The Usko-Mediterranean Languages

  • A. Arnaiz-Villena
  • J. Alonso-García


Basque language is the only old isolate language in western Europe that is currently spoken by 22,74% of the 2,828,947 inhabitants of the Basque area (Figure 1) (Intxansti 1992). Most of the Basque area is nowadays included in Spain and the several northern (French part) and southern (Spanish part) dialects were unified in what is now known as the Batua Basque. It has been shown that the Basque and the Aquitane (a language once spoken in most of western France, from Loire River towards the South) are related (Gorroiategui 1984). On the other hand, the ancient language spoken in Iberia (Iberian-Tartesian) has been proposed to be the precursor to the Basque language by several authors since the XV century, including Wilhem von Humboldt (Intxansti 1992). However, the current scholarly trend is to deny any relationship between ancient Iberian and Basque languages. However, recently, evidence has been uncovered showing that Iberian-Tartesian, Etruscan and Minoan Linear A (Pouliamos 1969, ArnaizVillena and Alonso-García 1998, 1999) may be reasonably deciphered from the Basque-Spanish translation. Also, Sumerian similarities were found (ArnaizVillena and Alonso-García 1998). On the other hand, Basque has now been classified within the Dene-Caucasian group of languages (Ruhlen 1994, and this book), which include languages nowadays spoken in North Caucasus (Chechen, Ingush), North Pakistan (Burushaski), Yenisei River bank (Ket) in Siberia, a great Asian extension (Sino-Tibetan) and North America (Athabascan, Navajo, Apache).


Basque Language Basque Area ARRI ARRI 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Arnaiz-Villena
    • 1
  • J. Alonso-García
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, Hospital 12 de OctubreUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain
  2. 2.Fundación de Estudios Genéticos y LingüísticosMadridSpain

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