The Jean Haritschelhar chair at Bordeaux University to analyze creole languages

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2018-05-14

The 2018 program of the Jean Haritschelhar  Basque Studies Chair inaugurated by the Etxepare Basque Institute at Université Bordeaux Montaigne is already underway. This year Professor Enoch Aboh has been invited to lecture on Creole languages at Bayonne and Bordeaux, offering a comparison with the Basque language.

The 2018 program of the Jean Haritschelhar  Basque Studies Chair inaugurated by the Etxepare Basque Institute at Université Bordeaux Montaigne is already underway. This year Professor Enoch Aboh has been invited to lecture on Creole languages at Bayonne and Bordeaux, offering a comparison with the Basque language.

Creole languages develop when there is a need for two different languages to communicate with each other. Aboh will discuss the uniqueness and singularity of these languages in the seminar in Bordeaux on May 14. Following the talk, the expert Ricardo Etxepare will chair a debate on Creole languages within the framework of Euskera. The seminar will end with an online talk with the University of Chicago professor and renowned expert in Creole languages, Salikoko Mufwene.

There are two main hypotheses about Creole languages: on the one hand, experts argue that they derive from simple unions of languages that need to communicate with each other, while on the other, research over the last 15 years disagrees, suggesting that the origin of these languages lies in the clash of languages which occurs during processes of colonization and plantation. According to this argument, they are unique because of the situation that caused them, not because their evolution was atypical. Following this line, these clashes will be compared with the different situations of linguistic contact of the Basque language, in order to understand the differences and similarities in the types of contact and to reflect on their potential impact on Euskera.

Aboh will also offer a seminar in Bayonne on May 15, where he will discuss the human predisposition towards multilingualism.

In 2016, the Etxepare Basque Institute and the Université Bordeaux Montaigne signed an agreement for the promotion of Basque studies at the university. As a result of the agreement, the University of Bordeaux created the Jean Haritschelhar Chair in 2017. The aim of the new chair is to further the areas of Basque studies researched by Jean Haritschelhar, particularly Basque literature and linguistics, and Iberian studies, with a special emphasis on international and cross-border relations, another important aspect of Haritschelhar’s legacy.

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