University of Nevada, Reno

Basque Center

Tutorial Ph D
Course Syllabi

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   Lesson 3
   Lesson 4

Lesson Three · Hirugarren Ikasgaia

Question Words: NOR, NONGOA, NOLAKO, ZER
The question words NOR, NONGO(A) and NOLAKO(A) have plural forms: NORTZU, NONGOAK, NOLAKOAK.
Nor zara zu? Nortzu zarete zuek?
Nongoa zara zu? Nongoak zarete zuek?
Nolakoa zara zu? Nolakoak zarete zuek?

Zer zara zu? Zer zarete zuek?

Modifiers are either singular or plural, depending on the nouns they modify. However, in Basque a modifier can be a phrase (noun and adjective, or two or more adjectives). If the modifier is a phrase, the article and plural marker (ak) appear only at the end of the phrase, not on all its individual parts.

They are ugly actors.
Haiek aktore itsusiak dira.

The modifier is aktore itsusiak. Notice the article and plural marker (ak) are used only with the last word in the phrase (itsusi). This holds true for longer phrases as well.

We are strong, energetic old women.
Gu emakume zahar, sendo eta bizkorrak gara.

The modifying phrase is emakume zahar, sendo eta bizkorrak. The plural marker occurs with the last word in the phrase. (Note: “bizkor” ends in an “r” which is doubled when the article “a” is added: bizkor, bizkorra, bizkorrak.)

Where do you live? · Non bizi zara zu?

To answer this question in Basque, you must use the inessive case, represented by the suffix -(e)n. If the proper noun (name of a place) ends in a vowel sound, add the suffix -n.

in the Basque Country · Euskal Herrian
in Euskadi · Euskadin
in Reno · Renon
in California · Californian
in Ohio · Ohion
in Philadelphia · Philadelphian
in Iowa · Iowan
in Canada · Canadan
in Sacramento · Sacramenton
in Albuquerque --Albuquerquen
in New Mexico · New Mexicon
in Arizona · Arizonan

If the proper noun ends in a consonant sound, add the suffix -en (or -n with a bridging vowel -e-).

in Texas · Texasen
in New York · New Yorken
in Oregon · Oregonen
in Seattle · Seattle-en*
in Portland · Portlanden
in Los Angeles · Los Angelesen
in Phoenix · Phoenixen
in Salt Lake · Salt Lake-en*

Note: Seattle and Salt Lake end in a consonant sound, even though they are written with ending vowels. Selection of the suffix depends on the sound, not the spelling.

Go to Lesson 3 Sentences · Esaldiak.


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