Question formation and language contact in the Northern Basque Country (PPP Frankreich)


The project deals with word order variation in wh-interrogative clauses in
Northern Basque. The aim is to describe and to analyse this variation and
investigate whether it may be connected to language contact, namely to the
contact of Northern Basque with Gascon and/or French. While there is some
research on interrogatives in Southern Basque spoken in the Spanish Basque
Country, it is only recently that interrogation in Northern Basque has become
the subject of research. In connection with the results of this research the
project will establish more sophisticated questionnaires in order to test these
results and to investigate the influence of language contact. Most importantly,
while previous research almost only considers the influence of French in this
respect, the project also focuses on the influence of Gascon, the language
which has been in contact with Northern Basque for many centuries.
Basque, and the Romance languages in contact with it, are typologically very
distant languages. The research carried out during the project will provide a
privileged standpoint from which to evaluate the potential syntactic and
morphological constraints operating in grammatical borrowing, an important
point of contention in the actual debates on language contact.

  • FB Linguistik
Funding sources
Name Project no. Description Period
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst"-"PPP Frankreich 2j01.01.2015 – 31.12.2016
Further information
Period: 01.01.2015 – 31.12.2016