Questions on Basque

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crush
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Questions on Basque

Postby crush » 2013-06-20, 6:03

I come across questions/things i don't understand all the time ever since i've started studying Basque, maybe i can post some questions here and hope for a response :D

1. My first question is about positions. In the "Curso gratuito de euskera" by Gorka Bakero (i'm using this version) Gorka says to form phrases like "behind the house" you use the stem + place name in non. Etxe atzean. I thought that was a little weird since to say "behind me" you use noren: nire atzean. To me it seemed to make more sense to use noren, but i just accepted it.

Today, however, in Assimil i came across the phrase "ispiluaren aurrean" (in front of the mirror) which uses noren. They even give the exact same example as the course by Gorka, but this time as: "etxearen atzean". Are both forms ok? Or is there a difference between the two? I know Gorka's course has a lot of typos, sometimes pretty frustrating (in that same lesson, for example, once we've got "ezkerran" and once "ezkerrean"), but i've found the explanations really clear and helpful.

2. My second question is just a bit of confusion about what i thought should be plural: "Patxiren etxean bi bainugela daude." (In Patxi's house there are two bathrooms). I assume it's something to do with bi, similar to how hauek/haiek/horiek take care of the plural ending, but i just wanted to confirm that.

Anyway, ezkerrik asko! :D
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Lauren » 2013-06-20, 18:30

For learning Basque I recommend the site www.ikasten.net. ;)

For singular nouns, the genitive isn't needed with postpositions. There is no difference between it's use and non-use.

And after numbers, the singular is used. :)
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Lur » 2013-06-20, 22:34

Is a number supposed to go after or before a noun? I've seen both uses and I'm confused.
Last edited by Lur on 2013-06-21, 4:19, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby crush » 2013-06-21, 4:12

Thanks :) I've also been using ikasten.net but i've found a lot of times things aren't explained that thoroughly or there aren't enough examples. I like the exercises, though. So far i've only done the first 8 lessons but i think it's a nice addition to the other two courses.
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Lauren » 2013-06-21, 4:21

Lur wrote:Is a number supposed to go after or before a noun? I've seen both uses and I'm confused.

"Bat" always goes after. "Bi" can go before or after, but before is much more common. All other numbers must come before. ;)

crush wrote:Thanks :) I've also been using ikasten.net but i've found a lot of times things aren't explained that thoroughly or there aren't enough examples. I like the exercises, though. So far i've only done the first 8 lessons but i think it's a nice addition to the other two courses.

Yeah, the exercises are great. :D I still ened to finish that course... I'm on like lesson 53 of 60.
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Lur » 2013-06-21, 4:24

Lowena wrote:
Lur wrote:Is a number supposed to go after or before a noun? I've seen both uses and I'm confused.

"Bat" always goes after. "Bi" can go before or after, but before is much more common. All other numbers must come before. ;)

I kind of wanted to put all numbers afterwards by analogy of bat :lol:

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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby crush » 2013-06-21, 10:59

Going through lesson 9 of the Ikasten course today i came across this sentence:
Ane oso neska argia da.

The placement of oso is a little confusing, i'd want to put it after neska and not before. It sounds like Ane is very .. girl. Oh, and smart, too. Google seems to confirm that oso should come before neska, but why? Isn't the sentence saying that she is a very clever girl?
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Lauren » 2013-06-21, 15:45

crush wrote:Going through lesson 9 of the Ikasten course today i came across this sentence:
Ane oso neska argia da.

The placement of oso is a little confusing, i'd want to put it after neska and not before. It sounds like Ane is very .. girl. Oh, and smart, too. Google seems to confirm that oso should come before neska, but why? Isn't the sentence saying that she is a very clever girl?

Yes, it means "Ane is a very clever girl." But "oso" does come before the noun. It's just a rule of grammar in Basque. :wink:
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Prosper_Youplaboum » 2013-06-21, 20:38

And after numbers, the singular is used.


except when the noun is definite:

bi etxe = two houses
bi etxeak = the two houses

(as far as I know :) )
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby crush » 2013-06-22, 15:31

Thanks everyone :)

Today's question is "denetarik" : everything (in Spanish, translated as "de todo"). They say that "den" means everything, what is this -etarik? I know -rik is partitive (though it still doesn't quite make sense to me when to use it), but i'm not sure if that's what's happening here. The full context is:
-Zer jarri duzue fruta entsaladan?
-Denetarik: sagarrak, madariak, marrubiak, ...

Assimil's helpful hint is "Denetarik: ¡una sola palabra para expresar el todo y la variedad!" Thanks, Assimil...

Also, any tips for remembering vocabulary? So much of it looks and sounds really similar to me, it seems to go in one ear and out the other. On the other hand, i've already noticed patterns in words that seem pretty logical: garbi/garbitu, aspergarria/interesgarria, puskatuta/maiteminduta/harrituta, etc.

EDIT: Also, what's the difference between den and guztia?
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Prosper_Youplaboum » 2013-06-22, 19:56

"Den" basically means "what there is".
Assimil's helpful hint is "Denetarik: ¡una sola palabra para expresar el todo y la variedad!" Thanks, Assimil...


denetarik = "de tout" in French, ie. a bit of everything, all sorts of things, literally "of what there is" :)
Agur Xibe’ua,
Bazter güzietako xokho’ik eijerrena,
Agur sor lekhia,
Zu’i ditit ene ametsik goxuenak.

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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby crush » 2013-06-23, 4:29

Thanks :) I get the meaning ("de todo" in Spanish), just not WHY it means that. For example, what case(s) is it in?

EDIT:
Today's lesson seems to have a few mistakes or confusing bits. For example:
...ibilaldi bat egitera joan da.
He's gone to take a walk.

The notes mention that, like in Spanish you "dar" a walk (dar un paseo). But in Basque it would be ematera, instead of egitera (to do). I guess both are ok? You can eman or egin a walk?

Next:
...inguruan begiratu eta zera ikusten du:
He's looked around and seen the following:

Shouldn't "has seen" be ikusi du? I thought -ten was used for the present tense?

That's it for today :D

EDIT2: I found some information to clarify the question i had earlier:
Se colocan detrás de sustantivos declinados en el caso NOREN. Los sustantivos pueden ser animados (personas, animales) o inanimados (objetos, lugares?):
a) animados:
(sing) mutilAREN azpian (debajo del chico)
(pl) mutilEN azpian (debajo de los chicos)
(mgg) zenbait mutilEN azpian (debajo de algunos chicos)

b) inanimados:
(sing) aulki gainean (encima de la silla)
(pl) aulkiEN gainean (encima de las sillas)
(mgg) zenbait aulkiREN gainean (encima de algunas sillas)

**Todos los nombres toman el caso NOREN, menos los inanimados en singular.
**Aunque aulkiAREN gainean también es correcto, aulki gainean se utiliza más frecuentemente.
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Prosper_Youplaboum » 2013-06-27, 19:16

...inguruan begiratu eta zera ikusten du:
He's looked around and seen the following:

Shouldn't "has seen" be ikusi du? I thought -ten was used for the present tense?


yes "ikhusi dü" is "has seen" or "saw" and ikhusten dü is "sees"...
Agur Xibe’ua,
Bazter güzietako xokho’ik eijerrena,
Agur sor lekhia,
Zu’i ditit ene ametsik goxuenak.

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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby arabarra » 2013-06-30, 9:52

Thanks :) I get the meaning ("de todo" in Spanish), just not WHY it means that. For example, what case(s) is it in?


Yep, this construction is strange... what is this partitive doing with "den"? and this pluralizing "-eta-" in the middle? hm?

I'm not sure... I guess this "-etarik" is not the use of "-rik" partitive, but the other historical use: origin. Sort of equivalent of "nondik". I'm not sure if this sense is still conserved in northern dialects, but there are some fossilized examples of use in Batua Basque, as the expression "Xrik X"(i.e mendirik mendi, tabernarik taberna, "from one bar to the next one"). I guess "denetarik" and "orotarik" express the same idea of origin: "something selected out of everything"

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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby crush » 2013-06-30, 14:33

That's what i read online when i tried looking for what case it might be. From hiru.com:
En labortano el ablativo plural muestra la marca antigua -etarik lagunetarik, latzetarik


So maybe you're right, or maybe it's just a fixed expression preserved in the current language? It seems a little weird that Assimil would use it otherwise, as the introduction says that it covers "euskara batua".

Also, it seems so hard to know where to stress words. Assimil said generally the second syllable gets stressed, and longer words (>3 syllables) also have an extra stress on the last syllable and also some special change for plurals, but it doesn't seem so clear. In short two-syllable words sometimes i hear the stress on the first syllable and sometimes the second. For three syllable words, sometimes it seems the stress is on the second "libúru" and sometimes on the first "Míkelek", i really can't figure it out and the pronunciation tips never mention stress.
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Lur » 2013-06-30, 14:47

It seems the nork case doesn't change the stress of the core word while the plural nor does, if I remember correctly.

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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby arabarra » 2013-07-01, 11:59

So maybe you're right, or maybe it's just a fixed expression preserved in the current language? It seems a little weird that Assimil would use it otherwise, as the introduction says that it covers "euskara batua".


Oh, about the current use, it is clear: "denetarik" is a very common word, no doubt on this. Also, -etarik is never used as productive case in current Batua Basque.


About accentuation: you're right. The second-then-last syllable rule is the most basic rule... and probably the only general one. Syllable stress patterns are very different from dialect to dialect, and even inside dialects... memorizing all the rules for accents in presence of the nork case, and plural/singular... well, those will not always work.

For me it's the most frustrating part of Basque. I find it's a shame that the Basque Academy has not yet produced a set of rules for standard pronunciation (but in compensation we do have already an Academy-approved list with official names in in Basque of all the Popes since Peter.... yay! moving on in our way to normalization of every day language!)

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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby crush » 2013-07-01, 14:00

Ok, that makes me feel a little less crazy. I guess for now i'll just follow the general guidelines until i can actually understand enough to pick up on these things. I found a nice explanation in "Gramática didáctica del euskara" by Ilari Zubiri for general accent rules. Actually, the book (recommended by Assimil) as a whole seems pretty good, the explanations are clear, though i guess it's more of a reference than a course.
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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Prosper_Youplaboum » 2013-07-05, 1:19

I find it's a shame that the Basque Academy has not yet produced a set of rules for standard pronunciation


have to learn from traditional native speakers... not a bad thing actually, when you can listen to them or to recordings of them :)

Btw I think there's a book on Basque Phonology edited by Routledge. You'll find it on uz-translations.com for instance
Agur Xibe’ua,
Bazter güzietako xokho’ik eijerrena,
Agur sor lekhia,
Zu’i ditit ene ametsik goxuenak.

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Re: Questions on Basque

Postby Lur » 2013-07-05, 13:22

I try to imitate the intonation and stress patterns of native speakers but it's far too intuitive of a process to feel secure about my pronunciation.


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