Linguistics and Basque Studies
Faculty of Arts
Universty of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)

A Brief Grammar of Euskara [download pdf]

Full Professor at the Department of Linguistics and Basque Studies and director of The Bilingual Mind research group at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Obtained her PhD in 1990 (MIT) with a dissertation entitled Negation in Syntax: On the Nature of Functional Categories and Projections, (published in 1994 by Garland). Assistant Professor in Linguistics at the University of Rochester (New York) during 1990-1995.  She has been invited professor at the Universities of Vienna, Utrecht, Naples and Río de Janeiro, and invited research fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities (NIAS), and the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset (Madrid) among others. Member of Jakiunde, the Basque Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, and corresponding member of Euskaltzaindia, the Academy for the Basque Language. Author of A Brief Grammar of Euskara, the Basque Language (1996), freely available on the internet. Her current research combines theoretical linguistics and experimental methods from psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics to inquire into the neural representation and processing of language, with a strong focus on syntax and bilingualism.


Google scholar citation profile

Laka, I. (in press) Ergative Need not Split: An exploration into the TotalErg hypothesis. In Jessica Coon, Diane Massam, Lisa Travis (Eds.) Handbook of Ergativity. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ordin, M.; Polyanskaya, L.; Laka, I.; Nespor, M. (2017)  Cross-Linguistic Differences in the Use of Durational Cues for the Segmentation of a Novel Language. Memory & Cognition. doi:10.3758/s13421-017-0700-9

Zawiszewski, A., Santesteban, M. and Laka, I (2016). Phi-features reloaded: An ERP study on person and number agreement processing. Applied Psycholinguistics37(3), pp. 601-626. DOI: 10.1017/S014271641500017

Díaz, B.; Erdocia, K.; de Menezes, RF.; Mueller, JL.; Sebastian-Galles, N. & Laka, I. (2016). Electrophysiological correlates of second-language syntactic processes are related to native and second language distance regardless of age of acquisition. Front. Psychol. 7:133. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00133

Laka, I. (2015) Hacia la Neurosintaxis. In Ángel Gallego (Ed.) Perspectivas de sintaxis, Madrid: Akal, pp 699-719

Torrego, E.; Laka, I. (2015) The syntax of φ-features: Agreement with plural DPs in Basque and Spanish. In Fernández, B. & Salaburu, P. (Eds.). Ibon Sarasola, Gorazarre. Homenatge, Homenaje. Bilbao: UPV/EHU, pp. 633-646.

Santesteban, M.; Pickering, M.J.; Laka, I.; Branigan, H.P. (2015). Effects of case-marking and head position on language production? Evidence from an ergative OV language. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. Volume 30, pages: 1156-1174. DOI: 10.1080/23273798.2015.1065335

Ros, I.; Santesteban, M.; Fukumura, K.; Laka, I. (2015). Aiming at shorter dependencies: the role of agreement morphology. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1080/23273798.2014.994009.

Laka I (2014) Gabriel Arestiren buruan: euskara ikasteaz eta elebitasunaz. In Harri eta Herri 50 urteForum Hitzaldiak 07, Bilbo: Bilbo Zaharra Liburuak, 26-39.

Acha, J.; Laka, I.; Landa, J.; Salaburu, P. (2014) EHME: A new word database for research in Basque language. The Spanish Journal of Psychology. Volume 17, E79. DOI: 10.1017/sjp.2014.79

Fratini, V.; Acha, J.; Laka, I. (2014) Frequency and morphological irregularity are independent variables: Evidence from a corpus study of Spanish verbs. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory. Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages 289–314, EISSN: 1613-7035, ISSN: 1613-7027, DOI: 10.1515/cllt-2013-0028.

De la Cruz-Pavía, I.; Elordieta, G.; Sebastián-Gallés, N.; Laka, I. (2014) On the role of frequency-based cues in the segmentation strategies of adult OV/VO bilinguals. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Volume 18, Issue 2, pp. 225-241. DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2014.904839.

Erdocia, K.; Zawiszewski, A.; Laka I. (2014). Word order processing in a second language: from VO to OVJournal of Psycholinguistic Research 43(6), 815-837. doi: 10.1007/s10936-013-9280-4.

Sanz, M.; Laka, I.; Tanenhaus, M.K. (Eds.) (2013). Language Down the Garden Path: The Cognitive and Biological Bases for Linguistic Structure. Oxford University Presss, pp. 512. ISBN:978-0-19-967713-9. (Reviewed in Biolinguistics by Krivochen)


Gervain, J.; Sebastian-Galles, N.: Diaz, B.; Laka, I.; Mazuka, R.; Yamane, N.; Nespor, M.; Mehler, J. (2013) Word Frequency Cues Word Order in Adults: Cross-Linguistic Evidence. Frontiers in Psychology. 4:689, ISSN: 1664-1078.

Sanz, M., Laka, I., Tanenhaus M. (2013). Sentence comprehension before and after 1970: topics, debates and techniques. In Sanz, M., Laka, I., Tanenhaus M. (Eds.) Language Down the Garden Path: The Cognitive and Biological Bases for Linguistic Structure, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN:978-0-19-967713-9.

Pastor, L., Laka, I. (2013) Processing facilitation strategies in OV and VO languages: a corpus study. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics Vol.3, No.3, 252-258.

Laka, I. (2013). On language production principles and the form of language: a más cómo, menos por qué. Frontiers in Psychology (section Language Science). Volume 4, article 231.

Laka, I., Santesteban, M., Erdocia, K., & Zawiszewski, A.  (2012)  The Basque language in the minds of native and non-native bilinguals. In Pello Salaburu & Xabier Alberdi (Eds.) The Challenge of a Bilingual Society in the Basque Country. Current Research Series No. 9. Reno: University of Nevada. pp. 157-172. ISBN: 978-1-935709-30-5.

Laka, I. (2012). Merging from the temporal input: on subject-object asymmetries and an ergative language. In R. Berwick R. & M. Piattelli-Palmarini (eds.) Rich Grammars from Poor Inputs, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-01-995-9033-9.

Erdocia K., Laka I., and Rodríguez-Fornells A. (2012) Processing verb medial word orders in a verb final language. In M. Lamers and P. de Swart (eds.), Case, Word Order and Prominence: Interacting Cues in Language Production and Comprehension, Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics 40, Dordrecht/Berlin:Springer. Volume 40, pp. 217-138.

Laka, I. (2012) More than one language in the brain. In Boeckx C., M.C. Horno & J.L. Mendívil (Eds.) Language, from a Biological Point of View: Current Issues in Biolinguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.184-207. ISBN: 1443837814.

Laka, I., & Erdocia, K. (2012). Linearization preferences given “free word order”; subject preferences given ergativity. A look at Basque. In E. Torrego (ed.). Of grammar, words, and verses: In honor of Carlos Piera, pp. 115.142, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9789027208255.

Laka, I. (2012). Accounting for Ergativity. In I. Laka and B. Fernández (eds.) Accounting for Ergativity. Special Issue of Lingua. Volume 122, Issue 3, 177-180. ISSN: 0024-3841.

Laka, I., Fernández. B. (eds). (2012)Accounting for ergativity. Special Issue of Lingua, 122 (3). ISSN: 0024-3841.

Amundarain, I., Garzia, J., Goenaga, P., Laka, I., Makazaga, J.M., Mujika, J.A., Oyharçabal, B., Rekalde, P., Salaburu, P. (2011). Euskal gramatika lehen urratsak VII: perpaus jokatugabeak[Gramática vasca VII: oraciones no finitas.] Euskaltzaindia-Real Academia de la Lengua Vasca, Bilbao: Elkar. ISBN: 978-84-95438-79-9.

Díaz B., Sebastián-Gallés N., Erdocia K., Mueller J.L., & Laka I. (2011). On the cross-linguistic validity of electrophysiological correlates of morphosyntactic processing: A study of case and agreement violations in Basque. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 24 (3), 357-373. ISSN: 0911-6044.

Laka, I., & Quer, J. (2011). La nada existencial y la nada universal. In M. V. Escandell-Vidal, M. Leonetti, & C. Sánchez López (eds.). 60 problemas de Gramática, pp. 229-234, Madrid: Akal AC.

Laka, I. (2011). Hizkuntza postpositiboa [Una lengua postpositiva] in Salaburu P., Goenaga, P., Sarasola I. (eds.) Sareko Euskal Gramatika [Gramática Vasca en Red] Euskara Institutua-Instituto del Euskara, UPV/EHU. ISBN: 978-84-693-9891-3.

Laka, I. (2011). Euskara eta gizakia: Hizkuntzaren prozesamendua [El euskera y el ser humano: el procesamiento de la lengua] in Salaburu P., Goenaga, P., Sarasola I. (eds.) Sareko Euskal Gramatika [Gramática Vasca en Red] Euskara Institutua-Instituto del Euskara, UPV/EHU. ISBN: 978-84-693-9891-3.

Zawiszewski A., Gutiérrez E., Fernández B., & Laka, I. (2011). Language distance and non-native syntactic processing: evidence from event-related potentials. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14 (03), 400-411.

Acha, J., Laka, I., Perea, M. (2010). Reading development in agglutinative languages: Evidence with beginning, intermediate and adult Basque readers. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 105, 359-375. ISSN: 0022-0965.

Carreiras M., Duñabeitia J.A., Vergara M., de la Cruz-Pavia I., & Laka I. (2010). Subject Relative Clauses are not universally easier to process: Evidence from Basque. Cognition, 115, 79–92.

Colomé, A., Laka, I., & Sebastián-Gallés, N. (2010). Language effects in addition: How you say it counts. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63 (5), 965-983.

Duñabeitia J. A. Dimitropoulou M., Uribe-Etxebarria O., Laka I., & Carreiras M. (2010). Electrophysiological correlates of the masked translation priming effect with highly proficient simultaneous bilinguals. Brain Research, 1359, 142-154.

Laka, I., Zawiszewski, A., & Erdocia, K. (2010). Euskal gramatika prozesatzen: hastapenetako zenbait emaitza [Processing Basque Grammar: some fundamental results]. in R. Etxepare, R. Gómez, & J. A., Lakarra. (Eds.). Beñat Oihartzabalen Omenez-A Festschrift for Bernard Oyharçabal, pp. 553-564, Bilbao: UPV/EHU Press.

Laka, I. (2010). Baieztapena eta ezeztapena. [Afirmación y Negación] in Salaburu P., Goenaga, P., Sarasola I. (eds.) Sareko Euskal Gramatika [Gramática Vasca en Red] Euskara Institutua-Instituto del Euskara, UPV/EHU. ISBN: 978-84-693-9891.

Duñabeitia J.A., Molinaro N., Laka I., Estévez A., & Carreiras M. (2009). N250 effects for letter transpositions depend on lexicality: Casual or causal? NeuroReport, 20 (4), 381-387.

Duñabeitia J.A., Laka, I. Perea, M., & Carreiras, M. (2009). Is Milkman a superhero like Batman? Constituent morphological priming in compound words. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 21 (4), 615-640.

Erdocia K., Laka I. Mestres A., Rodriguez-Fornells A. (2009). Syntactic complexity and ambiguity resolution in a free word order language: behavioral and electrophysiological evidences from Basque. Brain and Language, 109, 1-7

Laka, I. (2009). What is there in Universal Grammar? On innate and specific aspects of language. In M. Piattelli-Palmarini, J. Uriagereka, & P. Salaburu (Eds.) Of Minds and Language: A dialogue with Noam Chomsky in the Basque Country, pp.329-343, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN:978-0-19-954466-0.

Laka, I. (2009). Rudolf P.G. de Rijk. Standard Basque, a progressive grammar. Language Problems and Language Planning, 33 (1), 98-99. ISSN 0272-2690, eISSN: 1569-9889.

Vergara-Martínez, M., Duñabeitia, J.A., Laka I., & Carreiras, M. (2009). ERP correlates of inhibitory and facilitative effects of constituent frequency in compound words. Brain Research, 1257, 53–64.

Zawiszewski, A., & Laka, I. (2009). Parameters of grammar and maturational effects: an ERP study on ergativity and object-verb agreement processing by native versus nonnative speakers of Basque. A supplement of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 122-123. ISSN: 0898-929X, eISSN: 1530-889.

Díaz, B., Sebastián-Gallés, N., Erdozia, K., Mueller, J. L., & Laka, I. (2008). Age of acquisition and proficiency on L2 syntactic processing. International Journal of Psychology, 43, 3-4, 91.

Garzia, J.; Laka I. (2008). Zioren zioak (eta hiru hitzaldi) [Las razones de ZIO (y tres conferencias)], en Jakin, Zientziaren dibulgazioa, 166, 11-16.

Laka, I. (2008). Hizkuntzaren sustrai biologikoen inguruan [On the biological basis of language], Ekaia: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitateko zientzi eta teknologi aldizkaria, 21 [Ekaia: Revista de ciencia y tecnología de la Universidad del País Vasco], 141-161.

Laka, I. (2008). Simetria ala simetria eza? Hitzordenaz hausnarrean. [¿Simetria o asimetria? Reflexiones sobre el orden de palabras] In X. Artiagoitia & A. Elordieta (Eds.) Antisimetriaren hipotesia vs buru parametroa: euskararen oinarrizko hitz hurrenkera ezbaian [La hipótesis de la Antisimetria vs. el parámetro de núcleo: el orden básico de palabras del euskera a debate] , pp. 199-219, Bilbao: UPV/EHU Press.

Laka,I. (2008). Senezkotasuna hizkuntzan. [Lo innato en el lenguaje]. In X. Artiagoitia & J. Lakarra (Eds.) Gramatika Jaietan. Patxi Goenagaren omenez [La fiesta de la Gramática: Homenaje a Patxi Goenaga] , pp. 433-450,  Bilbao: UPV/EHU Press.

Laka, I. (2007). On innate and specific aspects of human language. In M. Aurnague, K. Korta, & J. M., Larrazabal (Eds.). Language, Representation and Reasoning , pp.229-248, Bilbao: UPV/EHU Press.

Laka, I. (2007). La desaparición de las lenguas del mundo (Reseña de Palabras y Mundos: informe sobre la diversidad lingüística). Revista Internacional de Estudios Vascos, 52 (1), 23.

Díaz, B., Erdocia, K., Mueller, J.L., Sebastian-Galles, N., & Laka, I. (2006). Individual differences in syntactic processing of a second language: Electrophysiological evidence. Journal of Psychophysiology, 20 (3), 228-228.

Ezeizabarrena, M. J., & Laka, I. (2006). Itzuleraren Hipotesiaz: haurren eta afasiko euskaldunen hizkuntza erkatzen. [Sobre la Hipótesis de la Regresión: lenguaje de niños y afásicos vascoparlantes]. In B. Fernández & I. Laka (Eds.). Andolin gogoan: essays in honour of Professor Eguzkitza ,pp. 367-382, Bilbao: UPV/EHU Press.

Fernández, B., & Laka, I. (Eds.) (2006). Andolin gogoan: Essays in Honour of Professor Eguzkitza. Bilbao: Servicio Editorial de la UPV/EHU. ISBN:978-84-837-3890-0.

Laka, I. (2006). On the nature of case in Basque: structural or inherent?. In H. Broekhuis, N. Corver, J. Koster, R. Huybregts, & U. Kleinhenz (Eds.). Organizing Grammar: Linguistic Studies in Honor of Henk van Riemsdijk , pp. 374-382,  Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN: 3110188503 / 3-11-018850-3.

Laka I. (2006). Deriving Split-ergativity in the progressive: the case of Basque. In A. Johns, D. Massam, & J. Ndayiragije (Eds.). Ergativity: Emerging Issues , pp.173-195, Dordrecht/Berlin: Springer. ISBN:978-14-020-4186-0.

Altuna, P., Baraiazarra L., Eguzkitza A., Goenaga P., Makazaga J.M., Mujika, J.A., Oyharcabal, B., Rotaetxe, K., Salaburu, P., Amundarain, I., & Azkarate, M. (2005). Euskal Gramatika Lehen Urratsak VI [Gramática Vasca. Prolegómenos VI]. Euskaltzaindia, Gramatika Batzordea. Loiu: Elkar.

Laka, I. (2003). Agramatismoaren sintomak euskaraz [Síntomas de agramatismo en euskera] in J.M. Makatzaga & B. Oyhartzabal (Eds.) IKER 14: Euskal gramatikari eta literaturari buruzko ikerketak XXI mendearen atarian [Investigaciones sobre literatura y gramática vasca en el inicio del siglo XXI], IKER (CNRS)-Euskaltzaindia (Real Academia de la Lengua Vasca), Bayona, Francia.

Laka, I. (2003). “Ari progresiboaz: euskararen kasu markak” en P. Albizu y B. Fernández (Eds.) Euskal Gramatika XXI. mendearen atarian: arazo zaharrak, azterbide beriak, [La gramática vasca a las puertas del siglo XXI: viejos problemas, nuevas propuestas] Bilbao: Servicio de Publicaciones de la UPV-EHU.

Laka, I. (2003). “Azkue gramatikagile” in M. Garamendi e I. Bazán (Eds.) Resurrección María de Azkue: euskal kulturaren erraldoia eta funtsezko zutabea Donostia-San Sebastián: Sociedad de Estudios Vascos.

Laka, I. (2002). Gramática Generativa y Lengua Vasca: estudios sobre ergatividad in Foro Hispánico: revista hispánica de Flandes y Holanda.

Laka, I. (2002). Ergatiboa definitzen: lehengo saioa gramatika sortzailean [Definiendo el ergativo: primer acercamiento en la gramática generativa] in X. Artiagoitia, P. Goenaga, J.A. Lakarra (Eds.) Erramu boneta: Festschrift for Rudolf P.G. de Rijk, UPV-ASJU, Bilbao.

Laka, I. (2002). Delimitando la Gramática Universal  in N. Catalá, J. A. Díez y J.E: García-Albea (Eds.) El lenguaje y la mente humana, Ariel Practicum, Ariel, Barcelona. Pages: 77-119.

Laka I.; Erriondo-Korostola, L. (2002). Aphasia manifestations in Basque. Journal of Neurolinguistics. Volume: 14, Issues: 2-4. Pages:133-157.

Sanz, M.; Laka, I. (2002). Oraciones transitivas con se: el modo de acción en la sintaxis in Las construcciones con se, Cristina Sánchez (Ed.), Visor Libros.

Laka, I. (2000). Thetablind Case: Burzio´s Generalization and its image in the mirror. In: Eric Reuland (arg.) Arguments and Case. Explaining Burzio’s Generalization, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Co. 113-129.

Laka, I. (1999). Review of The Syntax and Semantics of Conditional Clauses: Evidence from Spanish and Basque. GLOT International.

Laka, I. (1999). Ergatividad y predicados inacusativos. In J. Fernández González, C. Fernández, Juncal, M. Marcos Sánchez, E. Prieto de los Mozos, L. Santos Ríos (eds.) Lingüística para el siglo XXI. Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca.

Brief grammar Laka, I. (1996). A Brief Grammar of Euskara, the Basque Language. Euskararako Errektoreordetza, EHU. ISBN: 84-8373-850-3.

Laka, I. (1994). On the Syntax of Negation. Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics Series, New York-London: Garland Publishing Co., ISBN 0-8153-1728-X.

Laka, I. (1993). Unergatives that Assign Ergative, Unaccusatives that assign accusative. In: J.D. Bobaljik eta C. Phillips (arg.) Papers on Case and Agreement I. MIT Working Papers in Lingusitics, Vol 14, Cambridge, Mass.,149-172.

Laka, I. (1993) The Structure of Inflection: A Case Study in X Syntax. In: J.I. Hualde eta J. Ortiz de Urbina (arg.) Generative Studies in Basque Linguistics, John Benjamins Publishing Co., Amsterdam/Philadelphia, 21-70.

Laka, I. (1990). Negation in Syntax: On the Nature of Functional Categories and Projections,  Doctoral dissertation, MIT, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.

(1989) Laka, I.;  Mahajan, A. (Eds.) Functional Heads and Clause Structure. MIT Working  Papers in Linguistics Vol. 10 MITWPL, Cambridge, Mass.

Laka I. (1988) Configurational Heads in Inflectional Morphology: the Structure of the Inflected Forms in Basque. In A.S.J.U., International Journal of Basque Linguistics and Philology, XXII-2, San Sebastián, pp. 343-366.

Laka, I. (1987). Abarrak. Kirikiño,  Klasikoak, Vol. 6, Ediciones Mensajero, Bilbao. ISBN: 84-271-1472-9.


(2009) “Hizkuntza eta Ikastea  geroztik: Chomskyren eta Piageten arteko debateari buruzko gogoetak ,  Bilbao: Pentsamenduaren Klasikoak, (Piattelli-Palmarini, M.  “Ever Since Language and Learning: Afterthoughts on the Piaget-Chomsky Debate”, Cognition, 1994.) (Link)

(2009)   Gogoaren elkartea,  Bilbao: Pentsamenduaren Klasikoak, (Marvin Minsky  The Society of Mind, 1985). ISBN: 978-84-96455-47-4  (Link)

(2003) Egitura Sintaktikoak. [ Syntactic Structures, Chomsky 1957) Hitzaurrea: Esther Torrego (UMassBoston), Bilbo: Klasikoak.

(1995) Hizkuntza [ Language, Bloomfield, 1933] Hitzaurrea: A. García Calvo (UCM), Bilbo: Klasikoak.

(1993) GB sintaxi ikastaro bat [ A Course in GB Syntax H. Lasnik eta J. Uriagereka, 1988], Bilbo: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatearen Argitalpen Zerbitzuak.

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