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International day of Basque Language

Event Type
Department of Spanish & Portuguese and Etxepare Institutua
Lucy Ellis
Nov 30, 2023   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
Originating Calendar
Spanish and Portuguese Calendar

Speaker: Ander Beristain, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics at Saint Louis University 

 Talk title: “Basque dialectology in the contemporary world: New speech communities and patterns” 

 Abstract: The Basque language has intrigued linguists over the course of many decades. The way in which this language isolate has developed and shown dialectal variability has allowed for a better understanding of linguistic evolution, as many local varieties exhibit linguistic differences even between neighboring towns. Among other things, this was possible because of the geographical barriers and lack of interaction between them (Zuazo, 2008). However, the contemporary landscape presents a different scenario; Hualde and Beristain (2018) point out that environment has switched substantially over the last decades because of advancements and changes in transportation and communication, which has increased linguistic and dialectal contact. Furthermore, the depiction of the ‘traditional’ Basque speaker in earlier research was characterized by possessing very little knowledge of Spanish. This no longer aligns with the present linguistic context; there is a high level of bilingualism in the Basque Country because of the co-official status of both Spanish and Basque and the various initiatives and improvements in the educational system (Cenoz, 2009). In this talk, I will present findings from recent studies (Beristain 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022) providing evidence for emerging speech patterns and diverse bilingual groups that had not been attested previously. It is my hope that future studies involving Basque speakers will incorporate this variability and diversity in their research process. 

Hybrid Zoom info:

Meeting ID: 852 6715 1744

Password: 322349

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