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Les jeunes et la revitalisation du basque au pays basque nord. L’influence de la bertsolaritza sur l’usage de la langue et l’identité linguistique
The Basque language is severely endangered in the Northern Basque Country. The lack of family transmission has been partially compensated by transmission through education, and it seems that the efforts to revitalise the language has paid off, as regards the knowledge of Basque among new generations. Still, the relative competence of the language and the level of language use remain relatively low. There is, however, a cultural practice that takes place entirely in Basque, which has an increasing amount of followers among young people. This is oral improvisation sung in the Basque Country called bertsolaritza. Through the practice of improvisation, these young people create communities of practice where the Basque language fulfills all the communicative functions and therefore experiences a ‘functional normalisation’. The language in this respect also becomes, during these moments, a source of fun and an instrument of play. As a result, young people who participate in these communities of practice identify the Basque language with fun and enjoyment and with a cultural practice that belongs to them. For this reason, we dare to think that this identification will lead to a higher degree of language use.