On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 12:47:14 +0100, Chris Bates
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>2)The language actually sounds quite nice, nicer than I imagined for
>some reason... although I have difficulty getting the distinction
>between s, z and x right. It does seem strange though that Basque has s,
>S and... I don't know what the X-SAMPA representation of <s> is, but
>lacks f. Did basque f --> h (many Spanish speaking people around the
>Basque country pronounce f as h in their spanish), or has basque never
>had an f?

The replacement of f --> h is one of the characteristics that distinguishes
Spanish from other peninsular languages, and I've learned that it's
normally explained as a Basquish influence. The use of <x> for [S] is also
common to many peninsular languages, though modern Spanish doesn't have
this any more, except some relicts (like "México") where it's pronounced
as /x/.

>3) THe book emphasizes that some of the (non-verbal) grammatical affixes
>apply to *noun phrases* rather than nouns. This seems strange to me...
>every other language with a case system (or other noun marking) I've
>ever learned always always marks these things at least on the noun, and
>possibly also on the adjectives. But in some of the basque examples, you
>have these affixes glued onto the final word of a noun phrase even when
>that word isn't the noun itself! I think the definite article is an
>example of an affix that does this. Are these true affixes, or are they
>really clitics?

If you define clitics as affixes that apply to whole phrases rather than to
single words, then I think both English and Basque articles are clitics. So
are articles in all Germanic languages I know of, except for some strange
cases in Allemanic dialects where the indefinite article may be doubled if
there's an adjective modified (no idea how this could be explained):

e ganz e komischi Sach
a whole a strange case
'a wholly strange case'

es sehr es groosses Ding
a very a big thing
'a very big thing'

I don't know if there are languages where the definitness is rather
explained by an affix on words than by a clitic.

>Oh, I guess I do have one more question...
>where in the Basque country does the highest percentage of the
>population speak Basque?

In the western Pyrenées of France!

j. 'mach' wust