Romani Studies

Functional expansion and language change: The case of Burgenland Romani

Romani Studies (2012), 22, (1), 49–66.

Abstract

Language awareness among Burgenland Roma, which has been triggered by self-organisation with the goal of socio-political emancipation, resulted, among others, in the expansion of their Romani variety into formal domains. This ongoing process not only affects the functions of Burgenland Romani but also its structures. Furthermore, it changed the primary contact varieties from dialectal registers of Austrian German to spoken and written standard varieties. Naturally, these changes are most obvious at the lexical level in the large number of loans and neologisms. But not only the lexicon expands: morphosyntax, case functions, and syntax undergo changes too. The article outlines and demonstrates both lexical expansion and structural changes against the background of the new model codes, namely, spoken and written standards of Austrian German.

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Halwachs, Dieter