Angloromani: A Different Kind of Language?

Yaron Matras

in Romani in Britain

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780748639045
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671526 | DOI:
Angloromani: A Different Kind of Language?

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This chapter explores the question of ‘languageness’ in connection with the Angloromani lexicon. The story of Angloromani begins with the arrival of the Roms. The chapter then investigates a number of scenarios that account for the mixed structural profile of Angloromani. Angloromani seems to contradict the creole stereotype of a complete absence of grammatical inflection, showing English inflection wherever it is required. Some Romani dialects reveal evidence that the language was employed for the exclusion of bystanders. It is noted that mixed languages may arise in situations of competition between languages, in which the winner does not take it all, but does take the predication. In the British context, speaking ‘Romanes’ has accepted the meaning of adopting a particular attitude to English sentence formation along with the tendency to enrich it, at the user's discretion, with word forms belonging to a special linguistic repertoire not shared by group-outsiders.

Keywords: languageness; Angloromani; Roms; creole stereotype; English inflection; Romani; Romanes

Chapter.  13896 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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