Basque language


Basque language

Language spoken by an estimated 1,000,000 Basque people living in the Basque Country of north-central Spain and southwestern France. About 200,000 Basques live in other parts of the world. The only remnant of the languages spoken in western Europe before incursions by Indo-European-speaking peoples, Basque has no known linguistic relatives; linguists call it a language isolate. Its grammar is markedly distinct from that of all other western European languages. Basque is sparsely attested before the 16th century, when the first book in the language was printed (1545), though it has maintained a continuous literary tradition since then.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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