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Romani in BritainThe Afterlife of a Language$
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Yaron Matras

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748639045

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639045.001.0001

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The Roots of Romani

The Roots of Romani

(p.31) 2 The Roots of Romani
Romani in Britain

Yaron Matras

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter describes the historical origins of Romani and its split into different dialects. A series of innovations surpass as separating Romani from the bulk of the Indo-Aryan language group. The Romani lexicon reveals some clearly identifiable traces of both Iranian and Armenian influences. The Greek impact on Romani affirms the existence of a service economy as well as the territorial dispersion of Romani communities. The descendants of Romani immigrants in individual regions underwent a kind of integration process. Every linguistic structure is potentially open to change and innovation in any community of speakers who use Romani. Dialect groups are terms of convenience that allow researchers to make generalisations about the distribution of structural features using an economical inventory of reference terms.

Keywords:   dialects, Romani lexicon, Greek, Romani immigrants, linguistic structure, service economy, territorial dispersion

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