Report on the Basque Language. European Language Equality

This report on the Basque Language is part of a series of language deliverables developed within the framework of the European Language Equality (ELE) project. The series seeks to not only delineate the current state of affairs for each European language, but to additionally identify the gaps and factors that hinder further development in research and technology. The survey presented here focuses on the condition of Language Technology (LT) with regard to Basque, a language with 751,000 speakers within a territory that spans across part of Northern Spain and Southern France. Basque has been immersed in a process of revitalisation since 1968 that has faced formidable obstacles. Nonetheless, despite these challenges, significant progress has been made in numerous areas. Together, these advances have fostered the necessary conditions for the successful development and dissemination of LT, including two important prerequisites: a language community that can construct LT tools and a widely accepted standardised language that facilitates the effective uptake of novel Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. This course of events is noteworthy because LT is now recognised as a powerful aid in enabling low-resource language communities to revitalise and support their languages. After thirty years of collaborative work among several groups, research has resulted in state-of-the-art technology and robust, broad-coverage NLP for Basque. However, a dramatic difference remains between Basque and other European languages in terms of both the maturity of research and the state of readiness with respect to language solutions. While there are good reasons to be optimistic about Basque’s future in this arena, the development of high-quality language technology for under-resourced languages is urgent and important for their preservation.
Kepa Sarasola, Itziar Aldabe, Arantza Diaz de Ilarraza, Ainara Estarrona, Aritz Farwell, Inma Hernaez, Eva Navas; Reviewers: Annika Grützner-Zahn, Maria Giagkou; Editors: Maria Giagkou, Stelios Piperidis, Georg Rehm, Jane Dunne
Artikuluaren erreferentzia: 
Deliverables of the Project ELE (European Language Equality). D1.4 Report on the Basque Language,

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