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Sanskrit and Prakrit Roots of the Romany Language

Mislav Ježić ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Katarina Katavić ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 563 Kb

str. 19-34

preuzimanja: 675



The Romany language is a New Indo-Aryan language which has spread through the whole of Europe, including Croatia, and through many other parts of the world. The paper shows that the Romany language betrays many traces of contacts with the languages of those regions in which its speakers lived or passed through. It contains many loanwords from Persian, Byzantine Greek, Romance and Slavic languages, etc. It also betrays some traces of foreign influences, like articles, in its grammar. The Romany language preserves, however, the basic grammatical structure of an Indian, New Indo-Aryan, language. Its grammatical forms can be traced through the Middle Indo-Aryan languages (Prakrits) to the Old Indo-Aryan language (Vedic, Sanskrit). In recognizing forms, as in recognizing the origin of words, the phonetic laws of change of Old Indo-Aryan through Middle Indo-Aryan to New Indo-Aryan, and specifically to the Romany language, must be taken into account. It can be clearly shown that declension underwent a parallel change in Romany as it did in Hindi, but that the verbal system in Romany basically preserved the synthetic verbal forms inherited from the Old Indo-Aryan language. In this respect, Romany preserved the verbal system better than Hindi, where it collapsed, and a new system of analitical formation of tenses, aspects and moods had to be created. While Mislav Ježić prepared the survey of grammatical forms in the historical and comparative framework, Katarina Katavić prepared a selection of lexical items derived from Old and Middle Indo-Aryan vocabulary. This list of words clearly illustrates how phonetic laws for Middle Indo-Aryan languages, and then specifically for Romany, produced the current forms of genuine Romany words (tadbhava), and how they can be distinguished from loanwords, including those which were borrowed from Indian languages, and especially from Sanskrit, in modern times.

Ključne riječi

Sanskrit, Prakrit, Romany language

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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