International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

The Dynamics between Unified Basque & Dialects in the Northern Basque Country: A Survey Based on Perceptual Dialectology
Jean-Baptiste Coyos

Today Unified Basque, a standardised written version of Basque created by the Academy of the Basque Language from the 1960s onwards and which is now widely codified, coexists alongside the Northern Basque Country’s dialects (NBC, France). Understanding the relationship between these different forms of the Basque language is necessary in order to implement an appropriate language policy. In this paper we present the answers to the open-ended questions of a survey and accompanying comments. Based on Perceptual Dialectology, the questionnaire was completed by 40 people working in Basque in the NBC: writers, teachers, journalists, translators and language technicians. The main objective was to gather their opinions regarding Unified Basque and the dialects. The respondents were chosen according to the following criterion: they are all language prescribers, working in the language and providing a model of the Basque language for society.The main results of the survey are as follows: 95% of respondents think that Unified Basque is necessary in the NBC, 92.5% believe that the specificities of the NBC’s linguistic varieties should be preserved, 80% that Unified Basque does not harm the NBC’s dialects and more than half that there is now a form of Unified Basque specific to the NBC.

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