Beyond the new classification of Basque dialects

Unamuno, Lorea; Abasolo, Juan; Aurrekoetxea, Gotzon;;
University of the Basque Country

The two recent works published on the new classification of Basque dialects (Aurrekoetxea et al. 2019, 2020) present a different perspective. The so far existing classifications within traditional dialectology defend that there are eight (Bonaparte 1869) or five dialects (Zuazo 1998, 2005), while the new contributions, using new methodology (hierarchical classification or cluster analysis), conclude that there are three dialects.

This contribution addresses three points: first, it analyses in depth the differences between these classifications, explaining what causes the inequality in the number of dialects (basic data, methodology used, etc.). Secondly, it investigates the nature of the boundaries between dialects, explaining the gross boundaries or transition spaces, using quantitative tools. Thirdly and finally, it proposes another type of analysis (MultiDimensional Scaling-MDS, Multiple Correspondence Analysis-MCA, etc.) in order to demonstrate the objectivity of recent classifications.


· Aurrekoetxea, Gotzon, Iñaki Gaminde, Jose Luis Ormaetxea & Xarles Videgain. 2020. Hizkeren sailkapen berria In J. Abasolo, I. de Pablo & A. Ensunza (ed.), Hezkuntzari buruzko ekarpenak (EUDIA-8 [Recurso electrónico] = Contributions on education, 5-19. Bilbo: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Argitalpen Zerbitzua.
· Aurrekoetxea, Gotzon, Aitor Iglesias, Esteve Clua, Iker Usobiaga & Miquel Salicrú. 2020. Analysis of Transitional Areas in Dialectology: Approach with Fuzzy Logic. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics
· Bonaparte, Louis Lucien. 1963. Carte des sept provinces basques, monstrant la délimitation actualle de l'euscara. Londres.
· Zuazo, Koldo. 1998. Euskalkiak, gaur. Fontes Linguae Vasconum 78. 191-233.
· Zuazo, Koldo. 2003. Euskalkiak herriaren lekukoak. Donostia: Elkar.

See also: Poster