Romani is a language of Indo-Aryan origin which is spoken in Europe by the people known as 'Gypsies' (who usually refer to themselves as Rom). There are upwards of 3.5 million speakers, and their language has attracted increasing interest both from scholars and from policy-makers in governments and other organizations during the past ten years. This 2002 book is the first comprehensive overview in English of Romani. It provides a historical linguistic introduction to the structures of Romani and its dialects, as well as surveying the phonology, morphology, syntactic typology and patterns of grammatical borrowing in the language. This book provides an essential reference for anyone interested in this fascinating language.
Roms (Gypsies) have lived among Europeans since the Middle Ages and yet still seem exotic to Westerners. Yaron Matras challenges stereotypes that have long been the unwelcome travel companions of this community, and offers a perspective-changing account of who the Roms are, how they live today, and how they have survived in Europe and America.
Most societies in today's world are multilingual. 'Language contact' occurs when speakers of different languages interact and their languages influence each other. This book is an introduction to the subject, covering individual and societal multilingualism, the acquisition of two or more languages from birth, second language acquisition in adulthood, language change, linguistic typology, language processing and the structure of the language faculty. It explains the effects of multilingualism on society and language policy, as well as the consequences that long-term bilingualism within communities can have for the structure of languages. Drawing on the author's own first-hand observations of child and adult bilingualism, the book provides a clear analysis of such phenomena as language convergence, grammatical borrowing, and mixed languages.
The book contains 30 descriptive chapters dealing with a specific language contact situation. The chapters follow a uniform organisation format, being the narrative version of a standard comprehensive questionnaire previously distributed to all authors. The questionnaire targets systematically the possibility of contact influence / grammatical borrowing in a full range of categories. The uniform structure facilitates a comparison among the chapters and the languages covered. The introduction describes the setup of the questionnaire and the methodology of the approach, along with a survey of the difficulties of sampling in contact linguistics. Two evaluative chapters, each authored by one of the co-editors, draws general conclusions from the volume as a whole (one in relation to borrowed grammatical categories and meaningful hierarchies, the other in relation to the distribution of Matter and Pattern replication).
A language of Indic origin heavily infuenced by European idioms for many centuries now, Romani provides an interesting experimental field for students of language contact, linguistic minorities, standardization, and typology. Approaching the language via its ever-surfacing character as a language in contact, the volume gives expression to part of the wide range or research represented in today's field of Romani linguistics. Contributions focus on problems in typological change and structural borrowing, lexical borrowing and lexcial reconstruction, the Iranian influence on the language, interdialectal interference, language mixing, Romani influences on slang and argot, grammatical categories in discourse, standardization and literacy in a multilingual community, and plagiarism of data in older sources. The authors discuss dialects spoken in the Czech and Slovak Republics, Serbia, Macedonia, Germany, Poland, and Romania, as well as related varieties in Spain and the Middle East.
Mixed Languages are speech varieties that arise in bilingual settings, often as markers of ethnic separateness. They combine structures inherited from different parent languages, often resulting in odd and unique splits that present a challenge to theories of contact-induced change as well as genetic classification. This collection of articles is devoted to the theoretical and empirical controversies that surround the study of Mixed Languages. Issues include definitions and prototypes, similarities and differences to other contact languages such as pidgins and creoles, the role of codeswitching in the emergence of Mixed Languages, the role of deliberate and conscious mixing, the question of the existence of a Mixed Language continuum, and the position of Mixed Languages in general models of language change and contact-induced change in particular. An introductory chapter surveys the current study of Mixed Languages.
Contributors include leading historical linguists, contact linguists and typologists, among them Carol Myers-Scotton, Sarah Grey Thomason,William Croft, Thomas Stolz, Maarten Mous, Ad Backus, Evgeniy Golovko, Peter Bakker, Yaron Matras.
This series offers a wide forum for work on contact linguistics, adopting an integrated approach to diachronic and synchronic manifestations of contact, ranging from social and individual aspects to structural-typological issues. Topics covered by the series include psycholinguistic and acquisition-oriented aspects of child and adult multilingualism such as bilingual language processing, second language acquisition, and bilingual first language acquisition; social, formal-structural, and conversational aspects of code switching; diachronic and typological aspects of contact-induced language change such as lexical and structural borrowing, contact languages, pidgins and creoles, convergence, and linguistic areas; as well as societal aspects of multilingualism, language management in multilingual societies, receptive multilingualism and lingua francas, language maintenance and language shift, multilingualism in computer-mediated communication, and more. The series does not have a fixed theoretical orientation and welcomes contributions from a variety of approaches.
This is the first typologically-oriented collection on Romani that is devoted to a particular thematic domain that of noun phrase grammar. The approach taken is unique in that it places this typologically hybrid language in the centre of a general linguistic, universal discussion of the relevant noun phrase phenomena. The book is also the first assembly of articles to deal with Romani as a whole on the basis of cross-dialectal samples, offering areal-typological, dialectological, and historicalinterpretations. The individual contributions discuss morphological and syntactic aspects of nominal and pronominal inflection, definite articles, demonstratives, genitive compounding, external possession, pronominal object doubling and morphosyntactic alignment. Contributors include leading experts in the fields of noun phrase grammar, Romani dialectologists, typologists and historical linguists.