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buber.net > Basque > Astro > On Basque Astronymy: Preface
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On Basque Astronymy: Preface

by M. G. Ramos

Tr: Blas Pedro Uberuaga

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For a long time, we have had the intention of publishing a study about Astronomastica Basque [+]. Painful mishaps forced us to suspend our work when we had collected abundant material. After various years, those notes have given rise to the present book and to a paper that, in abstract form, we just presented to the 17th International Congress of Orientalistas, in Oxford, with the title El sol y la luna en vascuence y en las lenguas indogermanicas.

We do not have the pretension of having exhausted the material, even having limited our study to the names of the two principle celestial bodies. Neither are we blind to the difficulty in formulating a theory that, more than being new, clashes with established prejudices. We treat a material that, unfortunately, cannot leave the realm of hypothesis and conjecture and, as such, nearly all that has been said until now must be considered, without ruling out any of our own opinions. We have endeavored to ensure that the ideas of others are reflected with the most fealty possible, and with frequency we have reproduced them literally, transcribing them in their original language when the translation would have been worth little or damaging to the form.

All of the works cited in the Bibliography have served and helped us greatly, but we should especially mention the Diccionario Vasco-Espanol-Frances of Azkue; the treaties of Basque phonetics of Uhlenbeck and Gavel; the folkloric material collected by Barandiaran; the Diccionario Sanscrito-Ingles of Monier-Williams; the Mitologia vedica of Macdonell, and the linguistic studies of Max Müller, Schuchardt and others. All of these are equally deserving of the admiration and gratitude of those interested in Basque studies.

Tarragona, September of 1928.

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