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appendix b Dialect Di√erences
Romani is an Indo-Iranic language, hence its basic grammatical and lexical elements
are from Sanskrit. There are at least ten Romani dialects in Russia, belonging to
both Vlax and non-Vlax groups. Russka (or Xeladytka) is the dialect dominant at
the Moscow Romani Theater and in media. A ‘‘northern Russian’’ Romani dialect,
it is more closely related outside Russia to Balkan Romani (see Hancock n.d;
Kochanowski 1982 and 1995) and northern Carpathian (see Hubschmannova and
Sebkova 1991) than to Vlax. Russka has layers of Greek, Serbian, Romanian, Hun-
garian, German, and Polish vocabulary, but Vlax shows more Romanian and Hun-
garian influence. Below are di√erences that speakers of Lovari and Russka find
salient or interesting when they talk about di√erences in the other groups’ ways of
speaking (di√erences between Lovari and Kelderari are given in the glossary [Ap-
pendix C] where applicable).
Lovari and Russka: Some Features Salient to Speakers in Russia
Lovari Russka Gloss
Phonological distinctions:
gazhjo gadzhjo non-Rom
aven! javen! come!
shjavo chjavo son
phral pshal brother
dej daj mother
sar syr how
Lexical distinctions:
ratjija brvinta vodka
trajo dzhiiben life
vorbiv rakirav I speak/say
sostar palso why/what for?
kaj karik to/to where
chi na negative indicative
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