Why are the Basques using the letter K?

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by franknagy, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    I ask it because the surrounding Romance languages do not use it.
  2. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Easy answer : It's not a romance language.
  3. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    I know that Euskara is not a Romance language but it is surrounded by Romance ones having old traditions and political supremacy.
    When was its spelling fixed? Earlier than the French and Castellano, or later?
  4. Agró

    Agró Senior Member

    Alta Navarra
    The current spelling of Basque was established in the 20th century and especially in the 1960s, when the standard unified form of the language (Euskara batua) was also established. Up until then, Basque had been written with C, c, Q, q, Ç, ç, following the same conventions as French and Spanish. Those letters no longer exist in Basque.
    IMHO they decided to use K, k, instead of other graphemes in order to simplify the system and a bit also to look different from neighbouring languages.
  5. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Thank you, Agró.
    The surprising in your answer was
    the fresh date.
  6. Agró

    Agró Senior Member

    Alta Navarra
    See here (El euskara batúa, in Spanish) from wiki.
  7. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    There is a stange coincidence between then Euskara and Hungarian:
    The plural of nouns is denoted by "k".
    I have taken a look to Euskara grammar. Singurar, Plural, Indeterminate.
    What is Indeterminate? When is it used?
    I mention you two specialities of the Hungarian language:
    1) the nouns remain in singular after numerals: 1 alma, 2 alma, 3 alma (one apple, two apples, three apples);
    2) the paired limbs and organs of the human body are considered as one. If someboody has one ear, one leg ... so on ... then we say half-eyed, half-legged = félszemű, féllábú. How are they treated in Euskara?
  8. Agró

    Agró Senior Member

    Alta Navarra
    Indeterminate (Unmarked)

    From wiki:
    Basque has three numbers: singular, unmarked and plural. Unmarked appears in declension when it is not necessary to specify singular or plural, for example, because it is a proper name, or it is besides a determiner or a quantifier. Plural markers occur in two parts of Basque grammar: in some pronouns, determiners and quantifiers, and in argument indices on verbs (see Basque verbs). Nouns and adjectives are strictly invariable for number: for example, etxe means indifferently 'house' or 'houses'. Since, however, a noun such as etxe rarely occurs alone and normally appears within a noun phrase containing either a determiner or a quantifier, its number is likely to be indicated by this element.

    As for 1), in Basque, nouns remain the same after numerals, too:
    Etxe bat (one house)/Bi etxe (two houses).

    I don't think body parts are treated as one, but wait for Basque speakers. I'm not one.
  9. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    This "speciality" is found all over the world. First of all in the many languages (e.g. Chinese) that do not have separate forms for the singular and the plural. But also some languages that do have a marked form for the plural use the singular after numerals (Persian after all numbers, Arabic after numbers greater than ten).
  10. Makser Senior Member

    Basque Country
    Hi all,

    It's true most of all what you have said here, but there is a situation in which a plural noun can be used after numerals in Basque: it's the deictic use of the definite article. It is the same way we use the deicitic article in Spanish or English:

    "Dos hombres encontrados muertos". Los dos hombres vivían juntos..."
    "Two men found dead. The two men lived together..."
    "Bi gizon hilda aurkitu dira". Bi gizonak elkarrekin bizi ziren..."

  11. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    How do you say the five Russian compositors from the 19th century:
    Musorgski, Rimski-Korsakov, Chaykovsky, Balakirev and Kyui?

    In Hungarian we say them using a numeral in plural: "Az Ötök" = "The Fives".
    This is a very strange and unusual grammatical form.
  12. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Except that it wasn't Chaikovsky, but Borodin, and Kyui is a French surname: Cui.
  13. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I know that Cui's father was French, but I have never heard of Cui as a French surname. What is it supposed to mean? (cui-cui is the noise that French birds make).
  14. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    You are the French native speaker, not I... by the way, can you "translate" or explain the meaning of every single French surname?
    Maybe it's not really French, but Occitan, Provençal or something of that sort, i. e., from one of the (nowadays endangered or outright agonising) Romance languages that once (jadis) were widely spoken throughout France.
  15. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    If somebody immigrates to another country or becames word-famous the his/her family name is distorted to another language(s).
    Angelo has written:
    In Russian:
    Мусоргский, Римский-Корсаков, Бородин, Балакирев и Кюи.
    According to the Hungarian transcription:
    Muszorgkszkij, Rimszkij-Korszakov, Borogyin, Balakirev és Kjui.

    I had a colleague whose ancestors' family used to be Szakács [=Cook], a common Hungarian word.
    He was born in Yugoslavia. His name was written as Сакач and Sakač.
    When he moved to Hungary he could not get back his original name but he was registered as Sakac.
  16. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    I know. I just wanted to point out the "most international" transcription (and, maybe, the original way the surname was written). Nowadays, I think, Cui isn't that famous - rather "known almost exclusively to specialists", at least outside Russia.
    I'm not nearly as famous as Cui, but in 19 years of living abroad I've had my share of different official transcriptions (four), mistranscriptions and misspellings - and I'm not sure how many are yet to come, just that they are.

    Your friend's surname looks like it has Slavic origins. Anyway, his story is sad and funny at the same time.
  17. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    My family consists of only from 3 sounds = N+A+GY but only the sound N has not been problematic abroad.
    I have heard it back-coded to Hungarian spelling as
    1. N-O-GY in Russia,
    2. N-A-G-I in Germany and Spain,
    3. N-O-DZS in England.
    I have got cédilla ç on the end of my first name in Spain.

    :) In spite of that I have been more lucky than the Hungarian persons named Lovas [= Horseman] who hear his name in Germany with pronounced including -f-s instead of the correct -v-sh which sounds in Hungarian exactly as the rudest synonym of most precious organ of a stallion.
  18. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    The Russian transcription of your surname according to the rules would be Надь - the back-coding wouldn't permit to decide whether it's a or á (and short or long), but that's a feature of Russian, not having the distinction between long & short vowels.

    Cedilla -> Ferenç?

    The Germans are famous for mispronouncing foreign names (no matter how hard they try to approach the original pronunciation - the only one they get right or almost right is the one of English names), so nihil novum sub sole.
  19. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Yes. The length of A is uncertain but the GY=дь transcription is correct.
    Yes, Angelo. Anyway, centuries ago the ç meant in Castilian the same voice as the c now in Hungarian.

    I cannot add my own experiences to this sentence.
  20. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    It's funny what you say because the letter ç, although invented for the Castilian language, hasn't been preserved there, but is widely used in Portuguese (and, maybe, Galician), Catalan, Occitan & French.
    The modern approximative spelling of your name would be Ferenz or Ferents.
  21. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    Maybe somebody in the office writing my invitation was Galician or Catalan, or remebered the original reading of the letter ç.


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