Create a 5 pages page paper that discusses the basque language and its peculiarities. Basque is a region that straddles the north of Spain and the south of France about 100 miles (160 km) from east to west and 30 miles (50 km) from north to south. It is an ancient ethnic enclave with its own living language referred to as Euskara. The language is spoken, at the most, by only about a million people, and there are six or seven distinct dialects and sub-dialects. One of the dialects, the ‘Roncales, is already dead. … more than 600,000 people speak Basque in the seven historic Basque provinces: Lapurdi, Zuberoa, and Behenafarroa (in France) and Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia, Araba and Navarre (in Spain)’. There are an estimated ‘520,000 Basque-speaking people in the Basque provinces in Spain, that is 25% of their total population’ (http://www.cd.sc.ehu.es/DOCS/book.SS-G/v2/Euskara.html ). This means that not everybody living in the Basque country speaks the language. During the 19th century, there was a rapid decline in the use of Euskara. Since then ‘Basque nationalism took the language as an identity sign’ … and have ‘taken the language to areas like Encartaciones and the Navarrese Ribera where it may never have been natively spoken in historic times’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basque_language ). The dialects were first identified by Prince Louis Luciano Bonaparte, a nephew of the emperor, who wrote the Linguistic Charter (1883). In 2005 Koldo Zuazo, Basque Philology Professor at the University of Basque Country, published a new map of dialects labeling them ‘Western, Central, Navarrese-Lapurdian, and Zuberoan … The most widely-used standardized dialect is Batua (“unified” in Basque), which is the language taught in most schools and used by media and official papers. …The language has official status in those territories which are within the Basque Autonomous Community, where it is spoken and promoted heavily.’ (op. cit. ).
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