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Old 11-28-2006, 12:17 PM
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John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
Euskara, the language of the Basque people?
That's not what the OP is asking, and it's what usually causes a lot of confusion in these types of discussions. The OP is asking which language has remained more or less the same for the longest time. Although Basque traces its roots far back in time, so does every other natural language on earth. But we don't really know how Basque has evloved over time, as we do with other languages, especially those of Indo-European origin. As your cite indicates:

Most scholars see Basque as a language isolate. Consequently, its prehistory cannot be reconstructed by means of the comparative method, and little is known of its origins.
Besides the use of comparative linguistics, Indo-European languages have the benefit of a long written history for many of the branches (Italic, Greek, Indic) which allows us to have a pretty detailed understanding of how the various languages in that family changed over time. For Basque, we have a few inscriptions dating from the 3rd century AD, but the oldest texts available don't start showing up until about 1,000 years ago.