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see RomaniRomani
or Romany
, people known historically in English as Gypsies and their language.

1 A traditionally nomadic people with particular folkways and a unique language, found on every continent; they are sometimes also called Roma, from the name of a major
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the language of the Gypsies. Romany, which belongs to the neo-Indic group of Indo-European languages, developed in isolation from the Indie languages, to which it is closely related. It preserved the basic lexicon of the Old Indie languages and a typological resemblance to the Middle Indic and Modern Indic languages.

The principal phonetic features of Romany include the devoicing of voiced aspirates (gh > kh, dh > th,bh > ph), the weakening of aspiration (ch > c, th > t, bh > b), the loss of retroflexion (ṭ > r, ḍ > r, ḍh > r, ṣ > s, ṣṭ > št), and the devoicing of affricates (j > c). In Romany, positions have come to be used as case endings. Other morphological features of Romany include a distinction between the stem in the direct case and the stem in oblique cases, the lack of an accusative case for inanimate nouns, and the presence of compound forms in the future tense.

Ethnic groups of Gypsies, which have migrated along different routes, speak different dialects that have been more or less influenced in vocabulary, phonetics, and syntax by surrounding languages. Because of the Gypsies’ long residence in the Byzantine Empire, Romany absorbed several features common to Balkan languages. For example, it adopted the use of articles (masculine o, feminine e and i) and lost the earlier infinitive, which was replaced by personal forms of the subjunctive with the prepositive particle te- (in certain modern dialects of Romany these forms of the subjunctive are losing their significance as personal forms).


Venttsel’, T. V. Tsyganskii iazyk. Moscow, 1964.
Venttsel’, T. V., and L. N. Cherenkov. “Dialekty tsyganskogo iazyka.” In the collection lazyki Azii i Afriki, book 1. Moscow, 1976.
Sergievskii, M. V., comp. Tsygansko-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1938.
Turner, R. L. The Position of Romani in Indo-Aryan. London, 1927.
Kochanowski, J. Gypsy Studies, vols. 1–2. New Delhi, 1963.
Wolf, S. A. Grosses Wörterbuch der Zigeunersprache (Romani tšiw). Mannheim, 1960.
Rishi, W. R. Multilingual Romani Dictionary. Chandigarh, 1974.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, Romani
a. another name for a Gypsy
b. (as modifier): Romany customs
2. the language of the Gypsies, belonging to the Indic branch of the Indo-European family, but incorporating extensive borrowings from local European languages. Most of its 250 000 speakers are bilingual. It is extinct in Britain
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"The feeling that Charlie Chaplin was born in the camp has only grown stronger over the years and Michael wants to keep that connection with the ancestral home of many Romany Gypsies."
Romany Creams from Bakers sweet biscuits are now available in bigger-sized value-bags, as well as in a delicious and indulgent new variant - Cappuccino.
| Errol Richter with his car parked on Romany Road, Great Ayton, where he says damage has repeatedly occurred.
Romany has been drawn to the arts since he was a child, when he liked to paint, draw, and experiment with different colour palettes.
His mum Romany was a RADA–trained Shakespearean actor, who became a celebrity interviewer, friends with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Taking us through their polar backgrounds, Romany's Methodist upbringing and her luminous acting career, crafted at RADA, and Tommy's working class Glaswegian roots, Watt glides effortlessly through the years with a perceptive, sweet and at times humorous look at the people who raised him.
Romany said: "We both love all types of animals but tortoises have an innocence to them, they don't complain, they're beautiful and they don't disturb you.
One of the sons, Bobby Johns, said he hopes that the series will tear down common misconceptions about the Romany. But some critics believe the show has failed spectacularly in that regard.
The award-winning S4C film Eldra, based on the early life of Romany Eldra Jarman, will also be screened.
On the other, critics, including right-wing political leaders, accuse the Romany of being responsible for high levels of crime and social unrest while taking advantage of generous social benefits to raise families that are likely to be characterised by low levels of educational attainment and employment.
Romany is a dramatic, swirling paisley, with the versatility of being on two different base cloths.