By Matras, Yaron
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Additional info for A Grammar of Domari
It no longer shows any trace of the inherited OIA/MIA internal passive in \, which is preserved in Domari. e. uniform markers of tense that follow the subject-concord marker) similar to those found in Kurdish and other Iranian languages. It appears as though both languages made use of the stems KR and VWR for the existential verb, as both languages still show cross-dialectal variation in the distribution of copula forms (Jerusalem Domari KRPL ‘I am’, Hauran Domari ߂WRPL; Sinti Romani KRP, Arli Romani VRP; note also the cognates Domari DKXURP ‘I became’ and Romani KXORP).
Distribution also seems to be influenced by syllable length and assimilation to neighbouring vowels (such as raising in anticipation of L variants): >H@ >QਥKHপ@ >GHM@>GH৸M@ >HਥUL@ >IHਥMԌߑ@ >EHQ@ QKH· ‘there isn’t’ GH\, Ǧ\ ‘village’ HUL ‘she arrived’ IH\L߂ ‘argument, fight’ EHQ ‘sister’ >͑@ >প͑ਥP͑@ >প͑KਥUL@ HPH ‘we’ HKUL ‘she became’ 38 Chapter 2: Phonology >প͑ਥKH@ >SO͑@ >]OD৸ਥP͑@ >JRUਥM͑@ HKH ‘these’ SOH ‘money’ ]OčPH ‘men’ JRU\H ‘horses’ The back vowels >X@, >@ and >R@ are generally stable and consistent in their word stem positions irrespective of environment: >X@ >ਥNXUL@ >[XਥGওRWL@ >পXUDਥWL@ >পDਥWX@ NXUL ‘house’ [XG६RWL ‘yesterday’ XUDWL ‘tomorrow’ DWX ‘you’ >@ >PਥWU@ >SਥWU@ >ਥKQGDU@ >Jਥ]͑O@ PXWXU ‘urine’ SXWXU ‘son’ KXQGDU ‘there’ JX]HO ‘nice, beautiful’ >R@ >পDਥGওRWL@ >ORQ@ >SWਥURV@ >EDਥURP@ DG६RWL ‘today’ ORQ ‘salt’ SXWURV ‘his son’ EDURP‘my brother’ Elsewhere, there appears to be more volatility and frequent alternation among vowels in neighbouring positions, as well as a greater degree of environmental conditioning.
For the Bahlawan population of metalworkers, Streck (1996: 295–297) documents several dozen words of Domari origin that are used as a “secret language” among group members, embedded into their local dialect of Arabic. In many cases, frozen grammatical inflections accompany the vocabulary items: LNLRVV ‘eye’ (N\RV ‘his eye), VDQWDVV ‘dog’ (VQRWDV ‘dog [direct object]’), NXWXUMHVV ‘European’ (NWXUDV ‘Christian [direct object])’, VKHULD ‘knife’ (߂LU\D ‘knife [direct object]’), SLUQ ‘nose’, VXWDUL ‘to sleep’ (VXWDUL ‘he/she sleeps’), TRWDUL ‘to steal’ (TDIWDUL ‘he/she steals’).