Variation and dialect levelling in the Romani dialect of Ţǎndǎrei

Daniele Viktor Leggio, Yaron Matras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Kangjlari of Ţǎndǎrei in southeastern Romania offer an interesting case study of the consolidation within just a few generations of a new Romani community, as a result of state-sponsored relocation and settlement between 1950 and 1980. We discuss the linguistic implications of the formation of this new community, drawing on language material from questionnaire elicitation and life history interviews among recent migrants now living in the UK, and supported by access to local ethnographic and archive material in the origin community. We show how a process of dialect levelling is underway in the Romani variety spoken by the Roma of Ţǎndǎrei, which resembles cases of koineization discussed for a number of other languages in recent sociolinguistic literature. The stabilization of a particular combination of features means that the variety under discussion cannot be accommodated into current dialect classification models. This has implications for our general understanding of dialect formation in Romani. The paper also offers the very first modern, concise grammatical sketch of a Romani variety from Romania.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-209
Number of pages37
JournalRomani Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research leading to the present publication results from MiGROM, ‘The immigration of Romanian Roma to Western Europe: Causes, effects and future engagement strategies’, a project funded by the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme under the call on ‘Dealing with diversity and cohesion: the case of the Roma in the European Union’ (GA319901).


  • Romanian Romani
  • Vlax Romani
  • dialect levelling
  • koineization
  • Ţǎndǎrei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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