Dialects

On this page you will find the dialects of the areas and locations as two types of classification: traditional classification of Louis Bonaparte Loucien Koldo Zuazo current classification. By clicking on each of them, may find the description of the dialect and the towns belonging to it.

Central

Situation

Koldo Zuazo draws attention to two characteristics of this dialect: it is not a dialect with many distinctive features, and nor is it a homogenous dialect. As it is found in the centre of the Basque-speaking territory, it does not possess archaisms or any other particularly noteworthy features. In contrast, this central dialect proves easier to understand for speakers of other dialects. That is why this central Euskera has become the basis for what is known as the unified Basque language.

Three main subdialects may be distinguished: western, interior and eastern, the latter constituting a transition between the central and Navarrese dialects. A transition zone is also distinguished between the western and interior subdialects.

This dialect is spoken in several valleys and towns in the north-east of Navarre. Specifically, the interior subdialect is spoken in Areso, Araitz, Betelu and several valleys of Larraun, while the eastern or transition subdialect is spoken in the other towns and villages of Larraun and in Arano, Leitza, Ezkurra, Eratsun, Basaburua and Imotz (except for in Muskitz).

Main characteristics

As has been stated above, this is a dialect with few distinctive features – and, furthermore, these few features are not always noted throughout the territory where it is spoken – and it could be said that this entire dialect constitutes a large transition zone. Indeed, it serves as a link between the three dialects that surround it: western, Navarrese and Navarrese-Lapurdian.

1/ The particle al is used in questions: etorriko al aiz?

E.g.: Geio al da?

Ez al duk esan?

2/ The pronunciation of j- is especially noticeable in words such as jan, jakin, jo... Notwithstanding, it is pronounced like a y- in the Basaburua valley.

E.g.: haiei jokatuko ziotela horrek

ta joan ginen harea t┤ezkiñuzen [ genituen ] saldu

3/ In the root of the verb * edun, —e— is used in present tense forms in a large area where the dialect is spoken (det, dezu, degu...), albeit not in its entirety, as is noted in the eastern subdialect.

E.g.: nik diferentzia aundiz, zautzen det

4/ As in the previous point, –e– is used in the present tense forms of izan (zera, gera...), although this is not widespread in the eastern subdialect.

E.g.: zarrak zenbateño gauza gera

5/ The use of forms of the nijoa, dijoa... style is very widespread in the whole dialect.

6/ In verb forms of the NOR-NORKseries, above all in the interior subdialect, the au > a phenomenon is noted: nak ‘nauk’, nazu ┤nauzu┤...

7/ In the western subdialect, but also in the eastern one, the evolution ai > a is noted in the verb forms of the NOR-NORI series: zat ‘zait’, zazu ┤zaizu┤...

E.g.: ...sagarrak, oietatik ematen zazkie

8/ The use of –txi– in allocutive forms is an innovation: nitxon ‘nion’, natxiok ‘nau’.

9/ The following structure is often used for expressing potential: nominalized verb + the verbs eduki/egon: ekartzia badakat ‘I can bring’, ekartzia badago ‘It is possible to be brought’...

10/ As far as lexicon is concerned, the following are typical words from this dialect: arkakuso, apreta ‘espartina’, aurrena ‘lehena’, korrika, hots egin, lapurtu...