Discussion on Basque at Minority Languages in Europe (FR 418)

The students in Minority Languages in Europe taught by Prof. Fagyal (Department of French at UIUC) had a fruitful discussion about the standardization process of Basque and the current social situation of Basque and Spanish/French in the Basque Country. Based on theoretical models of language planning efforts, they reached to certain proposals that would like to share with us. Here are their insights:Image

“Itxaso, thank you for visiting ‘language and minorities in Europe’ today! We had fun listening to you! We’ve read and discussed Hualde and Zuazo’s and paper (2009) on the standardization of Basque with you and we took away the following from this paper and your presentation. Feelings of authenticity militate for a more extended vernacular use of Basque, for instance in light of the attitudes of the younger generations that are native bilinguals of the language (with Castilian), but the legitimacy of the codified standard – Euskara Batua  –  also remains very important. To extend the use of Basque in the BAC, we could imagine three – more or less strong – planning/policy measures:

1)      corpus planning: revisiting Euskara Batua and come up with new compromises that would lead to the inclusion of statistically frequent, new dialectal forms that are also favored by the youth

2)      acquisition planning: stepping up L2 acquisition efforts among immigrants to increase the number of adult learners/ late bilinguals,

3)      (radical) status planning: becoming an independent state and impose Basque everywhere.

Disclaimer: This is just part of an academic discussion; we do not actually imply that these steps could or should be undertaken.

Are there any on-going discussions about any or all of these? 

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