The influence of Basque in Spanish

Residente Calle 13

Senior Member
New York City
Hi.

I would really be thankful if forum members could discuss this issue and most of all give a criticism of the following text :

From the very beginning, Euskara had a strong impact on Spanish and traces of that contact due to the Basque substratum in particular can be found in all varieties of Spanish.

Phonetically, the imprint on Modern Spanish is impressive. Because the region where Castilian has its roots, Southern Cantabria, is so tied with Basque speaking regions, Rafael Lapesa attributes the following aspects of Spanish to Basque :

-the change of the initial /f/ to /h/ (farina > harina)
-the absence of /v/ in most varieties of Spanish
-the fact that there are only five vowels
-the fact that the first b in bebo is not the same as the second one
-the fact that the first d in dedo is not the same as the second one
-the fact that the first g in gago is not the same as the second one
-the change of the initial /pl/ (planu > llano)

Some Euskara words are an integral part of Standard Spanish such as the proper names García and Ximenez, the nouns pizarra, chaparro, boina, izquierda and izquierdo according to Lapesa. The lexical impact is even stronger in Euskadi. There are some Basque words that even speakers in
the region don't recognize as Basque at all like: txirristra ('sled') sirimiri ('drizzle') and txapela ('beret'). Izquierdo and its derivative zurdo ('left-handed') display an obvious trait of Basque morphology; it's declined in a way that no Latin-Spanish word is.

And Basque grammar still influences the local Spanish vernacular and thus you are likely to hear constructions such as: si tendría más dinero, me
compraría otra casa
in Basque Country and nearby Navarre (Butt and Benjamin 249). It is also common to see phrases such as A Juan le conocíaccording to the RAE's
Diccionario de dudas and also A Juana le conocí in Navarre according to Butt and Benjamin.

---
Any corrections or arguments against the alleged origins of words or grammar from Basque are more than welcome.
 
  • jmx

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    There is some ideological interference in this issue. Spanish nationalists often emphasize the common points between Basque and Spanish, while Basque nationalists usually belittle them. As an example, some of the points you mention (the 2 different 'b', 'd' and 'g' pronunciations) are also valid for Catalan, which has hardly had any contact with Basque.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    They are also valid for some dialects of Portuguese, though I suppose we could have got it from the Galicians and the Asturians.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hola Residente....
    Hmmm Rafael Lapesa...formerly known as Lapesada in my days as a student of literary criticism..about 100 yrs. ago.

    This first one is really EO material...
    From the very beginning, Euskara had a strong impact on Spanish and traces of that contact due to the Basque substratum in particular can be found in all varieties of Spanish.
    It's awkward, hard to follow. Suggested edit:

    From the very beginning, Euskara had a strong impact on Spanish. Traces of that contact due to the Basque substratum in particular can be found in all varieties of Spanish.

    It appears logically redundant. Maybe we should dig in with more rigor in the Eng. Only forum.

    On to the substance:
    -the fact that there are only five vowels
    Either this moved from Euskadi in el sur de Cantabria and thence all the way to Lusitania, or he is wrong! We could argue about diptongos, and ie vs. ei. And yet, his other point about h=>f may be correct; Portuguese maintains the f in farinha=harina.

    As my knowledge of Basque is about nil, I cannot address the other points...though on the surface, they appear plausible.

    Un saludo,
    Cuchu
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    cuchuflete said:
    Either this moved from Euskadi in el sur de Cantabria and thence all the way to Lusitania, or he is wrong!

    Cuchu
    Thanks, Cuchu.

    I know no Portuguese but I thought they had nasal vowels in addition to the vowels that exist in Spanish.
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    Residente Calle 13 said:
    Izquierdo and its derivative zurdo ('left-handed') display an obvious trait of Basque morphology; it's declined in a way that no Latin-Spanish word is.
    "It's declined" or "they're derivationally related"? And what is that way? The reason "declined" seems to be a misspeaking is that 'izquierdo' and 'zurdo' don't have a declension different from that of other adjectives in Spanish.

    It is also common to see phrases such as A Juan le conocíaccording to the RAE's Diccionario de dudas and also A Juana le conocí in Navarre according to Butt and Benjamin.
    The point to the second sentence is unclear: are you saying that it is a variation (presumably under influence of Basque grammar) of the first sentence? As for the first sentence, its construction is geographically universal in Spanish.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Now that Cuchuflete drew attention to the following, I have a criticism:

    -the fact that there are only five vowels
    I think Spanish has five vowels simply because Latin did as well (not counting vowel length). So does Italian. They have simply moved away from Late Latin less than other Romance languages.
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    Outsider said:
    Now that Cuchuflete drew attention to the following, I have a criticism:


    I think Spanish has five vowels simply because Latin did as well (not counting vowel length). So does Italian. They have simply moved away from Late Latin less than other Romance languages.

    Thanks for your opinion, Outsider.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Residente Calle 13 said:
    I know no Portuguese but I thought they had nasal vowels in addition to the vowels that exist in Spanish.
    The nasal vowels originated from vowel + nasal consonant combinations, where the consonant became silent.
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    Thanks again.

    From what I read, Portuguese has more than five vowels even if you don't count the nasal vowels. Is that right?

    In any case, even if Portuguese had just five vowels that wouldn't rule out that in Spanish the cause was not Basque. That's what I would argue of I was Lapesa but I'm not. I'm just saying what he said and he's not the only who's said this but there is no consensus on this issue in the field of Historical Linguistics.

    In any case, saying Spanish has only five vowels is a generalization. I'm sure you could find more in some varieties of Spanish. But that's what Lapesa said.
     

    Misao

    Senior Member
    Zaragoza(Spain)- Spanish
    Hi Residente
    I want to add what I learned about the Basque influence in Spanish language.
    The first thing is the double inderct object existing in Spanish(A Juan le/lo concí en Navarra). It is an influence from Basque.
    Regarding the feminine "Juana", y would say "A Juana la conocí en Navarra), it just depends on the place you speak within Spain.

    Regarding "zurdo" and "izquierdo", the first one has a prerromanic etimology origin, according to the DRAE, and the second comes from Basque. I dare to say that these two words substitute the one coming from Latin, "siniestro", because it is always used with a negative connotation or meaning. They are, by the way, declined just like any adjetive/substantiv in Spanish.

    Regarding "llano", I wanted to add that in Spanish there are what experts call "dobletes", i.e, pair of words coming from one in Latin. One is said to be vulgar and the other one literay or classical. The reason for this pairs of words is the different routes the vulgar and the classical Latin took many centuries ago. So, yo can find, for instance:
    Rápido-Raudo (fast)
    Llano- Plano (plain)
    Llave- Clave (key)

    And as far as I know, the Basque has no written "v", so this may be the reason why Spanish does not make a distinction between /b/ and /v/ when speaking.

    If I happened to remember more about this issue, I'll come back.

    :D
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    I am consolidating replies to two -- postscript: now three! -- foreros in this single post.

    Cuchuflete said:
    Calle13 said:
    -the fact that there are only five vowels
    Either this moved from Euskadi in el sur de Cantabria and thence all the way to Lusitania, [. . . .]
    It is not so that Portuguese, too, has just five vowels. The reduction from the Vulgar Latin seven vowels to five is indeed unique to Spanish within Iberian Romance. (And there are even some dialects of Spanish that retained the other two vowels.) Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, and Galician (2d reference for Gal. vowels) have all preserved the Vulgar Latin vowel inventory (this is not even referring to the nasal vowels of Portuguese). The Castilian inventory contraction and the French expansion to eleven oral vowels plus four nasal vowels are innovations. (Galician is the bridge dialect between Portuguese and Spanish. What I consider a dialect; politically, it is one of Spain's four official languages.)


    Residente Calle 13 said:
    A Juan le conocí is most certainly not geographically universal in Spanish.
    There are two points to note about the construction of this sentence.

    1. It has what linguists term (using a term not well chosen) "clitic doubling", which means, not doubling OF a clitic, but echoing ("doubling") of a full noun phrase BY a clitic. When you place before the verb a full noun phrase object which refers to an animate being, then clitic doubling is obligatory practically everywhere in Spain and the Americas, and it is especially not distinctive of the Basque Country. Perhaps at a demographic level there are speakers who resist clitic doubling.

    2. It features leísmo (i.e., the sentence is not A Juan lo conocí), which also is geographically universal in the Spanish speaking world, or at least nearly so, and again is not distinctive of the Basque Country -- nor was it in the time of the scholar, Lapesa.

    Further comment about leismo.
    Misao said:
    The first thing is the double inderct object existing in Spanish(A Juan le/lo concí en Navarra). It is an influence from Basque.
    Regarding the feminine "Juana", y would say "A Juana la conocí en Navarra), it just depends on the place you speak within Spain.
    This was in response to Calle13 citing "A Juan le conocí" and "A Juana le conocí". Again, this is leismo. I read a lot about leismo in the linguistic literature and I have not seen there the suggestion that it originated under Basque influence. Not that that is evidence against the claim. But I have also studied Basque, and I saw nothing to justify the claim the leismo is inspired by Basque grammar. Again, it is possible that diligent research may suggest otherwise.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Residente Calle 13 said:
    Thanks again.

    From what I read, Portuguese has more than five vowels even if you don't count the nasal vowels. Is that right?
    Well, I deleted that so that it wouldn't confuse you. Apparently, I was too late. :eek:

    Here's why: I'm not a linguist, but I have read a little about the history of Portuguese, and it seems that all our 'extra' vowels are more or less recent phonemes. So, it is possible that very far back in time we had the same vowel system as Spanish, and the extras developed later. If so, it could be that both languages had inherited the 5-vowel phoneme system from Basque. However, Latin seems like a much more likely source, in my opinion.

    P.S. To be perfectly clear, I am speaking of vowel phonemes, here.
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    Misao said:
    Regarding "zurdo" and "izquierdo", the first one has a prerromanic etimology origin, according to the DRAE, and the second comes from Basque. I dare to say that these two words substitute the one coming from Latin, "siniestro", because it is always used with a negative connotation or meaning. They are, by the way, declined just like any adjetive/substantiv in Spanish.

    Thanks so much, Misao.

    I guess what I meant to say, and I don't know if it's accurate, but I obviously failed to it do clearly, is this :

    lado derecho -> diestro
    lado izquierdo -> zurdo

    I guess diestra is not so straight-forward either. I'm going to have to reword what I'm saying here because I think I need to figure it out myself.
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    DaleC said:
    2. It features leísmo (i.e., the sentence is not A Juan lo conocí), which also is geographically universal in the Spanish speaking world, or at least nearly so, and again is not distinctive of the Basque Country -- nor was it in the time of the scholar, Lapesa.
    Hi DaleC.

    Thanks for addressing both issues.

    However, I don't understand your second point. When I say that A Juan le conocí... is not universal to Spanish, what I am saying is that this syntax is not "native" to many Spanish speakers. My parents, for example, both native speakers, would never say le in sentences like that.

    In the Americas, as you said, there are places where this syntax is normal. However, without driving the thread in a direction I would not like it to go in, I would just like to point out that the RAE says this kind of construction was not well-established enough to spread to the South with the Reconquista and that's why in America and Southern Spain A Juan lo conocí... prevails. Their theory is that leísmo in the Americas is due to other factors and that in part of Northern Spain it's due to Basque. It's in the Diccionario de Dudas, under leísmo, on the RAE's website. I think there might be more to that but it's something I would rather not get into at this point of the discussion.

    Thanks again.
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    Residente Calle 13 said:
    I guess what I meant to say, and I don't know if it's accurate, but I obviously failed to it do clearly, is this :

    lado derecho -> diestro
    lado izquierdo -> zurdo
    These derivations are not phonologically and language-historically valid.

    1. The 'u' in 'izquierdo' is just a spelling, it's a silent letter. The Spanish word is borrowed from Basque -- where it's spelled eskerra. (That makes the Spanish version a corruption, because in Basque 'z' and 's' represent different sounds. In fact, one of the most important Castilian borrowings from Basque is the pronunciations of 'z' and 's'.)

    2. Spanish has very few if any words that evolved by dropping the second consonant in a word internal consonant cluster. In contrast, there are many words in which original 'cs' (spelled 'x') or 'ns' has reduced to 's', e.g., words originally prefixed with 'trans-' or 'ex-' -- AND words like 'diestro' that also had an internal 'cs'!

    3. 'Diestro' and 'derecho' are not cognates. diestro < Latin dexter; derecho < Latin rectus.
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    Thanks! That was quite helpful.

    DaleC said:
    In fact, one of the most important Castilian borrowings from Basque is the pronunciations of 'z' and 's'.

    I've never seen anyone claim this before. Do you know of any linguists who say this is so? The sources I've read do not say Basque had anything to do it.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    -the fact that there are only five vowels
    Rereading the thread, and especially Dale C's replies, I'm wondering whether the author isn't talking about the pattern of sound changes from Latin to Spanish. For example, in some cases Latin e became Spanish ie, and Latin o became Spanish ue (diphthongs). This, as Dale says, is a unique feature of Spanish.
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    Outsider said:
    Rereading the thread, and especially Dale C's replies, I'm wondering whether the author isn't talking about the pattern of sound changes from Latin to Spanish. For example, in some cases Latin e became Spanish ie, and Latin o became Spanish ue (diphthongs). This, as Dale says, is a unique feature of Spanish.


    Mmm. That's not what I remember reading. In that specific paragraph, Lapesa makes no mention of dipthongs or diphthongization.
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    Thanks for reporting the nuanced proposals regarding the history of the spread of leismo. It is important not to exclude the possibility that leismo arose in more than one time and place.

    When you quoted Lapesa, the implication seemed to be that leismo was most prominent in the Basque Country. The province of Navarra, part of which is in the Basque Country, is but a small part of northern Spain. Leismo is widespread in Spain.

    Again, I can't recall anything in Basque case marking to justify the Royal Academy's claim that it gave rise to leismo in Spanish.
    Residente Calle 13 said:
    Hi DaleC.

    [. . .] However, I don't understand your second point. When I say that A Juan le conocí... is not universal to Spanish, what I am saying is that this syntax is not "native" to many Spanish speakers. My parents, for example, both native speakers, would never say le in sentences like that.

    In the Americas, as you said, there are places where this syntax is normal. However, without driving the thread in a direction I would not like it to go in, I would just like to point out that the RAE says this kind of construction was not well-established enough to spread to the South with the Reconquista and that's why in America and Southern Spain A Juan lo conocí... prevails. Their theory is that leísmo in the Americas is due to other factors and that in part of Northern Spain it's due to Basque. It's in the Diccionario de Dudas, under leísmo, on the RAE's website. [. . .]
    The following quote demonstrates that leismo is practically geographically universal in Spain, and widespread in the Americas. In my reading of Mexican books and newspapers, the prevalence of leismo seems close to 100 percent.
    "The quantitative data of leísmo, laísmo and loísmo in the evolution of Spanish reveal the privileged grammatical status of Dat-DO [using "dative" forms of the personal pronouns to indicate "direct object"]. In the period between the 13th-19th c., in a large corpus including both American and Peninsular Spanish texts (Flores 1998), the global frequency of Dat-DO, leísmo, is 68%, vs. 28% of feminine Acc-IO [using "accusative" forms of the personal pronouns to indicate "indirect object"], laísmo (concentrated in 18th century Peninsular Spanish and scantily or not [at all] attested in American Spanish), and only 4% of masculine Acc-IO, loísmo. Nowadays, the most innovative Peninsular Spanish dialects have only 15% of mascuine Acc-IO, loísmo, vs 90%-100% of Dat-DO, leísmo (Fernández Ordóñez 1993:92, Klein-Andreu 1992:171)."
    From C. Company, 2001, in Studies in Language. Professor Company teaches at UNAM, Mexico DF.
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    The thread is not about how widespread leísmo is, it's about the influence of Basque in Spanish. I would like, again, to focus on that.

    I only contradicted your statement about A Juan le conocí being georgraphically universal to Spanish because it's not (and I can personally attest to that since my Spanish is not leísta) just as I pointed out that derecho does not come from recto,as you stated, as per the DRAE.

    I think, as I have said once before at least, that any further indepth discussion about those two points, which I think you are wrong about, should be the topic of a different thread.

    But thanks. I appreciate your input.
     

    Misao

    Senior Member
    Zaragoza(Spain)- Spanish
    Hi, I just wanted to re-explain something I said before: the double Indirect Object. In the sentece
    A Juan lo/le conci en Navarra

    "A Juan" and "le" or "lo" make the same function: Indirect Objetc and this phenomenon in Spanish is due to the Basque. That's what I meant. I had the feeling my previous explanation was not clear...

    And regarding "diestro" and "siniestro", I would like to add that there is an Idiom in Spanish regarding these two words:
    - A diestro y siniestro
    That means "por todas partes" (a la derecha y a la izquierda)

    Good night!
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    Misao said:
    Hi, I just wanted to re-explain something I said before: the double Indirect Object. In the sentece
    A Juan lo/le conci en Navarra

    "A Juan" and "le" or "lo" make the same function: Indirect Objetc and this phenomenon in Spanish is due to the Basque. That's what I meant. I had the feeling my previous explanation was not clear...

    And regarding "diestro" and "siniestro", I would like to add that there is an Idiom in Spanish regarding these two words:
    - A diestro y siniestro
    That means "por todas partes" (a la derecha y a la izquierda)

    Good night!

    Well, what you said now is what I understood then. I think it's perfectly clear what you said (and I happen to agree with you).

    I remember reading "siniestro" meaning "left" in some excerpts of El Cid. Linguist Ralph Penny says it was replaced by izquierda for the reasons you say it was. Sometimes languages borrow a word to replace a native one which has developped a bad reputation. I think there was a time when people said "derrière" in English to avoid having to use the anglo-saxon, then, taboo word.
     

    Rebis

    Senior Member
    Spanish Spain Madrid
    -the change of the initial /f/ to /h/ (farina > harina)
    -the absence of /v/ in most varieties of Spanish
    -the fact that there are only five vowels
    -the fact that the first b in bebo is not the same as the second one
    -the fact that the first d in dedo is not the same as the second one
    -the fact that the first g in gago is not the same as the second one
    -the change of the initial /pl/ (planu > llano)


    esto son cambios que ha realizado el idioma castellano al evolucionar ¿lo hizo por casualidad o por influencia de esto o de aquéllo? eso nadie lo sabe
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    Rebis said:
    -the change of the initial /f/ to /h/ (farina > harina)
    -the absence of /v/ in most varieties of Spanish
    -the fact that there are only five vowels
    -the fact that the first b in bebo is not the same as the second one
    -the fact that the first d in dedo is not the same as the second one
    -the fact that the first g in gago is not the same as the second one
    -the change of the initial /pl/ (planu > llano)


    esto son cambios que ha realizado el idioma castellano al evolucionar ¿lo hizo por casualidad o por influencia de esto o de aquéllo? eso nadie lo sabe

    Es cierto. Pero me gustaría especular. Aveces el diccionario nos dice que una palabra probablemente tiene un origin. Creo que es útil saberlo.

    Gracias por tu contribución.
     

    DaleC

    Senior Member
    Residente Calle 13 said:
    Hi.

    I would really be thankful if forum members could discuss this issue and most of all give a criticism of the following text :

    Rafael Lapesa attributes the following aspects of Spanish to Basque :

    [. . .] -the absence of /v/ in most varieties of Spanish

    [. . .] -the fact that the first b in bebo is not the same as the second one
    -the fact that the first d in dedo is not the same as the second one
    -the fact that the first g in gago is not the same as the second one[
    /quote]Linguists' current assessment about the direction of borrowing of the above phonetic phenomenon is that the Basque dialects in Spain borrowed it from Castilian. One reason is that Basque dialects in France do not fricativize their intervocalic voiced obstruents (weaken the occlusives). Of course, the logic that Basque dialects borrow from a neighboring language could be equally applied to French Basque. But those who have studied the issue more deeply are saying the Spanish Basque borrowed fricativization of occlusives from Castilian.

    In linguistic science nowadays, the proper thing to do with the three statements about the phonemes /b, d, g/ is to combine them: the voiced obstruent phonemes are stops in word initial position and fricatives between vowels.

    The fricativization is a relatively recent phenomenon, since it has occurred only since about 1600. (This finding may not yet have been achieved in Lapesa's time.) This is about nine centuries after the era when Basque influenced Castilian (namely, the century after the Moslem conquests). At least for /b/, the chronology of the change is dramatically revealed by the way certain Spanish loanwords are pronounced in the Mapundungu (or Mapudungun) language of Chile. (The Mapudungu(n) development is a featured example in a leading textbook of historical linguistics, by Lyle Campbell. The traditional Spanish name for Mapudungu(n) is "Mapuche".)

    It is noteworthy that the fricativization of intervocalic /b, d, g/ is also part of the Catalan language, and according to some, of Brazilian Portugues, but not of European Portuguese.

    Early on, I hadn't realized that Lapesa was writing a century ago. When it comes to Basque linguistics, anything that old is not authoritative. Except for the effort to gather the data of the evolution of the Indo-European languages, almost everything in historical linguistics and in general linguistics is rather more recent.

    You also noted the loanword 'izquierda'. I think that because this word (with slight pronunciation differences) is the word for 'left side]' in all modern Iberian Romance, including Portuguese, it probably was borrowed before the period of the Moslem invasions.

    As for /v/, this is probably (I'm not certain of this) part of a more general phonetic phenomenon in Spanish: /v/ is a voiced fricative, and Spanish has lost all its voiced fricatives. Since the loss of /v, z, j/ is yet another phonetic innovation unique to Spanish within western Romance, and since Basque also lacks voiced fricatives as phonemes (as "independent" -- distinctive -- members of the language's sound inventory), there is a correlation. But correlation does not prove causation. (A phone (articulation) almost identical to [v] does exist in Spanish. It is the aforementioned alternant of the phoneme /b/ between vowels.)
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    DaleC said:
    It is noteworthy that the fricativization of intervocalic /b, d, g/ is also part of the Catalan language, and according to some, of Brazilian Portugues, but not of European Portuguese.
    Please check that. I think it's the other way around.

    DaleC said:
    As for /v/, this is probably (I'm not certain of this) part of a more general phonetic phenomenon in Spanish: /v/ is a voiced fricative, and Spanish has lost all its voiced fricatives. Since the loss of /v, z, j/ is yet another phonetic innovation unique to Spanish within western Romance, and since Basque also lacks voiced fricatives as phonemes (as "independent" -- distinctive -- members of the language's sound inventory), there is a correlation.
    The voiced labiodental fricative /v/ is also absent from Galicia, Northern Portugal, and Catalan. Of course, this may be due to Castilian influence...
     
    These derivations are not phonologically and language-historically valid.

    1. The 'u' in 'izquierdo' is just a spelling, it's a silent letter. The Spanish word is borrowed from Basque -- where it's spelled eskerra. (That makes the Spanish version a corruption, because in Basque 'z' and 's' represent different sounds. In fact, one of the most important Castilian borrowings from Basque is the pronunciations of 'z' and 's'.)

    2. Spanish has very few if any words that evolved by dropping the second consonant in a word internal consonant cluster. In contrast, there are many words in which original 'cs' (spelled 'x') or 'ns' has reduced to 's', e.g., words originally prefixed with 'trans-' or 'ex-' -- AND words like 'diestro' that also had an internal 'cs'!

    3. 'Diestro' and 'derecho' are not cognates. diestro < Latin dexter; derecho < Latin rectus.

    Esker in Basque means thank but we never say it in singular way always in plural ( "eskerrik asko" [thanks a lot] or mila esker [like danish Tusind Tak, "thousand thanks"] ).

    Ezker (left) with z derives from esku (hand) oker (mistaken) so ezker is "mistaken hand". Linguists that say that in prehistorical ages the Basque language was spoken in Northern Iberian Peninsula and South of France talk about this example as common Basque substratum of the Latin languages that arose in those territories.

    From the Basque word ezker derives the Galician or Portugues word esquerda, the Spanish izquierda, the Catalan esquerra and the Occitan esquèrra. The Latin word sinistra (left) became a taboo word and the Basque pre-roman word ezker survived in those Latin languages.

    According to this theory another sign of this Basque substratum is that in Galician (not in Portuguese), Spanish, Catalan and Gascon (Occitan dialect) the v sound is pronounced as b, because the Basque language in the beginning hadn't got fricative sounds (v, f). In Basque language nowadays we don't have the v sound and the f is used in a very few words.

    The reduction of cs (x) or ns to s according to this theory is another characteristic of the Basque substratum. For example the Latin word textum (text) is said in Basque testu.
     
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    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    According to this theory another sign of this Basque substratum is that in Galician (not in Portuguese), Spanish, Catalan and Gascon (Occitan dialect) the v sound is pronounced as b, because the Basque language in the beginning hadn't got fricative sounds (v, f). In Basque language nowadays we don't have the v sound and the f is used in a very few words.
    Its happens in the northern dialects of Portuguese. However, this may be an ancient common Romance feature rather than Basque influence.
     

    jmx

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    The reduction of cs (x) or ns to s according to this theory is another characteristic of the Basque substratum. For example the Latin word textum (text) is said in Basque testu.
    This sounds like "everything that is different between Latin and Spanish is Basque influence". It must be roughly as brilliant as "everything that is different between Latin and Spanish is Arabic influence". ;-)
     
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