The Swedish Romani language, historically and today

ABC LINN Negglo

Today it is World Romani Day. Jon Petterson contributes an article about his variety of Swedish Romani. 

The first known source of Romani speakers is a document describing a traveling party of a people never seen before arriving Stockholm in 1512. Originally mistaken for being Tartars they came to be called Thatra. Today the term tattare is still in use in Scandinavia. In Sweden it’s considered to be a disparaging term, but in Norway it is used as a self-definition for Romanies.

From the 16th and 17th century, the sources mentioning Romanies with the synonymous terms tartare and ziguenare are very few. In 1637 a royal decree proclaimed that Romanies should settle or leave the country within three months.

Global live presentations on linguistics on the net: Lingoblogger featured on June 7th

ABRALIN EVENTS

Interested in language and linguistics? We thought so! Want to attend an almost three month long global event with talks from some of the world’s leading linguists for free? Of course you do! And now you can!

The Brazilian Linguistics Association (Abralin), in a joint project with the Permanent International Committee of Linguists, the Asociación de Lingüística y Filología de América Latina, Sociedad Argentina de Estudios Lingüísticos, the Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée, the Societas Linguistica Europaea, the Linguistic Society of America, the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, and the Australian Linguistic Society, is organizing a virtual event: Abralin ao Vivo – Linguists Online. The event takes place from May 4th

Language attitudes towards Sheng: deterioration or unification?

sheng nation

This post is a rewritten version of my paper for the course ‘Postcolonial Linguistics’, offered at Linguistics at Aarhus University in the autumn of 2013. I wanted to delve into different language attitudes towards Sheng – and what better way to do it than through Youtube video comments?

Sheng? WTF?

Sheng is as a language variety of Swahili – a mixture of Swahili, English and a host of regional languages of Kenya. The grammatical structure stems from Swahili while incorporating terms from English and indigenous Kenyan tongues (e.g. Dholuo and Kikuyu). Consider the following example (adapted from Abdulaziz and Osinde 1997:56):

Kithora   ma-doo       za      mathee
steal      PL-money    of      mother
‘To steal my mother’s money.’

Here, kithora stems from the Kikuyu …