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The History of Basque Hardcover – December 24, 1996
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Having said that, it is not a book that everybody who is interested in things Basque may want to pick up and rummage through. Professor Trask is a linguist, i.e. a specialist in linguistics. Like all academic disciplines, linguistics has its own special technical terminology; at times, however, it can seem to the uninitiated that linguistics has more of its own jargon than any other academic field of endeavor except perhaps medicine. After the lengthy introduction of the book, which is actually an extremely interesting history of the language and the people who speak it, the book is very largely involved in the minutiae of linguistic analysis, and although Professor Trask does his best to keep the style lively, the fact is that unless you feel comfortable discussing phonotactic neutralization, the typical structure of iterative languages, the eccentricities of allocutivity or a host of other terms that are not apt to turn up in Webster's Collegiate, you may find the bulk of the book rather heavy sledding.
However, just about every reader will get something out of the last chapter of the book, which deals at considerable length with the ever-popular issue of whether Basque is related to any other language or group of languages. Professor Trask gets almost vitriolic in this section; to quote: "this vast body of work (i.e.Read more ›