Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This corpus-based study examines the diachrony of differential place marking in Basque. In spatial cases, animate nouns in Basque exhibit heavier morphological forms than inanimate ones, but, under some circumstances, they can also be marked as inanimate. The data for the study comprises 66 sixteenth-to-twentieth-century texts (9,791 examples). A generalised linear mixed-effects model was fitted to analyse factors influencing the choice of marking. It is shown that animate nouns are sensitive to different aspects of the extended Animacy Hierarchy. The strongest effect is that of number (singular nouns prefer animate marking), followed by referentiality (pronouns are more prone to take animate forms than other nominals) and definiteness (definite nouns show animate marking more often than indefinite ones). The analysis also shows that animate marking became more widespread, and that there are dialectal differences. Moreover, more factors were relevant for the alternation in the earliest data (number, referentiality, definiteness, person and case) than in the most recent texts, where number is the most important.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Academie française
    Academie française 2019Dictionnaire de l’Académie française (9e édition). https://www.dictionnaire-academie.fr/
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Aristar, Anthony Rodrigues
    1997 Marking and Hierarchy Types and the Grammaticalization of Case-Markers. Studies in Language21:2.313–368. 10.1075/sl.21.2.04ari
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.21.2.04ari [Google Scholar]
  3. Azkue, Resurrección María
    1923Morfología Vasca. Bilbao: Editorial Vasca.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Barteld, Fabian, Stefan Hartmann & Renata Szczepaniak
    2016 The Usage and Spread of Sentence-Internal Capitalization in Early New High German: A Multifactorial Approach. Folia Linguistica50:2.385–412. 10.1515/flin‑2016‑0015
    https://doi.org/10.1515/flin-2016-0015 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bartoń, Kamil
    2020MuMIn: Multi-Model Inference. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=MuMIn
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bates, Douglas, Martin Mächler, Ben Bolker & Steve Walker
    2015 Fitting Linear Mixed-Effects Models Using lme4. Journal of Statistical Software67:1.1–48. 10.18637/jss.v067.i01
    https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v067.i01 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bilbao, Gidor, Ricardo Gómez López, Joseba A. Lakarra, Julen Manterola, Céline Mounole & Blanca Urgell
    2020Lazarraga Eskuizkribuaren edizioa eta azterketa. Bilbao: University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Comrie, Bernard
    1989Language Universals and Linguistic Typology: Syntax and Morphology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Creissels, Denis
    2009 Spatial Cases. The Oxford Handbook of Caseed. byAndrej Malchukov & Andrew Spencer, 609–625. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Creissels, Denis & Céline Mounole
    2011 Animacy and Spatial Cases: Typological Tendencies, and the Case of Basque. Case, Animacy and Semantic Rolesed. bySeppo Kittilä, Katja Västi & Jussi Ylikoski, 157–182. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.99.06cre
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.99.06cre [Google Scholar]
  11. Cristofaro, Sonia
    2013 The Referential Hierarchy: Reviewing the Evidence in Diachronic Perspective. Languages Across Boundaries: Studies in the Memory of Anna Siewierskaed. byDik Bakker & Martin Haspelmath, 69–93. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110331127.69
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110331127.69 [Google Scholar]
  12. Croft, William
    1993Typology and Universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Dahl, Östen & Kari Fraurud
    1996 Animacy in Grammar and Discourse. Reference and Referent Accessibilityed. byThorstein Fretheim & Jeanette K. Gundel, 47–64. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.38.04dah
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.38.04dah [Google Scholar]
  14. De Smet, Isabeau & Freek Van de Velde
    2020 A Corpus-Based Quantitative Analysis of Twelve Centuries of Preterite and Past Participle Morphology in Dutch. Language Variation and Change32:2.1–25. 10.1017/S0954394520000101
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954394520000101 [Google Scholar]
  15. De Swart, Peter & Helen de Hoop
    2018 Shifting Animacy. Theoretical Linguistics44:1–2.1–23. 10.1515/tl‑2018‑0001
    https://doi.org/10.1515/tl-2018-0001 [Google Scholar]
  16. Euskaltzaindia
    Euskaltzaindia 1991Euskal gramatika. Lehen urratsak-I. Bilbao: Euskaltzaindia.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Euskaltzaindia
    Euskaltzaindia 2019Orotariko Euskal Hiztegia. Bilbao: Euskaltzaindia.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Euskara Institutua
    Euskara Institutua 2013Euskal Klasikoen Corpusa (EKC). University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU. https://www.ehu.eus/ehg/kc/
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Fox, John & Sanford Weisberg
    2019An R Companion to Applied Regression. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. https://socialsciences.mcmaster.ca/jfox/Books/Companion/index.html
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Geleyn, Tim
    2017 Syntactic Variation and Diachrony: The Case of the Dutch Dative Alternation. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory13:1.65–96. 10.1515/cllt‑2015‑0062
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2015-0062 [Google Scholar]
  21. Gorrochategui, Joaquín, Iván Igartua & Joseba A. Lakarra
    eds. 2018Historia del euskera. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Eusko Jaurlaritza.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Grafmiller, Jason
    2019 JGmermod: Custom Functions for Mixed-Effects Regression Models. https://rdrr.io/github/jasongraf1/JGmermod/
  23. Gries, Stefan Th.
    2013Statistics for Linguistics with R: A Practical Introduction. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110307474
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110307474 [Google Scholar]
  24. 2015a The Most Under-Used Statistical Method in Corpus Linguistics: Multi-Level (and Mixed-Effects) Models. Corpora10:1.95–125. 10.3366/cor.2015.0068
    https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2015.0068 [Google Scholar]
  25. 2015b Some Current Quantitative Problems in Corpus Linguistics and a Sketch of some Solutions. Language and Linguistics16:1.93–117. 10.1177/2F1606822X14556606
    https://doi.org/10.1177/2F1606822X14556606 [Google Scholar]
  26. Gries, Stefan Th. & Martin Hilpert
    2010 Modeling Diachronic Change in the Third Person Singular: A Multifactorial, Verb- and Author-Specific Exploratory Approach. English Language and Linguistics14:3.293–320. 10.1017/S1360674310000092
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674310000092 [Google Scholar]
  27. Harrison, Annette & William J. Ashby
    2003 Remodelling the House: The Grammaticalisation of Latin casa to French chez. Forum for Modern Language Studies39:4.386–399. 10.1093/fmls/39.4.386
    https://doi.org/10.1093/fmls/39.4.386 [Google Scholar]
  28. Haspelmath, Martin
    2019 Differential Place Marking and Differential Object Marking. STUF – Language Typology and Universals72:3.313–334. 10.1515/stuf‑2019‑0013
    https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2019-0013 [Google Scholar]
  29. Hopper, Paul J. & Sandra A. Thompson
    1980 Transitivity in Grammar and Discourse. Language56:2.251–299. 10.1353/lan.1980.0017
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1980.0017 [Google Scholar]
  30. Ibarretxe-Antuñano, Iraide
    2004 Polysemy in Basque Locational Cases. Belgian Journal of Linguistics18:1.271–298. 10.1075/bjl.18.14iba
    https://doi.org/10.1075/bjl.18.14iba [Google Scholar]
  31. Igartua, Iván & Ekaitz Santazilia
    2018a How Animacy and Natural Gender Constrain Morphological Complexity: Evidence from Diachrony. Open Linguistics4:1.438–452. 10.1515/opli‑2018‑0022
    https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2018-0022 [Google Scholar]
  32. 2018b Asimetrías gramaticales asociadas a la animacidad en la lengua vasca: una perspectiva tipológica. Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca Julio de Urquijo52:1–2.381–395. 10.1387/asju.20209
    https://doi.org/10.1387/asju.20209 [Google Scholar]
  33. Kittilä, Seppo, Katja Västi & Jussi Ylikoski
    eds. 2011Case, Animacy, and Semantic Roles. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.99
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.99 [Google Scholar]
  34. Kuteva, Tania, Bernd Heine, Bo Hong, Haiping Long, Heiko Narrog & Seongha Rhee
    2019World Lexicon of Grammaticalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781316479704
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316479704 [Google Scholar]
  35. Lafitte, Pierre
    1991 [1944]Grammaire basque. Donostia: Elkar.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Lakarra, Joseba A.
    1984 Bizkaiera zaharreko ablatiboaz. Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca Julio de Urquijo18:1.161–193.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. 1997 Euskararen historia eta filologia: arazo zahar, bide berri. Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca Julio de Urquijo31:2.447–535.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. 2005 Prolegómenos a la reconstrucción de segundo grado y al análisis del cambio tipológico en (proto) vasco. Palaeohispanica5.407–470.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Langacker, Ronald W.
    1991Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol. 2: Descriptive Application. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Le Nouveau Testament
    Le Nouveau Testament 1563Le Nouveau Testament, c’est à dire, la Nouvelle Alliance de Nostre Seigneur Jesus Christ. Genève: Jean Bonne-Foy. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k314602j
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Levshina, Natalia
    2015How to Do Linguistics with R: Data Exploration and Statistical Analysis. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/z.195
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.195 [Google Scholar]
  42. Longobardi, Giuseppe
    2001 Formal Syntax, Diachronic Minimalism, and Etymology: The History of French chez. Linguistic Inquiry32:2.275–302. 10.1162/00243890152001771
    https://doi.org/10.1162/00243890152001771 [Google Scholar]
  43. Lüdecke, Daniel
    2018 ggeffects: Tidy Data Frames of Marginal Effects from Regression Models. Journal of Open Source Software3:26.772. 10.21105/joss.00772
    https://doi.org/10.21105/joss.00772 [Google Scholar]
  44. 2020sjPlot: Data Visualization for Statistics in Social Science. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=sjPlot
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Martínez-Areta, Mikel
    2013 Demonstrative and Personal Pronouns. Basque and Proto-Basque: Language-Internal and Typological Approaches to Linguistic Reconstructioned. byMikel Martínez-Areta, 283–321. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 10.3726/978‑3‑653‑02701‑3/14
    https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-653-02701-3/14 [Google Scholar]
  46. Mitxelena, Koldo
    2011 [1970] Nombre y verbo en la etimología vasca. Obras completased. byJoseba A. Lakarra & Iñigo Ruiz Arzalluz, vol.VII, 235–267. Bilbao: University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Nakagawa, Shinichi, Paul C. D. Johnson & Holger Schielzeth
    2017 The Coefficient of Determination R2 and Intra-Class Correlation Coefficient from Generalized Linear Mixed-Effects Models Revisited and Expanded. Journal of The Royal Society Interface14:134.20170213. 10.1098/rsif.2017.0213
    https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2017.0213 [Google Scholar]
  48. Nakagawa, Shinichi & Holger Schielzeth
    2013 A General and Simple Method for Obtaining R2 from Generalized Linear Mixed-Effects Models. Methods in Ecology and Evolution4:2.133–142. 10.1111/j.2041‑210x.2012.00261.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-210x.2012.00261.x [Google Scholar]
  49. Oyharçabal, Beñat, Irantzu Epelde & Jasone Salaberria
    2009Norantz proiektua. www.norantz.org/
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Padilla-Moyano, Manuel
    2015 Oloroeko katixima: edizioa eta azterketa. Unpublished manuscript.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. 2017 Zuberoako euskararen azterketa diakronikoa: XVI-XIX. mendeak / Analyse diachronique du dialecte souletin : XVI-XIX siècles. Unpublished thesis, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU & Université Bordeaux Montaigne. hdl.handle.net/10810/26535
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Mitxelena, Koldo
    1987–2005Diccionario General Vasco – Orotariko Euskal Hiztegia. Bilbao: Euskaltzaindia.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. R Core Team
    R Core Team 2020R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. https://www.R-project.org/
    [Google Scholar]
  54. de Rijk, Rudolf Pieter Gerardus
    2008Standard Basque: A Progressive Grammar. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Santazilia, Ekaitz
    2013 Noun Morphology. Basque and Proto-Basque: Language-Internal and Typological Approaches to Linguistic Reconstructioned. byMikel Martínez-Areta, 223–281. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. 2019 Animacy Effects in Inflectional Morphology: A Typological Survey. Unpublished thesis, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU. https://addi.ehu.es/handle/10810/37384
    [Google Scholar]
  57. 2020 The Two Faces of Animacy. Studies in Language44:4.812–830. 10.1075/sl.19089.san
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.19089.san [Google Scholar]
  58. Timberlake, Alan
    1975 Hierarchies in the Genitive of Negation. The Slavic and East European Journal19:2.123–138. 10.2307/306765
    https://doi.org/10.2307/306765 [Google Scholar]
  59. Trask, Robert L.
    1997The History of Basque. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Ulibarri, Koldo
    2010 “Viva Jesus” dotrina: edizioa eta azterketa. Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca Julio de Urquijo44:2.41–154.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Wickham, Hadley
    2016ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis. Springer-Verlag New York. https://ggplot2.tidyverse.org. 10.1007/978‑3‑319‑24277‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24277-4 [Google Scholar]
  62. Winter, Bodo
    2020Statistics for Linguists: An Introduction using R. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Wolk, Christoph, Joan Bresnan, Anette Rosenbach & Benedikt Szmrecsanyi
    2013 Dative and Genitive Variability in Late Modern English: Exploring Cross-Constructional Variation and Change. Diachronica30:3.382–419. 10.1075/dia.30.3.04wol
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dia.30.3.04wol [Google Scholar]
  64. Yamamoto, Mutsumi
    1999Animacy and Reference: A Cognitive Approach to Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/slcs.46
    https://doi.org/10.1075/slcs.46 [Google Scholar]
  65. Zuloaga, Eneko
    2020 Liburu virgina santissimien errosario santuena: edizioa eta hizkuntza-oharrak. Unpublished manuscript.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Zuur, Alain F., Elena N. Ieno, Neil Walker, Anatoly A. Saveliev & Graham M. Smith
    2009Mixed Effects Models and Extensions in Ecology with R. New York: Springer New York. 10.1007/978‑0‑387‑87458‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-87458-6 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): animacy; Basque; diachrony; morphology; spatial cases
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error