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FONATARI - euskal fonetikaren ataria

Basque phonetics site

:: XX century ::

1. Extension X century
2. Extension XVI-XVIII centuries
3. Extension XIX century
4. Extension mid XX century

During this century the activity around the Basque language increases. After great efforts of public and private institutions, the Academy of the Basque Language-Euskaltzaindia, was finally created in 1918. That same year the twelve academics who constituted it were designated, with Resurrección Mª de Azkue as president. The head office was established in Bilbao.

One of the principle aims of the Euskaltzaindia was to establish one fixed variety of Basque that would serve as a unifying element for a language that is fragmented into numerous dialects. All the activities and efforts of those years were stunted by the Civil War (1936-39).

From 1968 onwards, the Euskaltzaindia resumed its work on linguistic normalisation. A few years later the basis of what has been called Euskera Batua are established. Even though the standardisation of this fixed variety has not been reached, it is the only variety used in education, administration and the media.

It is based on the central dialects, Guipuzcoan, High Navarrese and Labourdin, and it is quite distinct from the Biscayan and Souletin dialects and also, to some extent, from the two Low Navarrase ones. It has been highly accepted by the population which generally uses it for writing.

From the 1940s to the 1970s the Basque suffered a serious decline. The majority of Biscay, Guipuzcoa and the North of Navarre are the places that have preserved the Basque language with perseverance, however, also in these territories bilingualism finds a high degree of representation.

At the present moment, the efforts that are being made to recuperate the Basque language, always within the limits of the programmes of linguistic politics, are producing positive results in those territories that have institutional support.

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