The number of Basque speakers has grown considerably in the last 40 years, due largely to the rising number of new speakers, or euskaldunberris, defined here as those people who have learned the language through any means other than family transmission. Although new Basque speakers constitute a strategic group for the future development of the language, until now no detailed study of this collective had been attempted.
In this article we present the results of research into the perceived linguistic identities of new Basque speakers, exploring the participants’ reasons for assigning themselves to one of three principal categories: euskaldun zaharra (native speaker), euskaldunberri (new speaker) and euskaldun (Basque speaker). It is argued that these categories reflect identities that can be situated in a continuum of authenticity that, in turn, correlates with the speakers’ self-perception as legitimate speakers of Basque.
How to Cite:
Ortega, A., Amorrortu, E., Goirigolzarri, J., Urla, J. and Uranga, B., 2014. New Basque speakers: linguistic identity and legitimacy. Digithum, (16), pp.6–17. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7238/d.v0i16.2182