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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2019

The elaboration of Basque in academic and professional domains[1]

  • Igone Zabala Unzalu


The promotion of Basque in academic and professional settings since the late 1970s required the elaboration of the language for such new usages, i.e. terminological modernization and stylistic development. New specialized usages of Basque started for about the same time as the codification of the standard variety of the language. The elaboration of Basque terminology in recent decades has overlapped with the codification of the normative dictionary, causing some tensions in the management of variability. In fact, elaborating the language implies the improvement of functional variability and, consequently, the codification of the standard lexicon, far from being a matter of dramatically reducing variability, must pursue the harmonization of asystematic variants in order to improve functional variation. Since the creation of the Government of the Basque Country, specialized discourse communities started growing, and terminology work and linguistic control of academic texts became more and more institutionalized. Nevertheless, the elaboration of specialized styles and terminologies is not influenced only by institutionalized language planning. Natural development and self-regulation inside specialized discourse communities must also be taken into account, since disregarding real usages may hinder natural development.


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