the Indo-European languages, that Basque verbal morphology is “remarkably rich” and “has often seemed rather exotic”.1 * The research presented in this work is funded by a Predoctoral Grant of the Basque Gov- ernment [BFI 2009-236], and has been carried out within the Training and Research Unit UFI11/14 of the University of the Basque Country...

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