irudia
Author: Ager Gondra

Ideological effects of language revitalisation and standardisation on traditional home language speakers : the case of Basque

This study examines the ideological effects of the Basque language revitalisation movement on speakers of a vernacular Basque variety who were not formally educated in the standard variety (known as ‘Batua’). The participants’ attitudes and perceptions regarding Batua vis-à-vis their vernacular Basque are analyzed. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected through an agreement-based survey, open-ended questions and a semi-structured interview. Data shows that the participants’ perception of legitimacy differs from that of the new Basque speakers from previous studies: for the participants, unlike for the new Basque speakers, the Basque variety (i.e. vernacular vs. standard) is not a conditioning factor for legitimacy. Instead, the legitimacy of a Basque speaker is determined by the mode of language learning (i.e. family transmission vs. formal instruction): learning Basque, either a vernacular variety or Batua, through family transmission is a requirement for legitimisation. Regarding the value of Batua, participants adhere to conflicting ideologies, which are conditioned by their daily use of Basque in different settings. This study contributes to a better understanding of the effects of Basque language revitalisation movements on diverse segments of the same linguistic community.