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Salazarese (locally Zaraitzuko uskara) is the Basque dialect own to the Salazar Valley of Navarre, Spain.

In English it is also known as Zaraitzu Basque, the Zaraitzu dialect or Salazar dialect; in Spanish as Salacenco and in Basque as Zaraitzuko euskara.

Basque in the Salazar valley was spoken until the first half of the 20th century; ever since, the number of speakers started a marked decline. According to the 2002 linguistic census, there were only two native speakers left, both with ages over 85, hence, the dialect itself can be considered extinct nowadays. However, the dialect's own traits had been documented over the 19th and 20th century.

On the other side, from the 1980s onwards there is an ongoing revival of the Basque language in Spain. As a result, roughly a quarter of the valley's inhabitants now speak Standard Basque. It would be possible to revive the Salazarese dialect to some degree by teaching the historical dialectal features of Salazarese to Batua speakers.




18th century

Some religious texts were written: the Christian doctrines of Itzalle and Orontze[1] and texts published by Satrustegi.[2][3]

19th century

Apart from more religious texts, we have the significant research work of Louis-Lucien Bonaparte.[4]

Pedro Jose Sanper translated the Gospel of Matthew.[5] and Jose Urrutia the “Orreaga” ballad of Arturo Campion.[6]

20th century

  • Ziriako and Federiko Garralda wrote several articles in the magazine "Euskal Esnalea" in the local Basque of Zaraitzu between the years 1911 and 1925, covering different subjects: tales, riddles, passages, local history, veterinary science, traditions and games for children.[7][8]
  • Azkue collected several proverbs and tales in Zaraitzu Basque in his works of Basque folklore and etnography.[9] Also he collected a significant amount of local words in his dictionary.[10]
  • Koldo Mitxelena studied thoroughly the dialect from 1958 onwards.[11]
  • Jose Estornes Lasa collected the stories and passages of Zoilo Moso in 1969.[12]
  • Koldo Artola has published the audio recordings that he taped between 1975 and 2003 in Zaraitzu.[13]

21th century

Aitor Arana has collected the testimonies of Basque-speakers of Zaraitzu, published a dictionary of the dialect in 2001,[14] and next year a book of grammar.[15] In 2004 he published a collection of texts and he gave some curses of the local Basque in the Valley.[1] The work of the researcher Inaki Camino should be mentioned as well.[16][17][18]


  1. ^ a b Arana, A (2004). Nafarroako Euskalkiak. Zaraitzuera. Irakurgaiak, Hiria Liburuak, (2004). ISBN 84-97970-13-6
  2. ^ Satrustegi, J M (1987). Euskal testu zaharrak, Euskaltzaindia. ISBN 84-85479-41-6.
  3. ^ Satrustegi, J M (1992). "Zaraitzuko euskararen lekukoak", Luis Villasanteri Omenaldia. Iker, 6, Euskaltzaindia.
  4. ^ Bonaparte, L. L. (1872). Etudes sur les trois dialectes basques del vallees d’Aezcoa, de Salazar et de Roncal, tels qu’ils sont parles a Aribe, a Jaurrieta et a Vidangoz, Louis-Lucien Bonaparte.
  5. ^ Pagola, R M; Iribar, I eta Iribar, J J (1997). Bonaparte ondareko eskuizkribuak - zaraitzera, Deustuko Unibertsitatea (Deiker), Euskal Ikaskuntzen Institutua. ISBN 84-74855-39-X
  6. ^ Campion, A (1971). Orreaga. Balada escrita en el dialecto guipuzcoano, acompañada de versiones a los dialectos bizcaino, labortano y suletino y de diez y ocho variedades dialectales de la region bascongada de Nabarra desde Olazagutia hasta Roncal, Separated edition of the La Gran Enciclopedia Vasca, pg 101.
  7. ^ Larrea, J M eta Diez de Ultzurrun, P (1985). Nafarroako euskal idazleak (I). Pamiela. ISBN 84-76810-32-3.
  8. ^ Barandiaran, A (1996). Iruñeko Udalaren literatur lehiaketak (1882-1928), Iruñeko Udala. ISBN 84-89590-61-8.
  9. ^ Azkue, R M (1989). Euskalerriaren Yakintza. Literatura popular del País Vasco, Euskaltzaindia & Espasa Calpe. ISBN 84-23925-50-1.
  10. ^ Azkue, R M (1969). Diccionario vasco-español-frances (repr. facsimil), La Gran Enciclopedia Vasca. ISBN 07-85909-52-4.
  11. ^ Mitxelena, K (1967). Notas fonologicas sobre el salacenco, ASJU, 1.
  12. ^ Estornes, J (1985). Zoilo’ren uzta. La cosecha de Zoilo, Fontes Linguae Vasconum (FLV), 45.
  13. ^ Artola, K (2002-2005). "Zaraitzuera aztertzeko ekarpen berriak" (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 eta 10), Fontes Linguae Vasconum (FLV), 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99 eta 102.
  14. ^ Arana, A (2001). Zaraitzuko Hiztegia, Nafarroako Gobernua eta Hiria Liburuak. ISBN 84-23521-44-3.
  15. ^ Arana, A (2002). Zaraitzuko Uskara. Zaraitzuera ikasteko liburua, Nafarroako Gobernua eta Hiria Liburuak. ISBN 84-95765-26-8
  16. ^ Camino, I (1997). Aezkoako euskararen azterketa dialektologikoa, Nafarroako Gobernua. ISBN 84-60567-22-2.
  17. ^ Camino, I (1998) Nafarroako Hizkerak. Udako Euskal Unibertsitatea. ISBN 84-86967-92-9.
  18. ^ Several articles in the journal Fontes linguae vasconum: Studia et documenta


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