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translation, beginning at the end, is thus: 'that I to him can it' After patient investigation, the difficulties little by little vanish; and if some points remain without a satisfactory explanation, the same may be said perhaps of many other languages, even cultivated ones.

It is to be regretted that the Basque Provinces do not take much interest in philological studies; the two periodicals started a few years ago prove this clearly enough, the whole series of 1881 containing nothing about the language.

The sources for the study of the Basque are plentiful enough to give a complete view of what the language is and wbat it was during a certain period ; unfortunately this period is not a long one; the oldest printed book (Poésies Basques, Dechepare) bears the date of 1545, and, as far as I know, no manuscript of an earlier date exists. We have thus not only the oldest Basque book, but the oldest form of the language. The next in rank of age, but the most important of all Basque books, is the New Testament, translated by Liçarrague, 1572. Much later, in 1643, we find Axular's Gueroco Guero, 1st ed., the most readable perhaps of all Basque books. These are the three most interesting publications in the Basque language. About the origin of Basque very little, or nothing, is to be said ; the probability or possibility that Basque is the ancient Iberian was pointed out by Larramendi, and formulated by W. von Humboldt as a linguistic axiom in the following words :-" The terms, Iberian people' and 'Basque

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speaking people,' have the same value," (Prüf., p. 177); and again, “ The ancient Iberians were undoubtedly Basques” (Prüf., p. 120). As nothing whatever is known of the Iberian language, as no so-called Iberian coin is even read with certainty, except the bilingual ones, as no inscription is deciphered, it is mere pretence to talk about an Iberian language. We want, in order to compare two things, to know at least something of both of them; and still we find the most sweeping assertions made even after Humboldt's theory had been discussed, with all respect due to the name of the eminent linguist. Mr. Lucbaire, Professeur d'Histoire au Lycée de Bordeaux, says, “ Constatons simplement la parenté incontestable des deux langues” (Origines linguistique de l'Acquitaine).-Incontestable! and we know not a word of Iberian.

Let us hope to arrive at better results now that a large number of inscriptions bave been found in the neighbourhood of Este, Verona, and Padua. This interesting discovery proves once more the large area occupied by the so-called Iberians.

As lately the question bas been revived in an English periodical, whether the Basques are or were of a dark or of a fair complexion, I may repeat here what I asked nearly ten years ago in my Dictionary, when quoting the words Billusgorri, Buluzkorri, 'naked,' and Larrugorri or Narrugorri,“naked ;' the first signifying red-hair,' the second ' red-skin ;'-would this not prove that the Basques are, or were, of a fair complexion ?



The Basque Language. · The Basque Language, spoken in our days on both slopes of the Pyrenean Mountains, stands as yet absolutely isolated, but belongs to the agglutinative languages. There are sis principal dialects, differing little the one from the other, from a philological point of view, but differing enough in their extreme varieties to make the one with difficulty intelligible to the other. These dialects are, the Biscaian, the Guipuzcoan, the Labourdin, the Souletin, the Navarrese, and the Low-Navarrese.


The Alphabet. The original Basque Alphabet is unknown, but it may possibly be found one day in the so-called Keltiberian inscriptions. The Latin .Alphabet has been adopted, with some slight differences.

The five vowels are pronounced as in Italian. The Souletin dialect alone pronounces u as French , or German ü.


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The Consonants are also pronounced as in Italian, with the exception of, (1) g, which is always pronounced hard, as in 'go,' even before e and i ; (2) of 2, which has the sound of English 8 ; (3) of ch, which is pronounced like sh in sball,' preceded by t. The French-Basque dialects write tch. (4) of j, which the Spanish-Basque dialects pronounce like the Spanish jota (1), and the French-Basque dialects like y in 'year.' Palatal n is pronounced like Spanish ñ, or gn in French agneau.


The Phonetic System K.-Original k, when final and followed by a suffis, is converted into t, or is eliminated : aek, 'they,' followed by n, 'of,' makes aen, for aeken, 'of them;' echeak, 'the houses,' followed by ra, 'towards,' makes echeetara, and not echeakara. Most dialects do not like hiatus, and they introduce (after dropping of k) a y, and instead of aen they say ayen ; duyala, for dukala, 'that thou hast.' The Biscaian dialect sometimes keeps the k : gizonakaz=gizonetaz, 'by the man.'

When k is not primitive, but when it proceeds from h, , then medial k is allowed: arkume, 'lamb,' from ari-hume, i sheep-child.'

H.-The aspirated h has been preserved in the FrenchBasque dialects; the others have dropped it; e.g., hi, 'thon,'

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is é in Biscaian and in Guipuzcoan. Final h becomes k: dakark, 'thou bearest it,'from d-ekar-h; final h stands for hi, 'thou. Initial h, coming in consequence of agglutination or composition in the middle of the word, is hardened to k, or is eliminated; e.g., zora-heria becomes zora-keria, 'madness.' When h is thrown out the same result follows as with k, i.e. a hiatus is produced and then prevented by inserting y: d-aroa-h-o-t becomes daroakot (see final k), then daroayot (see initial h), 'I have taken it from him.' Some dialects keep the k; e.g., nindukan, 'thou hadst me. Others drop it, and replace it by y: ninduyan, from n-indu-h-n.

T is dropped before k; bat and kide make bakid, common.

N becomes m before b, g-nombait, from non-bait, 'somewhere ;' and before k, l, r, t, the n is dropped-nora, where to from non ra; gizonarekin for gizonarenkin, with the man ;' aitzitik, from aitzin-tik, 'on the contrary,'

Z before z becomes t : etzan, for ezzan, 'he was not.'

R.- No word begins with r; there are two kinds of r, one hard, the other soft. The hard one is doubled when at the end of the word and when a suffix follows: lut,

earth;' lurra, 'the earth.' Soft r is never doubled; it is found in some few words—ur, 'water ;' or, dog;' zur, wood ;' ura, 'the water ; ora, 'the dog ;' zura, 'the wood.' The pronunciation of this g is very soft, it is nearly a d.

is seldom used, and has been replaced by b. F is considered as not being a Basque letter; there is only one word with f, which looks, however, really like Basque-farra, ' laugh' (substantive).

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