LWM 105: Romanes

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 9783895860171
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Daniel Holzinger
University of Klagenfurt

The language of the Sinte (called Romanes by its speakers) is one of the Romani (Gypsy) languages. It belongs to the Indo­Aryan branch of Indo­European. Romanes (Sinte) is spoken by about 100.000 ­ 200.000 people mainly in W­Europe: Germany, France (Manus), Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, N­Italy and N­Yugoslavia. The Sinte were the first Gypsies to arrive in W­Europe about 500 years ago. Most of them are semi­nomadic travelling around in summer time to earn their living.

Due to the long stay in a German speaking environment, the Sinte language (esp. the syntax) is quite strongly influenced by German. The morphology however ist still intact. Most of the Sinte people use their language. As a minority language it has a strong group defining function. Since it is very hard for gadze (non­gypsies) to gain access to Romanes, the linguistic description at hand is quite a rarity.

The sketch contains a short phonological and syntactic description and concentrates rather on morphology and features of narrative texts (aspects, word order, discourse markers, participant tracking). The grammatical description contains text samples in interlinear and free translation.

ISBN 9783895860171. Languages of the World/Materials 105. 1995.

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