Author Topic: Ben and Phen languages  (Read 421 times)

Offline Peteb

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Ben and Phen languages
« on: April 14, 2017, 05:54:33 PM »
The phen and ben speaking gypsies who first appeared in Europe in the 11th century were thought to have been part of a larger migration who wandered for several centuries through what is now Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, and to the south of the Caspian sea.

On reaching northern Mesopotamia and the eastern boundary of the Byzantine Empire towards the end of the tenth and beginning of the eleventh century they split into three groups. The ben speaking Dom who took the southern route or stayed in the Middle East, and two phen speaking groups, the Lom, who went north and the Rom, who took the western route.

Source: Gypsies in the Ottoman Empire: A Contribution to the History of the Balkans by Elena Marushiakova, Veselin Popov. Oct 2016.

My question: does anyone here know of such dialects?

Offline Daniel

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Re: Ben and Phen languages
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2017, 06:02:00 PM »
There is a substantial amount of research on Romani dialects. But what makes the situation especially interesting and unique is that they are heavily influenced by the local languages, some to the point that there is more of the local language in the dialect than the original grammar or vocabulary of the original Romani language, and for that reason the 'dialects' are very different from each other. The degree of influence, usage, etc., also varies substantially, both across dialects and for different individuals.

In short, that's not my area of expertise specifically but I have seen a number of books and articles about the topic, so you can find them too if you are interested. I think vocabulary and some basic grammatical aspects (including pronunciation) would be easy to find. Detailed grammatical descriptions are rarer. You can also find, in some cases, stories from different dialects, either translated or transcribed with glosses.
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