March 14, 2012

Late Basque linguist Txillardegi considered Iruña-Veleia graffiti to be true

That's the revelation recently released by another linguist and defender of the authenticity of the graffiti, Juan Martin Elexpuru: that Txillardegi believed them to be true.

José Luis Álvarez Emparantza, best known as Txillardegi, who died in January this year, is considered one of the most influential Basque linguists ever.

According to Elexpuru, he wrote to him a letter in December 2009 in which he stated that he had the Iruña-Veleia graffiti as authentic and that he considered Hector Iglesias' paper Les Inscriptions de Veleia-Iruñea to be outstanding (bikaina).

Interestingly he considers the inscription Yaveh zutan izana as an archaic form of hika (roughly equivalent to using the pronoun thou), mentioning that Johannes Leizarraga in the 17th century wrote aiz for (modern) haiz (thou art). Hence for Txillardegi this sentence should be read (in modern Basque) as Yaveh zerutan haizena (Yaveh who art in heaven). 

The issue of zerutan (modernly would be zeruan, sing., or zeruetan, pl.) he thinks it may be related to dialectal variants like surtan (from su: fire). 

In another letter he lamented that he could not, being in his 80s, anymore get involved in this affair, as he would have no doubt have done if he was younger.

Source: Berria[eu].

See also for ample background info: category Iruña-Veleia in this blog and its predecessor.


  1. No, there is ZERO evidence against the I-V findings being real and instead there is lot of evidence in favor of it. I'm talking about non-liguistic evidence, because linguistics is a madhouse where opinions are presented as evidence and actual archaeological evidence is dumped in favor of the opinions of academic caciques like Lakarra. [...]
    Whatever the case all is easy to test: just bring the pieces to have an archaeometry test, there's people willing to pay for it and solve the matter once for all. That would be EVIDENCE.

    I'm afraid an archaeometry test is only relevant for the material support, which appear to be genuine ceramics of the Roman Empire, but not for the inscriptions themselves, which must be analyzed by caligraphy experts. And if I'm not mistaken, there's a report which links the writing to some grafitti in a replica of a Roman letrin made by Eliseo Gil's team.

    Regardless, "polita" (beautiful in Basque), as you should know, doesn't come from Gascon but from Latin polita (fem. form of politus: polished). The same form exists in Italian, where it also means "refined" and in Gascon, with loss of final vowel, possibly derived from Basque (as Gascon is more recent than both Basque and Latin in Gascony).
    This is quite absurd. If the Basque word had been borrowed from Latin polita, it would have undergone the same evolution as other Latin borrowings, and in that case we'd have got *borita or something similar. As this didn't happen, we know it's a Gascon borrowing.

    1. Shut up! What part of "persona non grata" do you not understand?

  2. Q blog tan delirante.
    Q locos estáis


Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. Personal attacks, manipulation and trolling are also very much unwelcome here.The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Preliminary comment moderation is... ON (your comment may take some time, maybe days or weeks to appear).