Peter Bakker (University of Amsterdam)
Romani is a Neo-Indic language spoken throughout Europe and the Americas. The ancestors of Romani speakers, now known as the Gypsies, arrived in Europe from India in the 12th or the 13th century. All known modern day dialects underwent significant structural influence from Balkan languages, especially Greek. Nothing is known about pre-European Romani. Fieldwork on Romani as spoken in Turkey show that the language is dying out rapidly. All these dialects appear to conform to the Balkan sprachbund features like European Romani. The paper discusses the significant influence from Turkish on Romani dialects in four Gypsy neighbourhoods in Istanbul.