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Welcome! You have reached the page which groups together several small families, which is just one part of the "Language Finger" homepage, which is an index by language to the holdings of the Mansfield Library of The University of Montana.

Families on this page include Aquitanian/Basque, Burushaski, Etruscan, and Sumerian.


Recently several scholars have studied Basque with regard to other languages to which it might be related and have concluded that Aquitanian appears to have been its forerunner. Thus they have postulated an Aquitanian/Basque language family, with Basque being the only extant example. In the early 20th century, linguists believed that a language family which they called Iberian once existed in western Europe, mostly in and near the Iberian peninsula. They thought then that Basque was a descendant of Iberian. This theory has now been conclusively disproven. Thus, at present, Basque is the only known representative of the Aquitanian/Basque family.

Note that a language called Iberian was spoken at the time of the Roman conquest along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, but linguists do not now believe it related to any other known language. There was also a language which has been given the name Tartessian spoken in southwestern Spain and southern Portugal about the same time, but again we know of no relation between Tartessian and any other language.


updated 11-17-2000 Basque (Aquitanian/Basque) is the only extant language known to belong to the Aquitanian/Basque family of languages. Formerly it was thought to belong to a hypothetical Iberian family, but this is no longer accepted. Attempts have been made to link Basque to numerous other language families. Some such groupings include Dene-Caucasian (itself suspect), Afro-Asiatic, Etruscan, Sumerian, Burushaski, Niger-Kordofanian, Khoisan, Ural- Altaic, Dravidian, Austric, Sino-Tibetan, and even Indo-European. None of these attempts have proven successful. Basque is spoken in the Pyranees Mountains, between France and Spain -- specifically in the autonomous regions of Euskadi and Navarra in Spain, and in Basse Navarre, Labourd, and La Soule in France. In fact, there is a separatist movement seeking to establish an independent country for speakers of Basque. The name for this language in Basque is Euskara. Basque is written with the Latin alphabet. 499.92321 Aulestia, Gorka, 1932- A924b Basque-English dictionary. -- University of Ref. Nevada Press, 1989. RID: 88-32992 ITEM #: baq00001 Q Azkue, Resurreccion Maria de, 1864-1951. 499.9236 Diccionario vasco-espanol-frances. -- Bilbo : A995d Euskaltzaindia, 1984. 1. Basque language--Dictionaries--Spanish. 2. Basque language--Dictionaries--French. RID: 86-194187 ITEM #: baq00002 324.209466 Beltza. B453d Del carlismo al nacialismo burgues. -- San Sebastian : Txertoa, 1978? RID: 79-346596 ITEM #: baq00003 499.9236 Diccionario escolar castellano-euskara D545 (batua), euskara-castellano = Eskola Ref. hiztegia gaztelania-euskara eta euskara- gaztelania / Xabier Gereno, ed. -- Bilbao : A. Mazarredo, 197- . 1. Basque language--Dictionaries--Spanish. 2. Spanish language--Dictionaries--Basque. RID: wln83-63505 ITEM #: spa00211 320.9466 Elorza, Antonio E48i Ideologias del nacionalismo vasco 1876-1937 : (de los "euskaros" a Jagi Jagi). -- San Sebastian : L. Haranburu, 1978. Basque or Spanish. RID: 79-120411 ITEM #: baq00005 460 Entwistle, William J. (William James), 1895-1952 E61s The Spanish language : together with Portu- guese, Catalan and Basque. -- Macmillan, 1938. RID: wln84-102798 ITEM #: baq00006 460 Las Lenguas de Espana / seleccion y comentarios L566 por Miguel Diez, Francisco Morales, Angel 1980 Sabin. -- 2a. edicion. -- Madrid : Ministerio de Educacion, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias de la Educacion, 1980. 1. Spanish language--History. 2. Spain-- Languages. 3. Catalan language. 4. Gallegan dialect. 5. Basque language. RID: wln88-45796 ITEM #: baq00007 320.5098 Romero, Jose Luis, 1909- R763p El primer nacioalismo vasco. -- San Sebastian, Spain : RID: 87-411126 ITEM #: spa00614 Q Scott, William James Edmonton 320.12 Where East meets West S431w RID: --- ITEM #: baq00008


Conroy, Joseph F., Aitor Arana, Wim Jansen.
  Basque-English, English-Basque dictionary and phrasebook. -- New York : Hippocrene Books, c1998.

Owstrowski, Manfred.  "Basque language history : some facts and suggestions for private study."

Trask, R.L. (Robert Lawrence), 1944-
	The history of Basque. -- New York : Routledge, 1997.
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					updated 5-17-2001

	Burushaski is spoken in northwestern Kashmir.  It is apparently unrelated 
to any other language, and therefore is treated as constituting its own language
family.  Burushaski has never been committed to writing, although it may be repre-
sented by the Latin alphabet.

915.49		Swift, Hugh
S977t			Trekking in Pakistan and India. -- San Francisco : Sierra
		Club Books, 1990
		RID: 89-10167			ITEM #: bus00001
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						updated 5-9-2001

	Etruscan is an extinct family of languages, which included Lemnian, Lydian,
and Rhaetian.

930.003		Encyclopedia of the Ancient World / editor, Sharon
E5647			Grimbly. - London : Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000
		RID: ---			ITEM #: myn00019

499.9417	Mayani, Zecharia, 1899-
M467e.Ee		The Etruscans begin to speak
		RID: 63-16023		ITEM #: etr00001
So far the only Etruscan language on this page is Rhaetian.


updated 5-17-2001 Rhaetian (Etruscan) belongs to the Etruscan family of languages. Rhaetian should not be confused with Rhetian, which is an alternate name for Rhaeto-Romanic, an Indo-Hittite language. 457 Conway, Robert Seymour, 1864-1933 C767p The prae-Italic dialects ... RID: 78-356988 ITEM #: rhe00001
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					updated 5-9-2001

	Sumerian (Sumerian) is not known to be related to any other language.  It was the
language of southern Iraq from about 4000 B.C.E. until it was replaced by the Semitic languages.
It was written in cunieform script on rocks and clay tablets.  In fact, the Sumerians are believed
to be the inventors of cunieform-style writing.  Initially developed for inventorying storehouse
holdings and recording business transactions, its use soon expanded to record legends, poetry,
and historical detail.

492.19		Barton, George Aaron, 1859-
B293r			The royal inscriptions of Sumer ...
		RID: 30-2784		ITEM #: sux00001

302.222		Bruce-Mitford, Miranda
B887i			The illustrated book of signs & symbols.
		-- [S.l.] : DK Pub., 1996
		RID: 96-216700		ITEM #: heb00095

930.003		Encyclopedia of the Ancient World / editor,
E5647			Sharon Grimbly. - London : Fitzroy
			Dearborn, 2000
		RID: ---			ITEM #: myn00019

492.1		Lieberman, Stephen J
L716s			The Sumerian loanwords ...
		RID: wln86-109042		ITEM #: sux00002

737.30956	Schmandt-Besserat, Denise
S348b			Before writing. - Austin : University of
		Texas Press, 1992
		RID: ---			ITEM #: tsi00002

956.7		Simons, G. L. (Geoffrey Leslie), 1939-
S611i			Iraq : from Sumer to Saddam. - New York :
		St. Martin's Press, 1994
		RID: 93-13871		ITEM #: sux00003

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