1986 GMP K. Mitxelena

1986 GMP KOLDO MITXELENA

GOLD MEDAL OF PHILOLOGY 1986


Koldo Mitxelena Elissalt (Basque pronunciation: [koldo mitʃelena]) (also known as Luis Michelena; 1915, Errenteria, Gipuzkoa – 11 October 1987, San Sebastián) was an eminent Basque linguist. He taught in the Department of Philology at the University of the Basque Country, and was a member of the Royal Academy of the Basque Language.

He is described as "the greatest scholar the Basque language has ever seen." He is known for the complete reconstruction of Proto-Basque he undertook in the 1950s, as well as the formal demonstration in 1954 that the Aquitanian language was an ancestral form of Basque. Mitxelena was also one of the main participants in the creation of "Euskara Batua" or Standard Basque. In 1987 he was declared Seme Kuttun of the City of Errenteria, literally 'beloved son'.


Mitxelena wrote twelve books, 260 articles, and 236 reviews and critiques. Some of his works are:

  • "Apellidos vascos" ("Basque Surnames") (1955)
  • "Historia de la literatura vasca" ("History of the Basque Literature") (1960)
  • "Fonética histórica vasca" ("Historical Phonetics of Basque") (1961)
  • "Lenguas y protolenguas" ("Languages and Proto-Languages") (1963)
  • "Textos arcaicos vascos" ("Archaic Basque Texts") (1964)
  • "Sobre el pasado de la lengua vasca" ("On the History of the Basque Language") (1964)
  • "Mitxelenaren idazlan hautatuak" ("Selected Writings of Mitxelena") (1972)
  • "Koldo Mitxelena. Euskal idazlan guztiak" ("Koldo Mitxelena. Complete Basque Writings"), Euskal klasikoak 21-29 (1988)
  • "Orotariko euskal hiztegia" ("General Basque Dictionary") (1987–2005)