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Searching for a Rara Avis : The History of Basque Optative

Abstract : Though all languages are able to convey hopes and desires, only some among them have a specific verbal inflection for this purpose, the optative mood. Up to now, every grammatical description of Souletin Basque (easternmost dialect) has emphasized the existence of the optative mood, with verbal forms showing the prefix ait-. In historical Basque, such forms are attested also in western and central dialects; thus, the optative mood undoubtedly was a feature of common Basque. The aim of this paper is to offer a diachronic description of Basque optative. After a basic conceptualization (§1), we will address the Basque optative forms throughout both grammarians’ works (§2) and texts (§3), their extension in space and time (§ 4), and we shall propose a hypothesis on the origin of the prefix ait- (§5). Finally, we will succinctly describe other means to express hopes and desires in Basque (§6).
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https://hal-univ-pau.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02549920
Contributor : Julien Rabaud <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 6:23:04 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 24, 2020 - 2:43:43 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02549920, version 1

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Manuel Padilla Moyano. Searching for a Rara Avis : The History of Basque Optative. XIII Congreso Internacional de Lingüística Xeral, Jun 2018, Vigo, Spain. pp.693--699. ⟨hal-02549920⟩

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