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The History of Basque Hardcover – December 24, 1996

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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"[An] outstanding and particularly well-informed analysis. . . . [A] remarkable study to which any Indo-Europeanist should give his best attention."
-"Book Chronicles

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Text: English
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 484 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (December 24, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415131162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415131162
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,096,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This book is a Bible, a remarkably exhaustive and balanced survey of the history and the present of the Basque language and Basque linguistics. All those interested in the possible external connections of Basque (a popular though unrewarding subject among non-specialists) should read and remember the basic chapters on Phonology (3) and the Lexicon (5) as well as the sobering one on Connections with Other Languages (6). The style of presentation makes it very easy to read.
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Format: Hardcover
This book wholeheartedly deserves five stars. It is a complete, prolix history of everything having to do with the Basque language, including a history of the people who speak it, the development of the lexicon and grammar, and a review of the subject of relations with other languages.
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.
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