Basque Alphabet - List of Letters

List of Letters

The letters of the Basque alphabet are the 26 letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet plus the ñ (and the ç, as a variant of the c).

This is the whole list, plus the IPA phonology:

Letter Basque name Pronounciation
A a /a/
B be /b/
C ze* (and its variant Ç ze hautsia*) /s/, /k/
D de /d/, /d̪/, /ð/
E e /e/
F efe /f/
G ge /g/, /ɣ/
H hatxe ∅, /h/
I i /i/, /i̭/
J jota /j/, /x/, /ʝ/, /ɟ/
K ka /k/
L ele /l/
M eme /m/
N ene /n/
Ñ eñe /ɲ/
O o /o/
P pe /p/
Q ku* /k/
R erre /r/, /ɾ/
S ese /s̺/
T te /t/, /t̪/
U u /u/, /u̯/
V uve* /b/, /β/
W uve bikoitza* /u̯/
X ixa /ʃ/
Y i grekoa* /i/, /i̭/
Z zeta /s̻/
* Although letters C, Ç, Q, V, W, and Y

are not used in writing traditional
Basque-language words, they were included
in the Basque alphabet for writing
words borrowed from other languages
that do use them.

All letters and digraphs represent unique phonemes. The main exception is when l or n are preceded by i, that in most dialects palatalizes their sound into /ʎ/ and /ɲ/, even if these are not written. Hence, Ikurriña can also be written Ikurrina without changing the sound, while the proper name Ainhoa requires the mute h to break the palatalization of the n.

H is mute in most regions, but in the Northeast is pronounced in many places, the main reason for its existence in the Basque alphabet. Its acceptance was a matter of contention during the standardization since the speakers of the most extended dialects had to learn where to place these h's, silent for them.

Read more about this topic:  Basque Alphabet

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