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In consequence of the agglutination, the phonetic laws are continually in action, and bave to decide which letters may follow each other. Thus, when two consonants meet in two different syllables, the following rules are to be observed :—The hard explosives after a sibilant, 7 or the vowels; the soft explosives after l, m, n.
In consequence of these rules, the hard explosives k, t, P are changed to their corresponding soft ones-9, d, b, after 1, m, n; e.g, eldu, and dot eltu, 'arrived ;' ongi, and not onki, 'well;' emendik, and not ementik, 'from here.'
Tbe soft explosives, 9, d, b, are changed to their corresponding bard ones, k, t, p, after 7, the sibilants, and the vowels; e.g., Burgosko, 'of Burgos; Ortheztarra, 'inhabitant of Ortbez; but Olorondarta. Lekiskun, 'that they were to us,' for lekisgun (from gu, 'us').
Examples of transposition of letters (methathesis, byperthesis) are very common in Basque; gabe=bage, 'without; irudi=iduri,' to appear;' igaro=irago, 'to ascend, to pass.'
Table of the Mutations of Consonants in Basque Words of
I d.... Chingar=chindar, 'spark.'
t.... Marranga=marranta, 'hoarse.'
sonder det er
The Definite Article 'A' (the). The Article is the demonstrative pronoun, formerly har, or ar, 'that'-now a, 'the': eche, 'house;' eche a, 'the house,' which is written echea in consequence of the agglutinative nature of the language.
When a is followed by a suffis, generally the r reappears ; e.g., axn becomes aren, 'of the.' As the plural is k, the plural Article is arek (Bisc.) 'the, French les; but this is not the form of the Article; arek is only used as a demonstrative pronoun. The Article being always agglutinated to the noun, it does not exist by itself, and gizona,
the man,' becomes gizonak, 'the men;" k is simply added to the noun with the article.
Agglutination. - Agglutination consists in putting one word behind another 50 as to form a more or less homogeneous compound; e.g., gizon, 'man;' gizona, 'the man;' gizonagandik, ‘for the man;' dakust, for.d-ikus-t, “I-see-it.'
The agglutinated word, or syllable, or letter, may be preceded by a, e, i, o:
When a precedes, the a is always the article, except in some few words which end in a, like aita, 'father.? .
When e precedes, this letter is merely a binding letter; thus, bat,‘one,' with the article, makes bata, 'the one,' and as subject of a transitive verb batak ; bat bat without the article, and represented as acting, would be batk, which cannot be pronounced, and thus e is interpolated-batek. This e is at the same time the characteristic of the indefinite form, i.e. the noun without article. Consequently words which do not admit of receiving a definite form, like pronouns, have all of them an e before the suffix, if any interpolation be necessary; e.g. the pronoun a, 'that,' (formerly ar), followed by the suffix k, becomes ark, 'that,' and arek, 'these :' e serves only here to distinguish two identical forms. K in the first example is the suffix of the agent (subject of a transitive verb), and in the second one the suffix of plural. Norbait, 'some one,' with the suffix of action k, becomes norbaitek, not to distinguish it from another norbaitek, but because t and k are not allowed to follow each other. E is thus a neutral vowel, employed when a could not be made use of, or for pronunciation's sake. · When o precedes, exclusion is expressed : Gizonok joango
gera, 'We men, we shall go.' In French, ‘Nous autres hommes,'... 0+k is most probably a contraction of the demonstrative pronoun oyek.
I will be discussed in the next chapter. (See ik.)
CHAPTER VI. $ 1 The Noun, Substantive and Adjective. The Basque language distinguishes the substantive, the adjective, and the verbeche, 'house ;' handi, 'great;'
joan,' to go.' ... What is known as gender in other languages is unknown in Basque.
Number is either singular or plural. The suffix of the plural is he; e. g. gizona, 'the man;' gizonak, 'the men ;'