Acquisition of Case System in Romani Language
Introduction. The paper presents observations of the author on acquisition of case markers in the Romani language of two Roma children from Bulgaria. This is the first study ever done on acquisition of case system of Romani by children in their natural environment. The study is done in one of the biggest Roma settlement of Bulgaria in the city of Sofia. Romani being a new-Indian language has some features from the Indian languages but also adapted some features from some European languages. It has the ability to express one and the same idea either with a preposition or with a case marker.
Methods. The author uses the longitudinal observation of the children in their natural environment, where a woman – representative of the community, was trained to audio record the interviews between parents, family members, community members and the children. This method is known from other studies in field of sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics (Labov, 1973)
Results. The study is investigating what is used more frequently by the children - prepositions or case markers. For this purpose, the utterances of the parents and the children with case markers and with the prepositions have been analyzed. It was found that in the age between 1 to 2 parents and respectively their children use more case markers. In the age from 2 to 3 children use more prepositions. It seems that Roma children need more experience with the language in order to connect the case marker with the function of the preposition in the Romani language.
Berako-Gleason, J. (1992). Language Acquisition and Socialization. University Lecture. Boston.
Bowerman, M. (1973). Structural relationships in children’s utterances: Semantic or syntactic? In T.E. Moore (Ed.), Cognitive Development and the Acquisition of Language (pp. 197–213). NY. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-505850-6.50015-3
Bowerman, M., & Choi, S. (2001). Shaping meanings for language: universal and language-specific in the acquisition of special semantic categories. In M. Bowerman & S.C. Levinson (Eds.), Language Acquisition and Conceptual Development (pp. 475–511). Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620669.018
Choi, S. (1993). Development of locative case markers in Korean. Japanese Korean Linguistics, 2, 205–222.
Friеdman, V. (1991). Case in Romani: Old grammar in new affixes. Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society 5.1(2), 85–102.
Igla, B. (1997). The Romani dialect of the Rhoropes. In Y. Matras, P. Bakker & H. Kyuchukov (Eds), The Typology and Dialectology of Romani (pp. 147–159). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.156.09igl
Kostov, К., & Iliev, D. (2004). Romska gramatika [Romani grammar]. Sofia: Tilia.
Kyuchukov, H., Ushakova, O., & Yashina, V. (2019) Are the Roma children “mentally retarded” if they do not know the syntax of their second language? Clinical social work and health intervention, 10(2), 62–70. https://doi.org/10.22359/cswhi_10_2_09
Kyuchukov, H., & de Villiers, J. (2018). Language Complexity, Narratives and Theory of Mind of Romani Speaking Children. East European Journal of Psycholinguistics, 5(2), 16–31.
Kyuchukov, H., Samko, M., & Kopcanova, D. (2017). Knowledge of Romani language grammar. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10(4), 76–85. https://doi.org/10.11621/pir.2017.0407
Kyuchukov, H., de Villiers, J., & Tabori, A. (2017). Why Roma children need language assessments in Romani? Psychology of Language and Communication, 21(1), 215–243. https://doi.org/10.1515/plc-2017-0011
Kyuchukov H. (1999). Early acquisition of Romani (Gypsy) language. In M. de G. Pinto, J. Veloso & B. Maia (Eds.), Proceedings from the 5th International Congress of the International Society of Applied Psycholinguistics (pp. 329–337). Porto: Porto University Press.
Kyuchukov H. (2007). How do children learn Romani syntax? In P. Ilieva-Baltova & K. Petrova (Eds.), Psycholinguistic Studies (pp. 271–281). Sofia: Riva Publishers.
Kyuchukov, H. (1999a). Acquisition of Romani morphology. Grazer Linguistischen Studien, 51, 83–94.
Kyuchukov, H. (2003). Kratko opisanie na romskiya ezik v Bulgaria [Short description of Romani language in Bulgaria]. Sofia: Delfi [in Bulgarian].
Labov, W. (1973) Language in the Inner City. Studies in the Black English Vernacular. University of Pennsylvania Press.
MacWhinney, B. (1978). The acquisition of morphophonology. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 43(1/2), 1–123. https://doi.org/10.2307/1166047
Narasimhan, B. (2005). Splitting the notion of ‘agent’: case-marking in early child Hindi. Journal of Child Language, 32, 787–803. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000905007117
New, B., Kyuchukov, H., & de Villiers, J. (2017) “We do not speak Gypsy here”: Minority language policies in Europe. Journal of Language and Cultural Education, 5(2), 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1515/jolace-2017-0015
Özge, D., Kornfilt, J., Münster, K., Knoeferle, P., Küntay, A., & Snedeker, J. (2016). Predictive Use of Case Markers in German Children. Proceedings of the 40th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 299–303). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Reger, Z. (1986). The functions of imitation in child language. Applied Psycholinguistics, 7, 323–352. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716400007712
Schönenberger, M., Rothweiler, M., & Sterner, F. (2012). Case marking in child L1 and in earl child L2 German. Multilingual individuals and multilingual societies (pp. 3–22). Amsterdam. https://doi.org/10.1075/hsm.13.03sch
Slobin, D. (1982). Universal and particular in the acquisition of language. In E. Wanner & L. Gleitman (Eds.), Language Acquisition: The State of the Art (pp. 128–172). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Szahun, G. (2004). Learning by ear: on the acquisition of case and gender marking in German speaking children with normal hearing and with cochler implants. Journal of Child language, 31(1), 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000903005889
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.