Auteor: Francisco Javier Ullán de la Rosa

The Basque language (Euskera) as an ideological instrument in the historical construction of Basque ethnic identity

This paper analyzes how studies of a language and the language itself can be used as symbolic instruments to construct or support a differential ideological identity. The analyses of these studies have allowed us to undertake a sort of “archaeology” of the process of Basque ethnogenesis. All the authors instrumentalized philological studies as a way of expressing and claiming their ethnic identity, building their arguments on the basis of previous works (the “archaeological” layer being immediately underneath) at the same time that they reformulated them in order to better suit their specific conception of Basque identity as well as their particular sociopolitical interests. As if we were looking at a stratigraphic cut of an uninterrupted human settlement, the research unravels the existence of a narrative thread that, stratum upon stratum (that is, author upon author) connects the Basque chroniclers of the 16th to 18th centuries with the romantic fuerista writers of the 19th century, as well as Sabino de Arana-Goiri, the founder of the contemporary Basque Nationalist Party.




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