La aspiración en vasco: ensayo tipológico y diacrónico



Argitaratua api 2, 2001
Iván Igartua


In this paper an attempt is made to shed some typological light on the features, combinatory properties and evolution of Basque aspiration. Typological data, which are often accompanied by historical ones, come from very different languages and provide significant information about the common behaviour of aspirate consonants, aspiration and, in a broader sense, of all those sounds whose articulation contains some kind of laryngealization. In the light of these data we can reach a better understanding of the origin and possible causes that explain the distribution and other peculiarities (both synchronic and diachronic) of aspiration in Basque, such as the dynamics of deaspiration or the relationship between aspiration and stress.
   On the other hand, the history of Basque aspiration since antiquity (since the age of Aquitanian) may be explained by taking into account recent advances in the reconstruction of Basque protolanguage. If it is true that the roots of Proto-Basque were monosyllabic, then the phenomenon of deaspiration in the evolution of the language may be understood as a root-based restriction on aspirate features that is strictly the same for the historical and prehistorical periods. In this view, the only condition that has been transformed is the structure (from monosyllabic to polysyllabic) of the roots, and not the aspiration constraint, which seems to remain constant.
   As a theoretical consequence of this viewpoint, a new interpretation concerning the evolution of Basque morphology and morphophonology is proposed. In its origins, aspiration fulfilled a demarcative function at the beginning of the word and this use explains, inter alia, the nearly absolute absence of vowel-initial roots in Proto-Basque. The form of bisyllabic roots created by reduplication in a later period of the protolanguage may point at the close relationship between morphological facts and the oldest position of the accent (second syllable), whose demarcative function can also serve as explanation for the later link between accent and aspiration.

How to Cite

Igartua, Iván. 2001. «La aspiración En Vasco: Ensayo tipológico Y diacrónico». Anuario Del Seminario De Filología Vasca "Julio De Urquijo" 35 (1):185-213.
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