Matras, Yaron's A Grammar of Domari PDF

By Matras, Yaron

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Example text

O. p. 17 It has now been first/ that is, fifty days/ fifty years [for us here]. We settled here. We took Abu Zir’s sister’s daughter. We took her for my son Ahmad. She gave birth and she stayed here. We started to go to work and to return back here. We stayed and we built up here. ’ As can be seen through a comparison with examples presented in the following chapters, the language of this excerpt is almost identical to the Domari speech of Jerusalem. The only differences that can be identified on the basis of this excerpt are (a) the use of the copula form in ߂W (Jerusalem DKU), (b) use of the numerals ߂H߂ ‘six’ and ŠQG६DK ‘fifty’, both from Kurdish, and (c) the forms LQьDand HKǓQD ‘here’ (Jerusalem LKQ̌Q, LKQ̌QD).

In Domari its use is limited, as far as we can tell from contemporary materials, to the reinforcement of past-tense verbs (ODKDPL ‘I see’, ODKDUGRP ‘I saw’), while in Romani it becomes productive as a transitive and causative derivation marker (for details see Matras 2002). A set of postposed local relations expressions are grammaticalised into new case markers, as in the other NIA languages, but in both Domari and Romani they become agglutinating inflectional endings (Domari PDQVDVNH ‘for the person’, Romani PDQX߂HVNH).

The Dom’s traditional specialisation was in metalwork and entertainment. Among the Palestinian Dom, however, these two professions are usually associated with different clans. The ancestors of the Jerusalem Dom were, until several decades ago, tent-dwelling smiths and tinners who produced skewers, horseshoes, and other metal artefacts. When the British set up municipal services in Jerusalem, in the early 1920s, the Dom abandoned their traditional professions and sought paid employment in the service of the municipality, as sweepers, in rubbish disposal, and as caretakers in public lavatories.

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A Grammar of Domari by Matras, Yaron


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