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The Basque language (or Euskarian, as Basque-speakers refer to it) has long had to fight for its survival.
The term “Basque” is also used in reference to the Spanish Basques inhabiting the autonomous Basque Country and Navarra regions of north-central Spain, or the French Basques who inhabit the Pyrenees-Atlantiques area of southwestern France.
Alternate theories suggest a relationship between Basque and the Afro-Asiatic languages, the Caucasian languages, or the ancient language of Ligurian.
Since there is not enough concrete evidence to prove any one theory, most linguists have come to classify Basque as an “isolate” – a language with no known relatives.
The Basques maintained their independence for centuries, successfully defeating the Visigoths in the 6th century and withstanding invasions by the Moors who dominated the Iberian Peninsula from the 8th to 11th centuries.
The history of the Basque language is closely intertwined with the Basque people’s campaign for recognition and autonomy in Spain.