A sociolinguistic perspective on Roma group names in Transylvania

This article focuses on one aspect of a sociolinguistic survey which was done between summer 2007 and summer 2009 by SIL International in collaboration with Manchester University. The article evaluates data compiled from over 130 interviews with different Romani speakers from all over Transylvania. The aspect considered here is the relationship between group names and different dialects of Romani. Both the endonyms (how Roma groups designate themselves) and exonyms (how members from other Roma groups refer to them) are considered. As one of our main findings, we describe a clear correlation between present-day language varieties and two common group names, Corturari 'Tent Roma' and Romungri 'Hungarian Roma', which reflects a major division of Romani speakers into groups that have been travelling around and those groups that have been settled for a longer period of time. Keywords: dialects, dialectology, endonyms, ethnonyms, exonyms, group names, Romania, Transylvania.

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