28 jun. 2008

The Lorca copy-editing is coming back on July 7, giving me a little over a week to write as much as I can of an article on Gamoneda and thoroughly learn Basque. (Maybe just learn the conjugations of the verbs to have and to be.) Akiko is in A Coruña for a conference on Pardo Bazán. Julia is reading The Da Vinci Code of all things.

Basque (Euskara) is great for the morphemes, especially the suffixes. The way I see it a language has a certain amount of tasks it might think of doing. Indicating spacial and temporal relationships; gender, person, and number. And it has different ways it might think of doing those things. Basque likes doing many of these things by attaching morphemes to the end of words and phrases. So the make things plural it attaches -ak to the end. (But -ak is also a morpheme used to mark the singular ergative case.)

The definite article is -a attached to last word of the NP. If you take a word like neska [girl] that already ends in a, you don't need the article, it's just neska and neska in both forms, as opposed to mutil and mutila.

Basque is not big on gender. No separate pronouns for female and male subjects, [unlike nosostros /nosotras or él/ella.] Nouns don't have grammatical genders.

The verbal system marks for perfective/imperfective aspect, past, present and future. Skipping ahead of myself there are different verb forms for ergative vs. absolutive and dative? There are not tons of conjugations to memorize, though, because most of these markings are done through the auxiliary verb + one or two forms of participle.

Phonology seems close to Castilian [Spanish] in some respects. There's always the theory that Castilian is the Romance dialect of people whose first language was Basque, or at least one that developed in proximity to Basque. I've been listening to the radio a bit over the internet to get a feel for it.

70% of teachers who study Basque [in the Basque country] in order to get certified as Basque-competent teachers do not do well enough on the test to qualify. Yet somehow I am stupidly overconfident about my ability to get a reading knowlege of it. At some point I'll hit a wall, I'm sure, but I'm not going to worry about that now.