Indexing religious identity in the French Basque Country: Toward a theory of pronominal shift

Begoña Echeverría


This paper argues that the loss of T (hi) in Basque can be attributed, in part, to the religious identities linked to T and V between the 16th and 19th centuries. Throughout this period, France —including its Basque-speaking regions— was embroiled in religious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants. Protestants attempted to win converts by translating the New Testament in 1571, and a fragment of the Old Testament around 1700; no Catholic version of the Bible was published until 1865. I show that the Protestant texts used hi with single addressees; the Catholic texts used zu, using hi primarily to show disdain. By the end of the 18th century, however, Catholicism had won out over Protestantism in France, thereby inscribing hi with a negative cast that contributed to its loss over time.

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ASJU  Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca "Julio de Urquijo"

ISSN: 0582-6152  |  e-ISSN: 2444-2992

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