Vocabulario básico y préstamos en vascuence vizcaíno y otras lenguas



Argitaratua 2013-04-13
Adam Zawiszewski


Basic vocabulary is a polemic concept among linguists, particularly among those who work in lexicostatistics and glottochronology. On the one hand, the existence of such a basic word list was essential in order to compare languages or, at least, to determine resemblances between them, but, on the other hand, the basis on which such terms should be selected was not very clear. The fact that the number of loanwords on the list was supposed to be very small was taken as a solid argument in its favour; resultingly, it became a fundamental tool in historical and comparative linguistics.
   The aim of this paper is to check the percentage of non-native terms in the 219 term list (Swadesh), based on data provided by various languages. In the first and second parts of the work we deal with types of loanwords and with their classification in general (Haugen 1950, Vendryes 1968, Zamboni 1988, Trask 1996), as well as with the methodology employed in our research and with the notion "basic vocabulary" itself (Swadesh 1956, Haarmann 1970, 1990). In the third part, we check our corpus, that is, Modern Biscayan, Old Biscayan, Standard Basque, English and Russian. At this stage, following Haarman's procedure, we classify all items according to their corresponding semantic field (activities, qualities, body parts, living beings, natural phenomena, pronominal system, numbers, prepositions (conjunctions, suffixes, prefixes, etc.), colours, and so on). With respect to Basque, the data is also analyzed according to a frequency criterion (Sarasola 1982), thus allowing a comparison between the results of these two different methods of analysis. Finally, in the last part, we discuss Haarmann (1990)'s argumentation and data, and show that the number of loanwords in the corpus analyzed according the Swadesh criterion is actually very small, which is solid evidence in favour of the basic-precultural nature of the list.

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Zawiszewski, Adam. 2013. «Vocabulario básico Y préstamos En Vascuence vizcaíno Y Otras Lenguas». Anuario Del Seminario De Filología Vasca "Julio De Urquijo" 35 (2):789-891. https://doi.org/10.1387/asju.8851.
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