Romani in Britain: The Afterlife of a Language

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Romani is one of Britain's oldest and most established minority languages. Brought to the country by Romani immigrants from continental Europe in the sixteenth century or even earlier, it was spoken in its old, inflected form as a family and community language until the second half of the nineteenth century, when it yielded to English. But even after its decline as the everyday language of English and Welsh Gypsies, Romani continues to survive in the form of a vocabulary that is used to express an 'emotive mode' of communication among group members. This book examines British Romani in its historical context and in its present-day form, drawing on recordings and interviews with speakers. It documents the Romani vocabulary and its usage patterns in conversation, offering insight into the processes of language death and language revitalization. The volume includes an extensive lexicon of Angloromani as a helpful reference.