Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Analogy and similarity as a resource in new speaker styles of Basque

List of Authors: Lantto Hanna

Publisher: Sage Publications

Publication year: 2022

Journal: International Journal of Bilingualism


Journal acronym: INT J BILINGUAL

Volume number: 26

Issue number: 5

Number of pages: 17

ISSN: 1367-0069

eISSN: 1756-6878



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Aims and Objectives/Purpose/Research Questions:

The study examines contact between the Basque standard variety, Spanish, and Basque dialects in the speech of new speakers of Basque, euskaldun berriak, who have Spanish as their language of primary socialization and who have learned standard Basque in classroom contexts. The overall goal of the study is to determine what linguistic features new speakers draw from in the construction of a colloquial style of Basque.


The study combines third-wave approaches of sociolinguistic variation with cognitive, usage-based approaches to language contact. The study is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the city of Bilbao between 2016 and 2017. Data and Analysis: Forty-seven new speakers of Basque participated in metalinguistic interviews. Many others were observed in the larger context of the ethnographic fieldwork. The data consist of field notes and more than 30 hours of recordings. The analysis combines the metalinguistic commentary of the participants with observation of their linguistic practices.


New speakers' morphosyntactic and stylistic variation in constructing a colloquial style is explained through analogy and similarity, as they draw from interlingual and intralingual analogies and similarities in the process of register construction. The variation can be largely explained by the speakers' social networks and their involvement in the Basque-speaking cultural sphere.


This study examines the role of new speakers in linguistic change. The study presents a novel approach by combining analyses of common cognitive processes with an understanding of shared social language practices that are influenced by language ideologies.


An integrated approach of cognitive processes and the social meaning of language change allow the examination of the interplay of social competence and human faculty. Variationist studies can benefit from studies conducted at the sites of language revitalization with complex indexical fields and rapidly changing social dynamics.

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Last updated on 2022-04-10 at 09:12