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Aspects of the early history of Romani.


We owe to Ralph Lilley Turner the correct classification of Romani as originating from a central or inner form of Indo-Aryan. Tumer also clarified that the "Dardic" elements in Romani have been borrowed into early Romani after its speakers had left their original home and reached the north-west of South Asia where they stayed for several hundred years before finally leaving the subcontinent. Until now, the extent of the "Dardic" influence on early Romani was poorly understood. In the present article much data has been put together which shows that this impact indeed is considerable. But it is intelligible only if we accept Turner's hypothesis of a long stopover in north-western South Asia. The data presented below will also show that the notion of "Dardic" is too narrow in this context: the impact on early Romani, in fact, comprises linguistic elements and features found in Nuristani, Dardic and West Pahari.

Keywords: Romani history, Nuristani, Dardic, West Pahari, Indo-Aryan, linguistic borrowing.

1 Introduction

I have been working for some time on languages within the three Indo-Aryan subgroups (1) Nuristani, Dardic and West Pahari. (2) They are spoken in the mountainous tracts between the Yamuna valley in the south-east and eastern Afghanistan in the north-west. Recently I have also been working with speakers of Norwegian Romani in a project financed by the Norwegian Research Council--to whom I want to express here my gratitude. It lent itself for me to combine the two fields of work and reconsider the question of the impact of languages of north-western South Asia on early Romani. (3) It has been known for a long time that some influence does exist, but no detailed study has been done. The present article attempts to do this and I will show that not only Dardic but also Nuristani and West Pahari need to be kept in view. My conclusions will be that their impact on early Romani is much more extensive than previously assumed.

The article begins with a succinct reevaluation of some questions concerning the early history of Indo-Aryan. It then recapitulates the most important arguments for the most likely geographical area from where the speakers of Romani must have originated. It will be seen that I agree to a large extent with the thesis suggested by R. L. Turner (1927), namely that Romani originally belongs to Central Indo-Aryan, respectively to the so-called inner branch of Indo-Aryan (see section 3). By clarifying that Romani originated in Central Indo-Aryan and not in the area of the Dard languages in north-western South Asia, Turner rectified previous views held for instance by F. Miklosich, R. Pischel, and G. A. Grierson (see literature). I will support Turner's view with much data which prove a considerable influence on early Romani by Indo-Aryan languages which are found today in the mountains between the valley of the Yamuna and eastern Afghanistan.

2 Early Indo-Aryan

Instead of summarising the complex debate on the migration of speakers of Indo-Aryan into South Asia (see for instance Bronkhorst and Deshpande, Masica, Erdorsy, Renfrew, Marcantonio) I want to point out here that the whole discussion (including by authors who reject such an immigration) usually stops short with the beginning of Old Indo-Aryan in north-western South Asia. This gives the impression as if the further development of Indo-Aryan would not be of interest for this debate. But this is not the case. In a nutshell: (a) the fact that the most archaic forms of Indo-Aryan are found in north-western South Asia, and (b) the fact that it is possible to distinguish branches of Indo-Aryan whose vanishing point directs exactly to that north-western area are additional arguments that make it impossible to assume that the original home of Indo-Aryan is located elsewhere in South Asia.

The debate on inner and outer languages

Mainly in the fifth and sixth chapters of Linguistic Archaeology in South Asia the author Franklin C. Southworth discusses a controversial hypothesis of George Abraham Grierson. Grierson had suggested dividing New Indo-Aryan into three subgroupings which he called midland languages, intermediate languages and outer languages (Southworth 2005: 130). According to this model, West Pahari would be an inner (or midland) and Kashmiri, generally classified as Dardic, would be an outer language (see Masica 1991:451 for a diagram). Grierson's hypothesis was not widely accepted because it was argued that there is too much diffusion and overlaying between the different IA languages so that no clear picture can emerge. (4) It would be too long-winded to present here all the details of how Southworth not only defends Grierson's hypothesis but, in fact, modifies and places it on safer ground with the help of additional data. The main arguments for distinguishing between inner and outer languages (plus a transitional zone) are the following. All or most of the outer languages have (in the transitional zone the evidence is ambiguous) the following features which are missing with the inner languages (only the most relevant are quoted here): past forms in -l-; gerundive, nominal and future forms based on OIA -(i)tavva-; particular behaviours of the OIA vowels r, i and u; lexical evidence. Discussing questions of early dialect variations Southworth says (2005: 155): "In interpreting earlier evidence it is important to note that some scholars, for instance Chatterji, have assumed (tacitly or explicitly) that Pali and the Prakrits represent a stage intermediate between the earliest Indo-Aryan and the modern spoken languages. Others take the position that, from the Vedic period onwards, there were varieties of Indo-Aryan which were outside the "high" tradition ... If this was true in Vedic times, it would have been even more true during the MIA period when the Indo-Aryan languages were spread over a much larger territory. Thus it is reasonable to assume that along with the attested literary Prakrits there were also "colloquial Prakrits" which never appeared in writing."

Relevant here is that with regard to the Ashokan dialects, Southworth arrives at the following conclusion (2005: 167f.): "Bloch's three-way division of the Ashokan dialects (Center-East, Northwest, West) can be resolved into an earlier two-way division between the Northwest and the remaining dialects." North-west is reflected in the inscriptions of Shahbazgarhi and Mansehra, and the remaining dialects are classified by Southworth as West (Girnar, Sopara), Midland (Kalsi) and East (Dhauli, Jaugada). It is a well-known fact that the Dard languages are modern descendants of Prakrits more or less close to the Ashokan Northwest dialect (that is, Gandhari). Southworth, however, does not include Dardic in his model. Instead, he gives several reasons in the fifth chapter of his book (p. 149, footnote 9) why he excludes the Dard languages from his further investigations: fragmentary knowledge about past forms in -l- in Dardic; inadequacy of the descriptive material; questionableness of Dardic being a genuine subgroup of Indo-Aryan. The author has already been criticized for this (see the review of Kulikov) and a look at his diagram on page 168 is revealing. The diagram illustrates, with the help of a series of isoglosses, the above-mentioned division between the north-west and the remaining dialects. So what he does here is to almost exclude from his modernized inner-outer languages model MIA Gandhari and NIA Dardic because they share so few isoglosses with the rest. On page 169f., Southworth summarizes: "Evidence for the existence of two distinct sociolinguistic regions, inner (North-Central) and outer (South-Eastern) Indo-Aryan was presented ... The totality of the evidence points to the existence of two sociolinguistic regions, each showing some internal uniformity vis-a-vis the other, which however were probably in at least intermittent contact throughout most of their history ... The evidence of Vedic dialects ... does not conflict with, and possibly supports, the inner-outer group hypothesis, in that the major dialect division in the late Vedic period is between a midland dialect and an eastern-southern dialect, with a transitional dialect in the area of Kosala, the modern Avadh--exactly where Grierson placed his intermediate group. The northern Panjab, less active at this time in terms of text production, forms a separate dialect area." Southworth's goal is not just to present additional evidence for Grierson's original thesis but he also suggests (2005: 181ff.) "[a] reconstruction of the prehistory of outer Indo-Aryan." Here follows a very short synopsis. On page 181 he says in the section on Indo-Aryan in the Indus valley: "By 1500 BCE, when the first hymns of the Rigveda are believed to have been composed, that portion of the Indo-Aryan speech community which was associated with the OIA texts was located in the upper Indus Valley ... Given the archaeological evidence for intrusive Central Asian elements on the lower Indus ... it can only be assumed that OIA speakers also occupied this area by the end of the second millenium BCE ... as the OIA 'mainstream' society expanded eastward across the Indo-Gangetic divide ... its counterpart in Sindh probably did the same, following the route mentioned here, leading to Malwa, Gujarat, and the Deccan." According to Southworth's model, the southern migration movement turned south and ultimately east towards the eastern limits of the subcontinent, and both (language) movements met and mixed in the transitional area of Kosala (Avadh).

A third branch in Indo-Aryan

In a forthcoming book I will demonstrate in great detail the existence of a third branch of Indo-Aryan (besides the inner and the outer branch) which I call the north-western branch. It includes Nuristani, Dardic and West Pahari. The inclusion of Nuristani seems to contradict the widely shared opinion that Nuristani constitutes a separate branch within Indo-Iranian. It is certainly true that only Nuristani reflects a pre-Old Indo-Aryan stage; however, Nuristani has to be included in the north-western branch due to the overwhelming number of features it shares with Dardic and West Pahari in grammar, vocabulary and a common cultural heritage of which traces can be found at different places. Nuristani branched off at the time of Proto-Aryan, but its present geographical adjacency to Dardic must be very old. In fact, I believe that Nuristani never got spatially much separated from Dardic. If I may employ here an image: Nuristani, Dardic and West Pahari are like three siblings, Nuristani being the eldest, Dardic the middle and West Pahari perhaps the youngest. This image works reasonably well only with regard to the preservation of archaisms. But to be regarded as a separate north-western branch this is not sufficient. It has to be shown that these three language groups also share innovations which are not found in the other Indo-Aryan languages. I do this in my forthcoming monograph; here it has to suffice to just list some of these innovations. The most important are: (a) preservation of a three- or two-stepped system of sibilants (e.g. s, s [s]) which facilitated the innovation of a three- or two-stepped system of affricates (e.g. dz, dz, [dz]) as a result of depalatalization which had an impact on all three language groups over a long period of many centuries; (b) converbs (absolutives) and past forms built with an element -t-; (c) use of a non-aspirated auxiliary tu 'is; was' which historically derives <OIA sthita- 'standing, settled'. In addition to these innovations there are a number of other innovations whose geographical extension within Nuristani, Dardic and West Pahari is not as comprehensive as the three quoted elements; still they too are only found there. Pointing out that the three language groups share a common vocabulary is, at first sight, an argumentum e silentium; however, it is the sheer amount of shared vocabulary which is necessarily convincing. Romani participates in this, as I will show in this article, and there are even a few instances of the common north-western cultural heritage that come out in Roma traditions. Thus I argue that Romani belonged originally to the inner group of Indo-Aryan, but it has been influenced quite strongly by languages of the north-western group. This can only be explained by assuming that the speakers of early Romani stayed, after having left their original home, over a long time (perhaps several centuries) in the north-west of South Asia.

3 Romani

Romani belongs originally neither to the outer nor to the north-western branch of Indo-Aryan. This means that the speakers of Romani originated from the area of the inner branch. Their original home could have been somewhere in the area where today Hindi is spoken. (5) In order to substantiate this I summarize here Turner's most important arguments (1927) for allocating Proto-Romani to the inner group: (6)

Early innovations

1. Syllabic OIA [??] got changed at an early stage into a, i, or u; however, there are geographical differences: it changed into a in the south-west and south, elsewhere into i or u, and in the north-west it was partially preserved as ri. In Romani, r got changed into i or u: kislo 'thin' < OIA krsa- 'lean, thin', bukko 'intestines' < OIA vrkka- 'kidneys'. Turner says (1927: 8) that Romani ric 'bear' (OIA rksa- 'bear') is, like Hindi rich, a loan from a Hill language. However, very similar forms are found in many other modern Indo-Aryan languages, and there is Prakrit riccha-. It is therefore unclear when and where the speakers of early Romani borrowed this word.

2. The consonant group OIA rt led to retroflexion both in the east and in the north-west, whereas the dental was preserved in the central and south-western languages (although there are exceptions like Hindi and Panjabi marak 'plague' <OIA mrtakka-). Romani agrees with the central and south-western languages: mulo 'dead' <OIA mrta- 'dead' where the -l- goes back to older -t- and not -r- (which would have resulted in -r-).

3. The OIA sound ks developed either into ch (ch) or kh, but the geographical picture is quite confusing. In the north-west there is a strong tendency for ch (ch), but both Hindi and Romani usually show kh: Romani jakh and Hindi akh both 'eye' < OIA aksi- 'eye'. Turner lists four Romani words where OIA ks appears as c(h), but it also does so in central languages like Hindi: ric 'bear' (see above 1.), char 'glowing ashes' < OIA ksara- 'corrosive' (Hindi char 'alkali, ashes'), churi 'knife' <OIA ksura- 'razor' (Hindi chura 'dagger, razor'), culo 'a little' < OIA ksulla- 'small' (Hindi chullu 'childish').

4. The OIA consonant groups sm, sm, sm later on developed into sp, ss (ss), mh, pph, mbh. Again it is difficult to draw a clear picture. The change to sp and ss (ss) is largely limited to the north-west (but see the wide dispersal of OIA rasmi- 'rope' as rassi, rassi etc.); there is only little evidence for pph and mbh; the most frequent and widespread is mh which also applies for Romani: ame 'we' < OIA *asme. Also here Romani agrees with the central languages like Hindi, but disagrees with the north-western languages including Sindhi, Lahnda and Panjabi.

5. For the development of the OIA consonant groups tv, dv, tm there are only very few cases. Thus it suffices to say that for OIA tm Romani has p as in po or pes (oblique) 'self' < OIA tman- 'one's own person'. According to Tumer (1927: 14) here Romani differs from Dardic. However, there is Dardic Torwali pae, Kashmiri pan 'self', West Pahari Poguli panun 'own' and Sindhi pana 'reflexive pronoun'. So the Romani word po is probably a loan word from the north-west.

6. The change of OIA initial y- to j- is very widespread in Indo-Aryan but has not (completely) taken place in Dardic, Sindhi and Sinhalese. Romani belongs to the majority group: dzov 'oats' < OIA yava- 'barley'.

7. Intervocalic OIA -m- has been preserved in Dardic, Sinhalese and, to a certain extent, in West Pahari. Otherwise it changed into a nasalized vowel and in Romani the nasalisation got subsequently lost: kovlo 'soft' < OIA komala- 'tender, soft'.


1. Turner states (1927: 17): "Romani preserves -t-, probably -d-, perhaps -th-, and less certainly -dh-, under the form l in the European and Armenian dialects and r in the Syrian." For instance gili 'song' < OIA giti- 'singing', len 'river' < OIA nadi 'river' (with metathesis).

2. The three OIA sibilants s, s, s are preserved as two in European and Syrian Romani, but reduced to one in Armenian Romani. In European Romani s, s have merged into s: sosoj 'hare' < OIA sasa- 'hare'; sov 'six' < OIA .sas-, nominative sat 'six'; sap 'snake' < OIA sarpa- 'snake'. Among the modern Indo-Aryan languages, three sibilants have been preserved in Dardic (and Nuristani) and two (s, s) in West Pahari (and Dumaki (7)); in all other languages they got reduced to one.

3. OIA labial or dental + r are usually preserved in Romani as well as to a varying extent in the west and north-west as in Sindhi, Lahnda, Dardic and West Pahari. Romani trin 'three' < OIA trini 'three'; prasal 'to mock at, laugh at' < OIA prahasati 'bursts into laughter'. Velar + r have not been preserved in Romani, but it has been so occasionally in Dardic and West Pahari.

4. The OIA clusters st.(h) and st(h) have been preserved in European and Syrian Romani and, to some extent, in Dardic (and Nuristani) and West Pahari. Romani vust 'lip' < OIA osta- 'lip'; vast 'hand' < OIA hasta- 'hand'.

Turner concludes from these observations (1927: 22f.) that at the time of the Ashoka inscriptions the clusters with sibilants had already been changed except in Girnar (south-west) and Shahbazgarhi (north-west). Since Romani cannot be associated with either, he concludes--in my eyes absolutely correctly--that the speakers of Romani must have left their original home already before the time of the Ashoka inscriptions. He further observes that at about 250 AD -d- and perhaps -t- still turned up in Kharosthi documents of Khotan where also the clusters with sibilants and clusters with stops and -r- survived. Then be concludes that the speakers of Romani, which possessed the above features at the time of the departure from their original home, could preserve them in the north-west (where they stayed a considerable time) when the features disappeared in their original home.

Later innovations

1. The first innovation here Turner discusses is this (1927: 24): "A breathed consonant preceded by a nasal has been voiced in Sindhi, Lahnda, Panjabi, the whole Dard group (except perhaps Gawar-Bati; and not in Kafiri), and all the Pahari dialects as far as, and including, Nepali (except for a few small enclaves). This is the normal treatment of Romani." For example: dand 'tooth' < OIA danta- 'tooth', bango 'crooked' < OIA vanka- *'bent, crooked'. However, Masica (1991: 203) points out that there are several West Pahari languages where this process has not taken place, and for instance in Bangani there are a number of doublets with unvoiced and voiced stops. We are dealing here with an incomplete phonological process. According to Turner, this sound change is not found in the Ashoka inscriptions but only by the time of the Kharosthi documents. He takes this as a possible hint that the speakers of Romani had reached the north-west of South Asia before Ashoka, because then "... it is not surprising that they should have shared subsequent innovations of that linguistic area" (1927: 24). Then follows the first example for this claim:

2. Metathesis of r. Turner states (loc. cit.): "In Sindhi, Lahnda, Dardic, and West Pahari, when the group r + consonant or consonant + r occurs in the middle of a word, the r is transposed (after the accompanying consonant has been doubled) and pronounced after the first consonant of the word. Thus Si. drigho 'tall' (dirghah > dirgghah > drigha) ..." (8) An example from Romani: tradel 'to drag, drive away' < OIA tardati 'sets free'. Another example, where there is, however, metathesis without a "supporting" consonant, is brivel 'to comb wool' < OIA *vivarati 'uncovers'. (9)

3. Initial OIA v- has become b- in the central and eastern groups as well as in Pahari, Dogri and many Dard languages probably at a relatively late time. The original approximant has been preserved in the west and various parts of the north-west. This inconsistent picture seems to be reflected in the fact that we find b- in European Romani but v- in Syrian and Armenian Romani: European bers but Syrian vars both 'year' < OIA varsa- 'rain'.

4. The Turner article contains a small section on morphology. An interesting point made here by him is the fact that in European Romani the nominative singular masculine ends in -o because this may be a hint that Romani did not belong to the Magadhi area where the ending is -e.

Summarizing the above points, Turner concludes (1927: 31) that there was "... an original connection with the Central group, and a subsequent migration to the North-west group." (10) Then Turner continues to substantiate his claim with regard to vocabulary where he demonstrates that the core vocabulary of Romani belongs to the central group. He continues on p. 32: "... it would not be surprising to find that the Gypsies had borrowed some words from the North-western languages, among which they must have lived for several centuries after leaving the Central group." He shows that the words for 'four' and 'six' come from the north-west (the former seems to be connected with Nuristani). The few examples given by Turner will be supplemented in this article with many more words which further corroborate his view.

4 Words already known (or suspected) to be of IA origin and which (may) have been borrowed from the North-western branch

Here the main sources of information are Tumer's Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages, Norbert Boretzky and Birgit Igla's Worterbuch Romani--Deutsch--Englisch fur den sudosteuropaischen Raum, and Mathias Metzger's 'Etymological glossary of Indic words in Romani' (besides the sources quoted in the Literature section). Note that in the following section the known borrowed words are not just listed, but usually supplemented with additional information. It will also be seen that it is not always clear whether a Romani word is inherited or borrowed. Concerning the above-mentioned sound shift of dental stops to -l- both in Romani and in Dardic I assume that Romani words displaying it are all borrowings from the north-west because: (a) there is no evidence for a parallel development to this in the inner languages; (b) European Romani shows parallels with Dardic regarding this sound shift in case of medial dental stops (initial stops were not affected in European Romani and Dardic); (c) Armenian Romani shows parallels with some varieties of Nuristani and some East Iranian languages because initial dental stops also underwent this change there. The following words are ordered according to the North Indian alphabets. (11)

Rom. arakhel 'to protect; to final'

Compare OIA araksati 'watches over, defends' (1298). (12) Modern descendants of the verb are only found in Waigali (arac-'schutzen') and Sinhalese; and of the noun OIA araksa- 'protection' (1297) again only in Waigali and Sinhalese. Since, however, the Romani word has kh for OIA ks and not an affricate as Waigali, it is not clear whether it is inherited or borrowed.

Rom. avdive(s) 'today; in the course of time'

This is a compound connected with OIA *a nunam 'up to now' (1180) + divasa- 'day' (6333). Sub 1180 see Ashkun yanu and Waigali onu both 'today'. Forms without prefixed nunam 'now' are more numerous, but still also limited to Nuristani and Dardic. Synonym compounds are again found only in the north-west: Pasai nun-diwos, Tregami nu-was 'today' (both lit. 'now-day'), Torwali az-di 'today' (lit. 'today-day'); cf. also Kalasha aj adua 'today' (lit. 'today noon') with the second word < OIA ardhadivasa- 'noon' [654]). The Romani word is thus most likely a borrowing from the north-west.

Rom. asarel, usarel, garel 'to praise'

According to Turner, Boretzky and Igla perhaps < OIA slaghate 'values, praises' (12734) (plus a prefix). Compare e.g. Sindhi sarahanu, Panjabi sarahuna etc., all 'to praise'. Turner explains the change l > r due to the spread of western IA forms where such changes do occur. An alternative derivation < OIA uccarati 'rises, utters, speaks' (1641) is semantically problematic. A derivation < OIA sathayate 'flatters, beguiles' or salate 'praises' (suggested by Endre Talos) faces the difficulty that the words are not found in documented languages. Compare, however, Bangani screnc 'to praise s.o.' with palatal sibilant. Connection with OIA slaghate is therefore most likely, which means that the word has entered early Romani in the west or north-west.

Rom. ukljel 'to climb, ascend'

Compare OIA *utkalati 'goes out or up', utkalita- 'rising, prosperous', utkalyate, utkalayati 'drives out' (1716). Modern descendants are found in many Indo-Aryan languages but not in Nuristani, Dardic and Sinhalese. However, the meaning 'to climb, ascend' is only shared with Pahari languages: West Pahari Kotgarhi ukalno 'to climb, ascend' and Bangani uklenc 'to mount (as a buli a cow)', Garhwali ukalnu 'to climb, ride' and Nepali uklanu 'to ascend'. Still it cannot be said with certainty whether the Romani word is inherited ora borrowing.

Rom. G. and Rom.Germ. ulo 'born'

The word derives < OIA bhuta- 'become, been, past' (9552); cf. also Rom.H. ulo 'was' and other Romani varieties ulo '(he) became'. Besides the -l- which reflects OIA -t- and which is thus an indication for borrowing from the north-west, it is also the semantics which points into the same direction. There is Bangani [textnot] 'to be born' and uanc 'to give birth', Deogari uancnc 'to give birth' and Khasdhari hui 'delivered (said about a baby)'. Even though these three languages are spoken in the same area and I am not aware of further semantic parallels in the north-west, it is quite likely that the Romani words are borrowings from the north-west.

Rom. kiral 'cheese'

See OIA kilata- 'inspissated milk' (3181); modern descendants are only found in Nuristani and Dardic; the Romani form is thus a borrowing (it underwent metathesis in the second syllable).

Rom. kisaj 'sand'

Whether we are dealing here with an Indo-Iranian word (Lubotzky p. 5) or a Wanderwort (Cheung 2002: 227) is not quite clear. But the Romani word is certainly not a direct derivation < OIA sikata-'grain of sand; sand, gravel' (13386) but either a north-western or Iranian borrowing (with syllable metathesis). The lemma is found between West Pahari in the south-east and Kurdish in the northwest, and there might be some distant parallels in Central and South India. There must have been considerable (re-)borrowings in the north-west, probably involving Iranian languages. In NIA the word is attested in Dardic, and West Pahari, including Nuristani: Kati, Waigali, Ashkun, Dameli, Khowar, Kalasha, Pasai, Shumashti, Gawar-Bati, Wotapuri, Bashkarik, Savi, Phalura, Indus Kohistani, Kashmiri, and some West Pahari varieties; e.g.: Pasai seo, Shumashti siu, Wotapuri sigit, Bashkan-k sigit, Kashmiri sekh 'sand, file', Khashi sikk 'gravel', Bhalesi sikka. Other Nuristani and Dardic languages have *s-/c-: Kati cu, cuyu 'sand', Waigali so, Khowar sugur, Kalasha gugou and gigol-. Iranian: Ossetic sygyt 'earth(-matter)', Sogdian sykth, Pashto sega and Kurdish sigit. Lubotzky (p. 10) points also to Kannada usiku, usigu 'sand' and there may be a distant connection with Munda Santali and Mundari gitil 'sand'.

Rom. kor 'neck'

The word derives < OIA kroda- 'breast, bosom' (3607) but has semantic parallels with the meaning 'neck' in modern languages only in Dardic and Kashmiri: Kalasha krura, Phalura kiror, Kashmiri koru all 'neck'. This semantic change is apparently due to overlap with phonologically similar derivations < OIA krkatika- 'joint of neck' (3419) which are limited to Nuristani, Dardic and West Pahari. Thus the Romani word is a borrowing from the north-west. Note, however, that Rom.T. has, besides korri 'neck', also the word kirko 'throat'. This resembles e.g. Bangani kerkc 'neck' and Waigali kir'ik 'Nacken' (both derive < 3419) so that the Rom.T. word may have changed its original meaning through the influence of korri. Thus, also this word is a borrowing from the north-west.

Rom. khil 'butter'

The word derives < OIA ghrta- 'ghee' (4501), see Indus Kohistani ghil 'ghee'. Again this word must be a borrowing from the northwest.

Rom. xandzuvalo 'miserly, greedy'

Compare OIA *kacca- 'raw, unripe' (2613) and the following Dard forms with aspirated initial consonant: Shina khacar 'ingratitude', khacelu 'miserly', Dameli khaca 'dirty, bad', Kalasha khaca 'bad, dirty (?)', Phalura khacu, khaculo 'dirty, bad'. A borrowing of the Romani word from the north-west is very likely.

Rom. xanrudel 'to scratch, scrape'

The word belongs to OIA kandu- 'itching, the itch' (2688) + the verb del. (13) The derived OIA lemma kanduyati 'scratches' (2689) has several modem descendants with initial aspirated stops in the west and north-west: Shina of Gilgit khanoiki, Sindhi khanhanu 'to scratch', khanvani 'scratching', Panjabi khanuhna 'to itch', the Koci variety of West Pahari khanamine 'itching', khenamino 'to itch', the Kotgarhi variety of West Pahari khaneuno. According to Boretzky and Igla, the word was perhaps also influenced by Persian xenes 'Jucken' and perhaps even by Armenian xandz-el 'versengen; anbrennen'. And according to Tumer (Addenda and Corrigenda), the aspirated forms of the IA words are influenced by OIA kharju-1 'itching, scratching, scab' (3827) or khara 'hard, sharp, pungent' (3819). This, together with the fact that the lemma is not found in inner NIA, suggests that the Romani word is a borrowing from the north-west or west, but got perhaps also influenced by words from other languages.

Rom. gili 'song'

See Indus Kohistani gil 'song', Satoti gili and Savi gili 'song' which are < OIA giti- 'singing' (4168). According to Turner the Dard forms have an extension -l-, but this is untenable because of the final high front vowel in Satoti and Savi, and because it would mean that the considerable number of words e.g. found in Indus Kohistani with -l- going back to a dental stop would all be borrowings from an unknown Dard language. Turner quotes also Rom.Syr. gref and asks "whence f?." Compare this, however, with Rom.N. jilipa 'song' and Rom.S. gijepa 'song' both of which employ the well-known suffix -(i)pa.

In connection with 'song' there are also interesting words for 'musician': The common Romani term is basaldo, (14) but there is also Rom.T. bagado 'violinist' and Rom.S. basi-mos 'gardsmusikant'. Rom.S. has in addition a word ghildo, translated as 'fest, party'. This, however, cannot be the original meaning which must have been 'musician'. Compare the designation Ghilabari for a Roma group living in Romania who are professional musicians (Berger 1985: 779); their name corresponds to that of the South European Gitanes, which also means 'musicians'.

The Rom.S. word ghildo has an exact correspondence in Indus Kohistani gildo 'singer'. The aspiration in ghildo and in Ghilabari is spontaneous (more on this see below in section 11) and has correspondences in West Pahari Chinali ghit 'song' and ghitaru 'singer', and in Pangwali ghit 'song'. The first element of basaldo is related to basalel 'to play (an instrument)' which in turn is related to bagel 'to bark, roar, howl' which derives < OIA vasyate 'roars, howls, bellows, lows, bleats, sings (of birds)' (11589). The word basalel probably contains an -l- transitive/causative suffix. Modern descendants of OIA vasyate are limited to Nuristani, Dardic, West Pahari, Kumaoni, Nepali and Gujarati; it is thus not a central language word.

The words basaldo, ghildo and gildo are compounds with a second element -do. This element derives < OIA dadhati 'places, lays on, gives, seizes' (6145), but regarding the exact meaning one needs to consider the meanings given for the precursor PIE *dhehl-namely, 'to put, lay down, sit down, produce, make, speak, say, bring back'. The OIA verb has (almost) exclusively survived in Nuristani and Dardic whereas in the other Indo-Aryan languages it was displaced by the very similar OIA dadati 'gives' (6141). That we are indeed dealing with OIA dadhati 'places' is corroborated by Indus Kohistani gilmar 'singer' the second component of which comes from mar[??]v 'to kill (< OIA marayvatil 'kills' [10066]) which also means, e.g. in Hindi marna 'to perform an action with vigour'. Thus, the underlying meaning of gildo, ghildo, gilmar is something like "one who produces/belts out/performs a song". It seems that we are dealing here with a very old compound. And indeed, the compound has a striking parallel compound building in the Celtic word bard which goes back to PIE *gw rh2-dh hl-o- 'praise-maker' (West 2007: 27). Whereas the first components of the compounds obviously have several different words associated with 'song' (in case of the Celtic word it is 'praise', in case of the Indic words it is 'sing'), it is remarkable that the second component in the PIE reconstruction is exactly the same verb which we identified above: PIE *dhehl- 'to put, produce, speak etc.'. Of course I am not in a position to say whether we deal here with a common Indo-European heritage or whether this is a matter of two independent developments at the two ends of the Indo-European world.

Rom. gelo 'went, gone'

This is the preterite of dzal 'to go' and derives < OIA gata- 'gone' (4008); the word is a borrowing because of -t- > -l-.

Rom. gosni 'cowdung'

The word is a compound going back to OIA go- 'cow' (4255) plus *sakana- 'dung' (12238). The latter is, according to the information in Turner, limited to Nuristani and Dardic (but a sideform *chakana- is found in Marathi and Konkani). There is also, but with a deviating semantics, Bangani gosni (15) 'outdoor fireplace during monsoon in which dried cowdung is burnt in order to keep away biting flies' which is an extension of gosu 'dried cowdung' which itself derives < OIA gosakrt- 'cowdung' (4333). This lemma is found in the north-west but also in Hindi. The likelihood that this is a north-western borrowing is perhaps enhanced by the fact that similar compounds tend to be typically found in the north-west. In any case, a direct parallel is Ashkun gasa 'cowdung' (with trace of a nasal consonant), and semantically comparable is Khashi kuster 'dunghill' which goes back to OIA *go-stara- (see 13685) (devoicing of mediae is quite common in Khashi).

Rom. ciriklo 'bird'

Compare OIA cataka- 'sparrow' (4571). This is a widespread lemma in Indo-Aryan. However, phonetically fairly close are Indus Kohistani caklu 'bird', Kalasha cilingi 'sparrow' and Savi cunkeri 'Vogel'. Since there is also Romani cirikli 'hen' there might be Iranian interference.

Rom. Arm. chen 'female genital' and Rom.Dol. cindi 'vulva'

Finck (1907: 71) rightly suggests connection with OIA [??] CHID 'cut'. A comparable semantics (but no exact morphological correspondence) is found only in the north-west in Kotgarhi cheurt, Koci cheure, Jaunsari cheori all 'woman', Bangani chever 'girl, woman', Deogari cheuri 'married woman' all < OIA *chedu '-cut, slit' (5067b) with a -ta- extension. The Rom.Arm. and the Rom.Dol. forms are participles, compare Rom.Dol. chindo 'geschnitten'. However, also related are widespread derivations < OIA *chinnali- 'adulteress' (5058). It is therefore difficult to say whether the word is inherited or borrowed.

Rom. chela 'smallpox'

The word is a combination of elements of a derivation < sitala'(goddess of) smallpox' (12490) and < sitala- 'cold' (12487). (16) Only in Dardic languages has this lemma semantically split into 'cold' and 'fever', compare Gawar-Bati sal 'fever' but sala, solo 'cold', Savi sal 'fever' but salo 'cold'. In the other modern IA languages only the meaning 'cold' is found. The original meaning 'cold(ness)' is preserved in Romani sil which is < OIA sita- 'cold' (12485). A parallel to the affricatized Romani word is found in Kalasha and Burushaski cila 'cold, cold season'. For the Romani word Boretzky and Igla suggest irregular phonological development in a taboo word, but now we see that these irregularities are geographically located in the north-west from where this Romani word must have been borrowed. I am not aware of a sitala cult beyond Kashmir, but ideas concerning smallpox-the goddess both sends out and heals the disease--may have been more widespread. When she disperses smallpox this is accompanied with fever; and if she heals the disease she does so with cold water.

Rom. Wel dzanel 'to bear (a child), be born' The word derives < OIA *janayati 'begets, bears' (5192). Modern descendants are found only in Khowar and Sindhi. Therefore borrowing appears quite likely.

Rom. dzamutro 'son-in-law'

The word derives < OIA jamatr- 'daughter's husband' (5198). It looks like a north-western borrowing because Romani does not preserve medial -m-; however, also in some other languages which usually have lost OIA -m- the nasal consonant has been preserved as in Hindi jamai. Thus, the exact origin of the Romani word is unclear.

Rom. thaj 'and, also', Rom. T. the 'and'

The word may derive < OIA tathapi 'even so, nevertheless' (5647), but Turner is doubtful about the whole lemma. Still, what speaks in favour of a borrowing is first the fact that the meaning 'and' is limited to the north-west; second the Romani word possibly displays aspiration fronting (more on this below in section 10), which is a characteristic feature of Dardic and West Pahari.

Rom. dad 'father'

Compare OIA *dadda- 'father or other elderly relative' (6261). The word might be a north-western loanword since the meaning 'father' is limited to that region.

Rom. devel 'god'

The word derives < OIA devata- 'godhead, divinity' (6530); it must be a borrowing because of -t- > -l-.

Rom. nilaj 'summer'

Compare OIA nidagha- 'hot season' (7193) and nidaghakala- 'heat of summer' (7194). Turner is here slightly confusing as very similar Romani forms are quoted under the two lemmata. The first lemma is basically limited to Nuristani and Dardic, but it is also found in Oriya, however with a different meaning. I want to add here that a modern derivation of nidaghakala- is also found in West Pahari Khashi (or Khashali?) nela 'summer' (see Kaul 2006 I: 335). Thus the Romani word is most likely a borrowing from the north-west.

Rom. porizen 'sieve'

Compare OIA *parivecana- 'sifting' (7882) which has modern descendants in Dardic and Nuristani, but also close parallels in Eastern Iranian. Examples: Dameli pareci 'sieve', Kalasha of Rumbur parec (< OIA *parivecya- 'to be sifted' [7882]), Ashkun peica, peca, Waigali poca (< OIA *pativecya- 'to be sifted' [7730]). Compare also Pashto pezna 'sieve' < *pativaicana, and Shughni parwej- 'to sow, sift', parwiz- 'to sift', Parachi paric-, Roshani parwizd, Yazghulami parwij < *pariwaica. Since the Romani word displays depalatalization it is certainly a loanword.

But it is unclear whether it was borrowed from north-west Aryan or from Iranian.

Rom. phab, phabai 'apple'

The words derive < OIA *bhabba- 'apple' (9387). There are modern descendants only in Nuristani, Dardic, and Dumaki, thus this must be a loan word.

Rom. phiko 'shoulder, shoulder-blade, support'

Compare OIA *sphiya-, sphya- *'scapula' (13839). Parallels to the Romani form with -k- suffix and the meaning 'shoulder-blade' are again found only in the north-west: Kashmiri phyoku 'shoulder-blade', Shughni fyak 'shoulder' and fiyak 'wooden shovel, shoulder-blade', Ishkashmi fayak 'shoulder', etc. So the Romani word can either be a borrowing from Dardic or East Iranian. (17)

Rom. phucol 'to swell; to blow'

Compare OIA *phutka- 'blowing' (9102) with which the word is related, but not directly. Closer to the Romani form look Kalasha phus 'breath', phusik 'to blow (up a skin)' and Indus Kohistani phas- phas karav 'to breathe'. The semantics suggest that there is a conflation of two OIA forms, namely phut- 'blowing puffing' and [??]-SVI 'swell', more exactly: svatra- 'invigorating' (but Mayrhofer suggests 'Ausdehnung, Kraft; anschwellend, gedeihlich'). This word has been suggested to be the origin of the Kati and Prasun words for 'rhubarb'. But here we can reconstruct from *phatsvatraa proto-form *phuc from which all quoted modern forms can be derived.

Rom. phral 'brother'

See also Rom.N. pral, Rom.S. phral, pral, prahl 'bror--brother', etc. The forms belong to OIA bhratr- 'brother' (9661). This is clearly a loan from Dardic even though there are no exact modern parallels, but compare Ashoka inscriptions from Mansehra and Shahbazgarhi bhrat 'brother' as well as Dumaki birara and Khowar brar 'brother'.

Rom. basel 'to bark, roar, howl'

The word derives < OIA vasyate 'roars, howls, bellows, lows, bleats, sings (of birds)' (11589). Modern descendants of this lemma are only found in Nuristani, Dardic, West Pahari and Kumaoni.

Rom.Eur. and Rom.Arm. ma negative of imperative 'not'

The word derives < OIA ma 'negative of prohibition (used with conjunctive and imperative)' (9981). In NIA it is only attested in Nuristani, Dardic, and in Sindhi and Gujarati. Since it is not found unextended in any inner language, it seems likely that the Romani word is a borrowing.

Rom. masek 'month, moon'

Compare OIA masa- 'moon, month' (10104). Turner suggests the meaning 'one month' for the Romani word in order to explain the -ek. But this is implausible as there is also mustek 'palm of hand' (see entry below in this section) with probably the same suffix. Parallels are found in Nuristani Prasun masek, mesege 'moon' and Dardic Pasai moyek 'moon, month'. Thus, the Romani word is most likely a borrowing from the north-west.

Rom. murs 'man'

The word is a contamination of OIA manusya- 'human; human being, man' (9828) and purusa- 'man, male' (8289). The closest parallel forms are found in the west in Sindhi mursu 'man, husband' and Khetrani murs. Yet it is not quite clear whether the Romani word is a borrowing from the west.

Rom. mulo 'dead'

The word derives < OIA mrta- 'dead' (10278). This must be a borrowing from the north-west even though there are no modern parallels. But the phonological development is the same as e.g. in khil.

Rom. mustek 'palm of hand'

Compare OIA musti- 'clenched hand, fist' (10221). The same word suffixed with -k is only found in Dardic Gawar-Bati mustak mustike 'fist' and in the Shina of Gures and Kohistan mstak 'fist'. The Romani word thus appears to be a borrowing from the northwest.

Rom. mol 'wine'

The word may derive < OIA madhu- 'honey, mead' (9784). A direct parallel is found in Prasun mulu 'wine' and there is Burushaski mel 'Wein (aus Trauben)', but there is also Persian mul 'wine'. So it is not clear whether the word was borrowed in the north-west or in Iran.

Rom. lima 'mueus, phlegm'

The word derives < OIA slesman- 'mucus, phlegm' (12744); similar looking derivations are only found in the west and northwest: Khetrani lim 'marrow', Dumaki lima 'mucus from nose', Lahnda lim 'phlegm, mucus from nose', and West Pahari Khashi and Bhadrawahi limm 'mucus of nose'. Even though the phonological change sm > m can be inherited, the geographical limitation of lima forms to the west and north-west makes it likely that this lemma is a borrowing.

Rom. lolo 'red'

Besides OIA lohita- 'red' (11165) Turner also postulates OIA *lohila- 'red' (11168), apparently on the basis of the occurrence of the lemma in various north-western languages to which he doesn't want to assign a phonological rule involving a change of -t- > -l-: Waigali lailai-sta 'red', Savi Iohiloo, lovol'o 'red', Phalura lohalu, lahoilo, lhoilo, Chilis lilo 'red', Shina of Gilgit lolv 'red, bay (of horse or cow)', Pasai lele-siol 'fox', etc. For Romani more likely is, however, borrowing of a modern descendant *lohila that derived < the OIA lemma lohita- in the north-west with typical change of -t- > -l-. Fussman (1972, entry 137) considers phonetic influence through derivations of OIA nala- 'dark blue', but forms like Torwali laur, Rom.Arm. lohori and Rom.As. lohri all 'red' do not support this.

Rom. sax 'cabbage'

Compare OIA saka- 'potherb, vegetable' (12370). Modern descendants are found in Nuristani and Dardic, e.g. Waigali ca (without final consonant); Khowar sax 'green vegetables', Kalasha sak (with final consonant); Phalura so, Shina sa and Indus Kohistani sa 'vegetable' (without final consonant). But the consonant is again preserved e.g. in Hindi sag and Bangani sag both 'green vegetable'. The lemma looks to have been influenced by (repeated) tatsama borrowings, and thus it is not clear whether the Roma word is a borrowing or inherited.

Rom. sastri, Rom.G. sastir and Rom.T. strast all 'iron'

The words derive ultimately < OIA sastra- 'instrument for cutting' (12367). The Rom. and Rom.G. words could be inherited from a phonological point of view; however the fact that modern descendants are only found in Dardic, West Pahari, Panjabi and Sinhalese makes it a strong borrowing candidate. Rom.T. strast 'iron' has direct parallels in the Pasai dialect forms nest and leis 'knife' which are, according to Turner, < older *strastri < *strastri < *strastri. This shows that the Rom., Rom.G., and Rom.T. forms are borrowings from the north-west, however from different places.

Rom. sukar 'beautiful'

The word is usually derived < OIA sukra- 'bright' (12506) but the typical NIA meaning is 'bright, white, shining'. The meaning 'beautiful' appears to be limited to the north-west: Indus-Kohistani sakar 'beautiful, pretty; lovely, charming (baby, young child)', Burushaski sakar 'lieb, geliebte(r)' (but in case of the Burushaski word there is interference by the homophonous word meaning 'sugar'); compare also Kalasha s' ukri/sruki 'naked (woman)'. Thus this word is perhaps a borrowing from the north-west.

Rom. sut 'vinegar'

The word derives < OIA sukta- 'become acid or sour' (12504). Modern descendants are found only in Dardic: Pasai sut 'sour', Khowar sut 'sour', sutu 'buttermilk', suti 'sourness', Kashmiri hotu 'decayed, tainted', Indus Kohistani suth 'very sour; a vinegar made from apricots'. Also the related adjective Romani suklo 'sour', which is < OIA *suktala-, has parallels only in Gawar-Bati sutala 'sour' and Savi sutal. Thus the Romani word is clearly a borrowing from the north-west.

Rom. serand 'pillow'

The word derives < OIA *siraanta 'head-end' (12448). It could be inherited from a phonological point of view; however, the fact that modem descendants are only found in Sindhi, Lahnda, Panjabi and West Pahari makes also this word a strong borrowing candidate.

Rom. sol/sil 'whistle'

Compare Bangani ser 'whistling', Deogari serki 'whistling', Indus Kohistani sur suri 'whistling', Shina suruki d-'pfeifen' (which displays coronal consonant harmony), Kashmiri sirin 'a whistle (formed with the lips), whistling'. These words cannot derive < OIA *sitta- 'whistle' (13427) but require an allomorphic protoform *suti- 'whistle'. From this all words here can be derived: Bangani, Deogari and Kashmiri display epenthesis (more on this below in section 13), but not Indus Kohistani and Romani. A change of -t- > -l is rare in Romani, but it does occur; compare Rom. dzukel 'dog' which is < OIA jukuta- 'dog'. Boretzky and Igla also consider influence by Armenian sul-em 'pfeifen'. Still, the Romani word is clearly a borrowing from the north-west.

Rom. sasto 'healthy'

The word derives < OIA svastha- 'well, healthy' (13917). It could be inherited from a phonological point of view; however, the fact that modem descendants are only found in Dardic makes also this word a strong borrowing candidate.

Rom. Syr. silda 'cold, unhappy'

The word belongs to OIA sitala- (12487) 'cold'. (18) There are several Dard languages where the -t- has not disappeared: Pasai sidal, Shumashti sidal, Torwali sidul, Phalura sidalo, Shina sidal. They are regarded by Fussman (1972, entry 57) as semi-tatsamas (i.e. as later borrowings), but this is implausible. To be added to the Turner forms are Phalura sid 'cold' (noun), Savi sid 'coldness; fever' and sideli 'cold', but note that Phalura and Savi sid belong to OIA sita-1 'cold'(124859) (compare the discussion of Rom. chela 'smallpox' above in this section). The word is thus a borrowing from the north-west.

Rom.G. seli 'bran'

Compare OIA satina- 'the pea Pisum avense' (13116). The OIA lemma was so far not known to have a modern descendant besides Romani. But there are Bhadrawahi setu and Bhalesi sete both meaning 'bran' (Kaul 2006 I: 327). Both words have preserved the original -t- (which is quite rare in West Pahari, but there are other cases as well, and see the preceding entry). The background of this lemma is complicated by Rom. seli (also Rom.T. selja) 'bran' and Rudhari seli 'grain, bran (of maize)' (Kaul: 2006 II: 274). Turner derives the Romani form < OIA sadaka- 'unhusked corn' (12287), but that cannot be the origin of the Rudhari word if one does not want to assume an isolated borrowing from an unknown Dard language since West Pahari does not know a historical change -t-, -d- > -l-. On the other hand, the Romani word seli/selja does seem to have been borrowed from an unknown Dard language. So the matter is really unclear. Note, however, that the -e- in the words seli, setu, sete, seli, seli/selja possibly resulted from the same phonological process, namely a so-called epenthesis (which is found in many areas where Dardic and West Pahari is spoken; it is discussed below in section 13).

5 Words not yet known to be of IA origin and also borrowed from north-western languages

This section runs the risk of being characterized of using the argumentum e silentium. Indeed, this danger cannot be completely ruled out as it is always possible that new evidences for words at unexpected places come up. However, it is unlikely that all of the words presented below would finally be found to be known also in the inner group. This is simply also not possible because some of the words have undergone sound changes which definitely have not occurred in the inner group. Also here I include words from all branches of Romani.

Rom.Arm. akli 'a lie; untrue; insufficient'

Because of the preservation of the -k- I assume a borrowing from a north-western language even though the word is also found in the inner group. It derives < OIA alika- 'unpleasing; untrue; a little' (718).

Rom.Arm. anles 'paradise'

There is no straightforward etymology for this word, but it may belong to OIA anudesa- in the more literal sense of *'adjoining land'. On the one hand, OIA anudesa- has only the technical meaning 'reference to something prior'. On the other hand there is, however, Shina ooso (Turner: osu) '(male) guest' which Turner derives < OIA *apadesya- 'foreign' (427) and which has been borrowed into Burushaski as oosin 'Besucher, Gast'. However, a derivation < OIA anudesin- 'residing at the same place'--but here with a suggested meaning *'belonging to an adjoining area'--is more convincing also with regard to the initial nasalization of the Shina word (in the north-west des frequently means 'village (and adjoining area)'). Admittedly, the palatal sibilant in anles cannot be the same as the OIA one and is probably an Armenian suffix (cf. Rom.Arm. lehi, leji 'village' and for possible suffixes Finck 1907: 50; and cf. Pasai de, Khowar deh and Rom.Syr. de all 'village'). I may also point out here that the word des is (or rather was) used by the Prasun people in Nuristan in "urdesh" 'heaven' and "yurdesh" 'paradise' and 'hell' (Jettmar 1975:51f.).

Rom.Burg. eklik 'a little'

The word consists of two elements: ek- 'a; one' (< OIA *ekka 'one' [2462]), and regarding the second element compare Indus Kohistani [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'small; (a) little', Iranian Saka laka 'little, small amount', Burushaski luk 'a little', Wota-puri lukur 'small'. In case of Bashkarik lukut. 'shorter, younger', Khashi lokuch 'smaller' and Kashmiri lokotu 'small, shorter, younger' comparative suffixes have been added. According to Turner < OIA *lukka-l 'defective' (11072), but this is implausible because the geographical distribution of this word with the meaning 'small' is limited to the north-west and to Saka. This makes it clear that it cannot belong to 11072, whatever its origin. Thus the Rom.Burg. word may be a borrowing from the north-west.

Rom. kermuso 'mouse, rat'

According to Turner, the first syllable is < OIA ghara- 'house'. But compare Pasai kavar-mus 'rat' and Persian karmus 'muskrat'. It is unclear whether here also belongs Rom.T. maskaris 'mouse', but the forms suggest a compound word of unclear derivation but borrowed from somewhere in the north-west.

Rom.Arm. konc, kong, gu-e nc 'beard'

The word goes back to OIA goccha- 'furrow of upper lip' (4269) with modern descendants in Ashkun, Kati, Waigali, Gawar-Bati, Savi, Kashmiri, Bangani, Khasdhari, Deogari and Bauri, all with the meaning 'moustache'. The Rom.Arm word is thus a borrowing from the north-west.

Rom. cicalo 'penis'

There may be an onomatopoetic dimension here, but there is a correspondence in Indus Kohistani cicu 'a small boy's penis'. Indus Kohistani cicu is different from cich 'nipple, breast' which is < OIA *cuccu- 'female breast, nipple'. But there is perhaps either connection with Panjabi cici 'the little finger; the little toe' or the word is a north-western borrowing that goes back to OIA *srthila- loose, slack' (12601) (cf. Waigali cicil'a 'weich, leicht (facilis)', Prasun ci cil 'soft', etc.).

Rom. cicalo2 'meat'

This word must have a different origin than the preceding one even though the two have been put together by Boretzky and Igla, and even though it also is of onomatopoetic character. It belongs to a fairly large group with examples known to me in the area between Ossetic and West Pahari. Thus it seems to be a Wanderwort of unknown origin: Bangani cicau 'meat' (children's language), Deogari cici 'piece of meat' (children's language), Kotgarhi ci 'meat, cooked meat', Indus Kohistani [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'meat' (children's language), Burushaski and Shina caca 'Fleisch' (Kindersprache), Ossetic dzidza 'Fleisch' (Babysprache).

Rom. chungar 'spit, saliva'

There may be a connection with Indus Kohistani curukh [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'to spit by pressing the saliva between the teeth in order to create a whizzing sound', perhaps also [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'to squirt', and Bangani curuk-curuk 'sound of spitting and verbal curkan[??] 'to spit'. But a derivation is unknown.

Rom. chomut/chumut (19) /chonut 'moon; moonlight'

The word is a compound with the first component deriving < OIA jyotsna- 'moonlight' (5301) and the second < OIA masta-, *mastra- 'head; skull' (9926). Compare the following words without derivations < OIA jyotsna- but showing a homonymy of 'moon' and 'head': Kalasha mastruk 'moon, moonlight; month', masta 'brains' and mastrugon or mastrugond. 'scarecrow' (with second component -gon, -gond. 'stick' < OIA ganda-2 'trunk of tree from root to branches' [3998] and thus basically meaning 'stick with head'), Kati mrusite 'brain' (< OIA *mastra- with r fronting), Pasai mato 'moon' and Pasai dialect mastrak 'Gehirn'. The semantic contamination was obviously caused by the similarity with derivations < OIA masa- 'moon; month' (10104) as, e.g. in Ashkun mas, Ningalami mas, Gambiri mas 'moon', Khowar mas 'moon; month' etc. A morphologically different but semantically identical compound formation 'light-head' exists in Pasai mog-les 'moon' for which Fussman (1972, entry 84) considers combination of derivations < OIA masa- and *locya- 'bright' (11131), but it is phonologically better to derive the first component < OIA mastiska- 'cranium' (9926) which yields again a basic meaning 'bright head'. Besides Romani, jyotsna- as first and masta- as second component is found in Satlaj Group joth 'moon', Inner Siraji and Kului dzoth, Sainji dzotth etc., and in jodhaiya 'moon' in the Lakhimpuri dialect of Awadhi. The -m- of the Romani forms is of course not inherited but an allophone of the -n- of the first component (cf. Rom. nilaj ~ milaj 'summer'), and the vowel -u- is perhaps epenthetic reflex of an original form *mastu- as it is found in OIA mastulunga- 'brain' (9926). Even though 'moon' as 'bright head' is found over a large area, the Romani forms are borrowings from the north-west because of the aspiration fronting (cf. MIA jonha- 'moon' and see below section 10).

Rom.Zak. labol 'to burn' (itr.), Rom.T. labarav 'to burn' (tr.) and Rom.Lov. lobo 'flame'

The lemma is found over a quite large area including West Pahari, Dardic, Nuristani, Burushaski, some Iranian languages and Western Tibeto-Himalayan languages: Bangani l[??]pn[??] 'to shine, sparkle (e.g., fire)', lapi 'flame; torch' and lupi 'flame; lamp; Kotgarhi and Koci poetic lupe 'flame'; Deogari l[??]p-l[??]p and Khasdhari l[??]p-l[??]p both 'flaming, sparkling'; Kannauri l[??]p[??]g 'flame'; Chitkuli l[??]p-l[??]p me 'a flaming, sparkling fire' (Zoller); Rudhari leppi deni 'to fire, to heat by firing' (Kaul 2006 II: 271), Gari l[??]p 'lightning', Shina lupi-zhoiki-i zhei v.i. 'burn' and lupoiki v.t. 'burn (wood, etc.) light (fire lamp)' (also noted as lup'anzunden'), Yasin Burushaski lap and lalap 'shine, burn, light up; to beam'; Brokskad lupras 'to burn, to kindle' (with -as infinitive and perhaps with an -r- causative), mel[??]p 'flame' (a synonym compound with first component borrowed from Tibetan me 'fire') and meleps 'fire fly, glow worm' (like preceding but with (unclear?) extension) and probably tralupis 'to shine' (with unclear first component tra-); Indus Kohistani l[??]p-l[??]ph ho- 'to light up, shine, sparkle, glitter', Waigali luppa(h) 'lamp, torch' and lap'a 'Fackel', Khowar lapeik 'to glitter' and Yidgha-Munji lapoir 'glitters'. The word seems to be of Proto-Indo European provenance and derive < PIE *lap- 'shine' in which connection Mallory and Adams state (2006: 329) that this root "... may have been specifically related to the brightness of fire."

Rom.Arm. lorel 'to find, discover'

This word is somehow < OIA lodayati 'agitates' or its sideform lodati (11080). Several of the modern descendants do not have the OIA meanings quoted here but meanings comparable with the Armenian Romani word: Panjabi rolna 'to sift (coarse from fine, rice from husk)', Khowar lolik 'to look for' and Bangani lorn[??] 'to search for'. Bangani lotn[??] 'to rock, sway; to fall (down), collapse' shows that the quoted Turner lemmata are semantically underdifferentiated and seem to contain originally separate words. The Bangani and Khowar forms are especially close to the Armenian word which may be an indication that this is a loanword.

Rom.Arm. santhu 'oven'

Compare Bangani sa[??]dan[??] 'to warm or heat up (e.g., an aching limb through a hot compress)', and (poetic) s[??]da[??] and s[??]dar 'funeral pile'. Turner postulates samdahati 'burns up' (12899a) with one modern descendant in Maldivian. The Bangani forms, however, rather derive < OIA samdahayati 'to cause to burn up'. The Rom.Arm. word could be inherited, but the scarce evidence just from the fringes of Indo-Aryan makes borrowing not unlikely.

Roto.Arm. samli karel 'to fabricate, prepare, make, build'

OIA sammati 'construct, grant' (12975) has the past participle sammita- 'of the same measure' (Pali sammita- 'measured'). The Armenian form must derive from the past participle. Regarding the meaning, cf. Phalura samum 'I build, arrange (house, bed)' (sub 12975) and Bangani s[??]minuan[??] 'to manufacture, make; to repair, join (together), fit together (as carpenter)'. The Bangani word is a synonym verbal compound with independent nuan[??] meaning 'to bend'. The Armenian form is certainly a loanword since the meaning 'construct' is limited to the north-west and the -l- seems to reflect an old -ta-.

Roto.Arm. sol, sol 'loud; voice, word, narration, news'; plus lel 'to take' it means 'to revile'; plus grel 'to call, shout, sing' (which also has this meaning); soli plus karel 'to do' means 'to speak, narrate'

The forms are connected with OIA sloka- 'sound, hymn of praise' (12748). Since modern descendants are limited to the north-west this must be a loanword.

Rom.Burg. hisano 'shady' and hiso 'shade', and perhaps Rom.Syr. ausa 'shadow'

The forms are not connected with Romani uchal 'shadow, shade' which is < OIA *avacchada- 'cover' (763). Compare Indus Kohistani [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] '(a place which is usually) shady, without sun'. But further connections are (yet) unclear.

6 Possibly inherited but not yet (clearly) etymologized Romani words

Rom. avertehara 'day after tomorrow'

Compare Waigali varatr 'tomorrow' which is < OIA apararatra'- latter part of the night, end of night' (436). The Romani word was probably suffixed with an -r-extended form < OIA ahar- 'day' (993) as in Khowar averi/avera 'day after tomorrow'. The extension is also found in Marathi satere 'weather lasting for seven days' which is < OIA saptaha- 'period of seven days' (13161). The existence of ahar- is further corroborated by Rom.Dol. prektaha 'ubermorgen' which consists of a Slavonic prefix and the inherited word.

Rom.Arm. chasachuten, chasauten 'shame, shamefacedness' The word contains a derivation < OIA *chupti- 'touch' (5057) with modern descendants meaning 'impurity'. Cf. Hindi achut '(an) untouchable' and chuachat 'restrictions on touching, or contact'.

Rom.Arm. nenel 'to carry'

This is perhaps a derivation < OIA nayana-1 'leading' (6967) which is a nominalization of OIA nayati 'carries off' (6966). European Romani anel 'to fetch, bring' is < related OIA anayati 'leads forward, fetches' (1174).

Roto.Arm. panghri, pantry, panghyn 'hen, chicken'

The first form derives < OIA *paksirupa- 'bird' (7637), but the second and third forms are less clear as they seem to contain suffixes.

Rom. merikli 'necklace, bracelet'

This is a Wanderwort, cf. Indus Kohistani [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'a pearl necklace; a diamond (it is said that it emits light by itself at night)', Pashto maryalara 'a pearl', Sogdian (Middle Iranian) m[??]ryart 'pearl', Avar language (North Caucasian) margal 'pearl', Chaldaean margal, maregale 'pearl', Armenian markarid 'pearl', Persian marvarid 'pearl', Gothic markreitas, Walachian margarita, merjeritarju, Albanian margaritar, Greek [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Latin margarita 'lapis indicus', etc.

Roto.Arm. vahicq 'axe'

Regarding the Armenian suffix -cq see Finck (1907: 51); the lexeme is < OIA vasi- 'sharp-pointed knife or adze' (11588).

Rom. sudro 'cool, cold'

The etymology proposed by Talos, sudro < OIA *suddha-ra- 'clear (water)' < 'cold (water)' is not convincing (cf. OIA suddha- 'clean, bright, white' [12520]). Instead the word derives < OIA tusara- 'cold' (5894) with subsequent metatheses and voice assimilation of the original -t-. The metatheses must have occurred after leaving the north-west when the rule -t- > -l- was not active anymore.

7 On the original home of Romani

As has been pointed out by Turner (see section 3), Romani originally belongs to what he calls the Central group of IndoAryan. This is perhaps not exactly the same as Grierson's division of New Indo-Aryan into three subgroupings which he called midland or inner languages, intermediate languages and outer languages, but it is also not very different. We have already seen that Romani has borrowed a substantial amount of words from the north-western branch, and below more data will be furnished. However, I want to stress in this section that Romani contains a substantial amount of words which are apparently limited to the inner languages. This might be taken as additional corroboration for the assumption regarding Romani belonging originally to the inner group. The following words appear to me as potential candidates for the inner group as none of them has descendants in the outer languages: (20)

Rom. cunr/cunra 'tress, plait'

One finds here some closely related OIA forms--cuda-1, 'protuberance on brick; topknot on head', *conda-, *cotta-, *cunda- (4883)--with a main meaning '(knot of) hair'. According to Turner (who quotes Mayrhofer) this is a Dravidian lemma; but the problem is that its alloforms have quite different geographical distributions. This suggests overlap of more than one lemma:

cuda1: Nuristani, Dardic, West Pahari, Sindhi, Lahnda, Panjabi, Kumaoni, Nepali, Bengali, Assamese, Oriya, Bihari, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Hindi, Maldivian.

*conda-: Dardic, Lahnda, Panjabi, Hindi.

*cotta-: Sindhi, Lahnda, Panjabi, West Pahari, Hindi, Oriya, Gujarati.

*cunda-: Oriya.

The relatively early attested cuda-1 is also the most widespread allomorph with modern descendants found in the triangle between Nuristani, Assamese and Maldivian. The allomorph *conda-, from which the Romani forms derive, is largely limited to the central languages (and Dardic).

Rom. bilal v.i. 'to melt, thaw' and bilavel v.t 'to melt'

The words derive < OIA viliyate 'is dissolved, melts' and vilapayati2 'dissolves, melts' (11906). Modern descendants are predominantly found in Nuristani, Dardic, Central and Eastern Pahari, and Central NIA.; but there are no descendants in the outer languages. (21)

Rom.Ger. daro 'tree'

Not mentioned by Turner, (22) < OIA daru- 'piece of wood' (6298). Modern descendants are found in Dardic, Pahari, Central NIA and Sinhalese. Thus this is a word shared by the inner and the northwestern languages, but is absent in the outer languages.

8 Some close coincidentes between Romani and Dumaki

Dumaki is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Doma in the Hunza valley and some other scattered places in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Dumaki is nota Dardic language--even though it has been heavily influenced by Dardic Shina, by an unknown other Dardic language and by Burushaski--but is related to languages of the North Indian plains. The language shows some peculiar coincidences with Romani which are worth to be quoted here:
Dumaki            Romani              Old Indo-Aryan

karka 'bitter'    kerko 'bitter'      katu-, katuka- 'pungent,
                                      bitter' (2641)

phaaka            phiko 'shoulder(-   *sphiya-, sphya- *'scapula'
'shoulder'        blade)              (13839)

g'i-ryu           Domari gir, giri    ghrta-'ghee' (4501)
'butter'          'butter'

pursum 'flea'     pusum 'flea'        *pruri-'flea' + masaka
                                      'mosquito' (9029
                                      + 9917)


(1) In phaaka 'shoulder' the suffix -ka is remarkable as it is otherwise only found--besides Romani--in Kashmiri phyok and Iranian Shughni fyak and some other north-western languages (see above section 4).

(2) The European form for 'ghee' is khil and Shina has gi, but Dumaki giriu 'ghee' resembles the form in Domari. (23)

(3) The word pursum 'flea' is peculiar because of the final -m which is the rest of a second word, cf. Torwali "pyumash" 'flea' (Barth and Morgenstierne) and Dameli prasu 'fly'. Apparently, either te first sibilant or the second was dissimilated due to syllable contraction.

9 Remarks on Norwegian and Swedish Romani

The first and the second lemma discussed in this section are related either through common etymology and/or through partly inextricable contaminations and borrowings, and (perhaps repeated) onomatopoetic creations. Yet they form a closely interrelated complex. Note, however, that the first lemma is limited to Scandinavian and German Romani whereas the second one is more widespread. The second lemma is said to derive from Greek and the first either from Turkish, from PIE or even Nostratic. However, both have Wanderwort characteristics. The second lemma has been included here because of its closeness to the first one.

kakni 'hen'

Rom.N. kakni and Rom.S. kakkni both 'hona--hen' (also kakkno = kanno 'tupp--cock')--but also Rom.Ger. (see Wolf 1960) kachni, kaxni, kaghni etc. all 'Huhn, Henne'--are connected with Rom. khajni 'hen'. (24) Iversen (1944: 83) rightly reconstructs *kary-ni with a parallel in Rom.Arm. karyi 'cock'. The lemma is found mainly in Iranian and in north-west Indo-Aryan as well as dispersed in some other languages. Here follow some examples (for a more comprehensive list see Zoller forthcoming): Garhwali syam karka 'woodcock', Wakhi kherk, khirk 'chicken', Burushaski qarqaamuc 'Huhn, Hahn' (with -muc < OIA mrgaci 'bird' [10265]), (25) Pashto qarya 'crow, rook', Ossetic kark 'hen', Late Avestan kahrka- (in compounds), Middle and New Persian kark 'chicken, hen', Tocharian B kranko 'chicken', etc. In addition the word is found in Modern Greek karga 'a bird' and Russian karga 'Krahe, Greisin' etc. According to Doerfer (1967: 384) the original word is Turkish qarya 'Krahe'. However, the reconstructed Proto Indo-European form is *kerk-. But Mallory and Adams point also out (2006: 144) that onomatopoetic PIE *kVr-C- probably not only provides the basis for 'crow' words but also for 'hen' words. Consequently the possibility cannot be ruled out that we deal here with a lemma that originates beyond the horizon of PIE, and in fact Nostratic origin is suggested by Nikita Krougly-Enke (p. 276-77, entry 6.20). He differentiates this from a similar lemma for magpie- or crow-like birds (p. 277, entry 6.21, see also next entry on 'magpie' etc.), but Rom.T. karka 'magpie' shows that there exist transitional forms between the two lemmata.

kakkaraska 'big bird'

Rom. kakaraska 'magpie', Rom.N. kakkeraska 'magpie--skjaere', according to Iversen (1944: 82) Eilert Sund had noted the same form but in the sense of 'eagle--orn', Rom.F. kakaraska, (kakarachka) and kakkeraska 'Elster', Rom.S. kakkaraska, kakkeraska 'skata, stor fagel, orn, falk, rovfagel--magpie, big bird, eagle, falcon, raptor'. There is Late Avestan kahrk-asa- 'vulture' (see preceding entry); according to Cheung (2007: 168) this is a Wanderwort. He quotes among others Ossetic coergoes 'eagle', Sogdian carkas 'bird of prey', Middle Persian kargas, Khwarezmian krkys 'vulture', New Persian kargas, Yidgha kary[??]z, Munji kargas 'black and white eagle', Wakhi karjpops, karjopc, Sarikoli kargopc both 'magpie', Sarikoli kiryi, k[??]y[??] 'small falcon', cory 'eagle' as well as Old Indo-Aryan (late) krkasa- 'a kind of bird'. To this is to be added West Pahari Rudhari (Kaul 2006 II: 270) k[??]kras 'name of a grey-coloured ravenous bird with a long tail'. Here also belong Shina kankarooco, Yasin Burushaski kunkuroco and Burushaski qamquruuco all '(Hahn) krahen'. According to Boretzky and Igla, Iversen and Talos the word is of Greek origin. Iversen says (ibid.) "[t]he origin of this onomatope is to be found in Greek 'karakaksa' Elster (Pasp. P. 268); another, but less reasonable etymology, has been proposed by Bugge (p. 153).--The signif. given by Su. must be due to a mistake." There is apparently also Turkish kargas 'griffin' and kerkes 'phoenix' (see e.g. Roelof van den Broek and Inez Wolf Seeger 1971: 204). The above evidence shows that the quoted authors are not wrong; however, kakaraska and similar forms are obviously the last ones of a series of repeated borrowings of a widespread and multiform Wanderwort that may, as suggested, have an origin beyond Proto Indo-European.

grumnin 'thunder'

Rom.N. gurmin 'thunder--torden', Rom.S grumnin, gurmin 'aska--thunder', but also Rom.Ger. grumos 'Donner' and Rom.Dol. grmini 'donnern'. There is Burushaski qaram man'- 'donnern' which is also contained in Dumaki [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'thunder', and perhaps Shina gram b- 'zusam-mensturzen'; Indus Kohistani [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'sound of beating of the heart or of thunder', Panjabi gharamm 'splashing sound, sound of cannon or musketry', Balochi gran- and Pahlavi *yarran- both 'to thunder'. Even though there are lots of similar sounding words in NIA (usually of the form gVr as in Jaunsari garrano 'to growl'), the Romani word is usually seen as a borrowing from Slavonic *kurmi or grm(j)eti 'to thunder'. But the real background seems either to be an Indo-Aryan derivation of "North-West-PIE" *ghromos 'thunder' or, what is more likely, there was repeated borrowing of similar sounding words.

ghana 'people'

Rom.S. ghana 'folk, manniskor, bybor [icke resande]--people, folk, person, townsfolk (not travellers)'. Derivation < OIA gana'- troop, flock' (3988) is unlikely. A more likely derivation, already suggested by me (Zoller 2005: 151) is <OIA ghana-2 'compact, firm, dense' (4424) with modern descendants in north-western languages like Bashkarik gan 'big, elder', Savi ghanyero 'elder', Pasai gan-ayom 'my grandmother'. However, referring to Morgenstierne, Turner considers for some of the here quoted forms a reconstruction < OIA *ghanda- as found in Iranian Parachi ghand 'big' (in order to account for the retroflex nasal consonants). Here to be added are Indus Kohistani gho zh ou 'elder/eldest brother' (with second element < OIA bhratr- 'brother' [9661]) and gho ba 'grandfather' (with second element <OIA *ba- 'father' [9198]). There is further connection between *ghanda- and Kalasha gada 'big or mature of animate beings; elder' which is used like Indus Kohistani in gada baba 'older sister' and gada baya 'older brother', but the loss of aspiration is inexplicable (Trail and Cooper's connection with OIA gadha- 'thick' [4118] appears unlikely even though contamination cannot be excluded). There might be a further connection with Kalasha gandav 'statue of a deceased person', and the basic semantics for the above words would thus roughly be 'respected elder', but again contamination by OIA ganda-2 'trunk of tree' (3998), and suggested by Trail and Cooper as the actual etymology, cannot be ruled out. Yet the Swedish Romani word is clearly a borrowing from a Dard language.

cimpi 'turnip'

Rom.S. cimpi 'kalrot--turnip' probably < OIA *chimba- 'pod, legume' (12445) and probably inherited.

chocha 'hare'

Rom.S. chocha 'hare' is closely related with Rom. sosoj 'hare, rabbit' both of which are < OIA sasa- 'hare' (12357). The OIA lemma is found in ali NIA branches; however note that allomorphs with an (sometimes aspirated) affricate instead of a sibilant and with o instead of a are limited to the north-west. Cf. Waigali scyun and (Lumsden) "soce", (26) Pasai caska, Jaunsari chasa all 'hare'. Whereas the Waigali forms may reflect Indo-Iranian *casa- (with metathesis), the Pasai word displays an irregular development, and the Romani and Jaunsari forms are Indo-Aryan. Still they seem to point to a common geographical origin in the north-west.

Matras' suggestion that the o in the Romani word is due to masculine singular nominative ending in -o (2002: 39) is unsatisfactory. The affricatization in Rom.S. has parallels in Rom.S. dochalo 'skyldig, ansvarig--guilty, responsible' which belongs to Romani dos 'fault, sin' and which is < OIA dosa- 'fault' (6587), Rom.S. kass or kach 'ho--hay' which is < OIA ghasa- 'food, pasture grass' (4471) etc. Moreover, there is also Rom. chela 'measles, (small)pox' (discussed in section 4) with an affricatized s-, which is a borrowing from the north-west.

The case of Yenish (German: Jenisch) (27) cukel 'sauer' (besides sukel 'sauer', see Josef K. von Train) is not quite clear. A derivation < OIA cukra- 'sour, sharp to the taste' (4850) is phonologically possible (compare Ashkun cukala 'sour, bitter') but would seem to be without parallel in Romani. I therefore assume that also this is a case of affricatization and that the word derives < OIA *suktala- 'become acid or sour' (12504) like Romani suklo 'sour'. Thus it seems that some of these words underwent affricatization in the north-west and others, much later, perhaps under dialectal German influence.

pall 'apple'

There are Mansing (28) pall 'apple--apple' (Pa.), Nasare (29) pall 'ditto' and Knoparemaj (30) paller 'ditto' (Pa.). Here probably also Yenish balling 'Apfel' (see Josef K. von Train). They are close to Nuristani Waigali pal'a 'Apfel', Prasun va and Kamviri par'[??] 'apple', Dardic Gauro palo 'apple' and Satoti ph[??]la 'an apple' which is probably a borrowing from Shina phala 'ditto'; and Burushaski baalt 'Apfel'. See Turner's sceptical comments sub phala-l 'fruit' (9051) and patali- 'Bignonia or Stereospermum suaveolens' ('yellow snake tree') (8034) regarding a possible derivation. There is no doubt that the above Scandinavian Romani 'apple' words are borrowings from the north-west. But there are also the following words which belong to the above-mentioned (section 4) Romani phab, phabai 'apple': Rom.N. pabb, rarely babb 'potato', Rom.F. phab 'Apfel', and Rom.S. pabbar 'potatoes' (which are also borrowings from the north-west).

I have no explanation for the fact that one Indo-Aryan word is found among the Scandinavian Roma speakers and the other among peddlers and chimney sweepers.

10 Fronting of aspiration (h metathesis)

In an article from 1959 (1975) Turner discusses fronting of aspiration in European Romani. He summarizes his conclusions at the end of the paper (1975: 388). The most important conditions for fronting are:

* When the initial consonant was g, j, d, b (v), s, p.

* When the internal consonant or consonant group was ggh, ngh, nkh (> ngh), jjh, cch (?), ddh, th (> rh), ddh, ndh, th and dh (> lh), bbh, mbh, ph (> bh, vh).

* It did not occur when the internal consonants were kkh, cch (?), kh and gh (> h), bh (> h), rh (?).

* Apart from two exceptions, fronting of aspiration occurred only between a voiced initial stop and a voiced internal aspirate.

Moreover, Turner shows (1975: 381) that fronting of aspiration preceded the devoicing of voiced aspirates in European Romani. All the above points indicate that the process of fronting of aspiration in Romani occurred when its speakers stayed in the north-west of South-Asia. In other words, h fronting in Romani was caused by the same process as in Dardic (and perhaps West Pahari). Here is further evidence from Romani not yet noted, however without known parallels in NIA:

khanci 'nothing, something, anything' < OIA kimcid 'anything' (3144) with *-cch- from OIA kascid, cf. Bhalesi kich 'some, a little' (Turner mentions only Rom.Pers. hic 'nothing', Rom.G. ic, hic 'something, nothing', Rom.Wel. ci 'anything').

chingar 'row, quarrel, noise' < OIA cinghata- 'noise, scream' (4787) (Turner mentions only Rom.Wel. cinar, cinari 'row, quarrel, brawl').

pherja(s) 'fun, joke' < OIA parihasa- 'jesting, ridiculing' (7902) (Turner mentions only Rom. and Rom.Germ. peryas, Rom.Wel. paias 'fun, sport, joke').

Fronting parallels in the north-west

Since fronting preceded devoicing, it is not surprising to find in the north-west several parallels of h fronting but (so far) no parallel for h fronting plus devoicing. This may be an indication that devoicing in Romani occurred outside the South Asian language area, namely in Armenia (31) (see e.g. Donald Kenrick 2004: 31). Note, however, that the proto-forms for the following modern Dardic and the Romani words are sometimes not identical but only closely related:
Meaning          Romani    Dardic          MIA         OIA

armpit           khak      khacal (32)     kakkha-     kaksa

smell            khand     ghond (33)      gandha-     gandha

sreanant         khabni    hnbi (34)       gabbhini-   garbhini

to weave         khuvel    ghum (35)       gu(b)hai    guphati

tongue           chib      zhip (36)       jibbha-     jihva

month            chon      jhun (37)       jonha-      jyotsna
moon             chomut

and              thaj      the (38)        *tahavi     tathapi

(molar), beard   thar      d'ari (39)      datha-      damstra
                           dhai (40)
                           dhari (41)

wing             phak      phasi el (42)   pakkha-     paksa
                           phacali (43)
                           'phaci (44)
                           phakhru (45)

to bind          phandel   bhonik (46)     bandhati    bandhati

to ask           phucel    phucik (47)     pucchati    prcchati

Note: Romani khul 'excrement' is < OIA gatha- 'excrement' (4225) and there are a few NIA cases with fronting as in Lahnda ghu and Oriya ghua both 'excrement'. But these appear to be independent developments.

The phenomenon of h fronting is much more comprehensive in Dardic and West Pahari than it is in European Romani and it allows fronting of basically ali aspirated sounds, single ones and clusters. On the other hand, in Romani it rather appears like an incomplete phonological process. This can only mean that Proto-Romani indeed was affected by h fronting during the period when its speakers stayed in the north-west of South Asia, but apparently the process was in the first millennium CE not as advanced as we find it today. Recalling Turner's observation that apart from two exceptions, fronting of aspiration occurred only between a voiced initial stop and a voiced internal aspirate in Romani it is now clear that this exactly reflects the situation in Dardic and West Pahari where one observes a loose "connection" between h and its associated voiced stops as against the case of aspirated unvoiced stops (see Zoller forthcoming) as e.g. in Indus Kohistani nominative ghui 'mare' but ergative guhe (< OIA ghota- 'horse'). Turner therefore rightly concludes (1927: 304) that h fronting in case of aspirated tenuis occurred later than that of aspirated mediae. Exactly this has also to be presumed for Dardic and West Pahari.

11 Aspiration not justified by etymology

This phenomenon, which was first reported by Morgenstierne for Phalura, is in fact widespread both in Dardic and in West Pahari (see Zoller forthcoming), e.g. Dardic Indus Kohistani thokh 'clod' < OIA *tukka- 'piece' (5466) or West Pahari Jaunsari bhirai 'cat' < OIA bidala- 'cat' (9237). However, it is also known from Middle Iranian Sakian as in phattanai 'palate' < IIr pa[??]ana-'broad, wide', phara- 'much' < IIr paru-. There are also a few Indo-Aryan instances in European Romani, which testify that they are borrowings either from Dardic or West Pahari. All this is not unlikely as the phenomenon apparently occurred already occasionally in MIA Gandhari as in dhaksinami for OIA daksina-'southern' (6119) (see Fussman 1989: 482 and Salomon 2002: 132):

chamb 'skin (on fruit), rind (bacon)' < OIA carman- 'hide, skin' (4701),

phumb 'pus' < OIA puya- 'pus' (8328),

phurano 'old' < OIA purana- 'ancient'.

Note that Romani has borrowed at least one Iranian word displaying aspiration not justified by etymology: phurd, phurt 'bridge' [left arrow] dialectal Iranian phurd 'bridge'.

12 r metathesis (fronting)

There are not that many cases for r metathesis in Romani; still, also this process is probably due to contact with languages in the north-west. Besides Dardic and West Pahari, and also Sindhi and Lahnda, it is again also found in Middle Iranian Sakian (but apparently not in Nuristani), as the following examples demonstrate: grama- 'hot' < IIr garma-, drays- 'hold s.o./' < IIr darz-, dramma- 'pomegranate' < IIr *darma- (OIA dadima-), druba'-name of a certain plant' (perhaps an IA borrowing, cf. OIA durva-'the grass Panicum dactylon' [6501]), brumja- 'birch bark' (again perhaps an Indo-Aryan borrowing, cf. OIA bhurja- 'birch tree' [9570]). An example from Indus Kohistani is zub 'the grass Panicum dactylon or a similar variety' (with z- < older dr-, cf. Sakian druba-) < OIA durva- 'the grass Panicum dactylon' (6501) and an example from West Pahari is Khashi bhrebhu 'brown bear < OIA babhru- 'reddish brown' (9149). This r fronting was already known in Gandhari as seen in dhrama- instead of OIA dharma- (6753) (see Fussman 1989: 487). As r fronting is found over a considerable geographical area in the west and north-west, it is difficult to assign a specific place from where the following Romani words have been borrowed:

bres 'rain' < OIA varsa- 'rain' (11392)

tradel 'to drive (away)' < OIA tardati1 'sets free' (5721)

pravarel 'to nourish s.o.' [left arrow] Persian parvardan

However, a parallel is found between Romani pragav 'rib' (actually 'part of a cauldron', (48) regarding ending cf. Rom.Wel. pasavo 'rib') and Khowar pras, Savi prasu, Phalura prasu, Shina of Gilgit prasi all 'rib', and probably also Kalasha pras 'steep hillside', all of which are < OIA parsu-l 'rib' (7948).

13 The historical change a > e

Yaron Matras writes (2003: 34): "Preceding simple consonants, historical /a/ is represented in Romani by /e/, and in some cases by /i/: OIA kar-, Romani ker- 'to do' ... Historical /a/ is retained however in positions preceding an historical consonant cluster: OIA gharma, Romani kham 'sun' ..." Somehow contradicting this statement he quotes on p. 39 OIA varsa > Romani bers 'rain'. Similar vowel changes a > e are also known from the north-west, however, there they are only occasionally found and in a scattered way. Moreover, it seems that the vowel changes were caused by different factors, e.g. epenthesis or shift of accent. Thus there are quite many cases of epenthesis in Nuristani, Dardic and West Pahari where a final i causes an initial a to be raised to e as e.g. in Ashkun veri 'speech, language, word', Kati veri, Prasun veri which are < OIA *vari 'speech' (11327), Bhatise chiel 'a goat' < OIA chagalika- 'goat' (4963), Bashkarik jeng 'shin-bone' < OIA *janghiya 'belonging to the shank' (5084), etc. I will therefore not try to formulate alternative rules but simply list the cases where I see possible parallels between Romani and north-western languages. Hence, these parallels suggest that the Romani vowel change a > e occurred through contact with north-western languages, as it would otherwise fail to explain why this rule did not apply in non-IA borrowings.

ivend 'winter' is usually derived < OIA hemanta 'winter' (14164); however, compare Pasai (some dialects) emen, emen 'winter' which Turner derives < OIA hemanta. But there is no phonological motivation for the e in the second syllable and thus ir is not clear whether we have here an accidental similarity.

kerel 'to do, make' < OIA karoti 'does' (2814)--compare the conjugation of Indus Kohistani karav 'to do' which displays "irregular" variations of the vowel e.g. in present continuous suh kera beth 'he is doing ('; Bhadrawahi kernu 'to do', Kului kernu 'to do, make'. The e may be due to epenthesis, compare Niya documents kareti, Prakrit karei, karai 'does' and Tirahi present tense karem, [??]es, [??]e.

gelo 'went, gone' is preterite of dzal 'to go' and derives <OIA gata 'gone' (4008)--compare the Rambani dialect of Kashmiri geu, Panjabi gea, Bhalesi geu and Khashi gedo 'went'.

dzeno '(male) person' < OIA jana 'race, person' (5098) has an exact parallel in the Urtsun variety of Kalasha jen 'person'.

des 'ten' < OIA dasa (6227)--compare Indus Kohistani d[??]ysi, Prasun lez, Shina dai all 'ten' which point to a Dardic and Nuristani proto-form *dasi, although the final vowel is inexplicable.

bers 'year' < OIA varsa- 'year; rain' (11392)--compare Phalura beris., Shina of Gilgit beris and Bangani b[??]ris all 'year' which are < older *barisa (see Prakrit varisa 'rain' and Kashmiri varih 'year').

men 'neck' < OIA mani 'hump of camel' (9732) has no comparable modern parallel in South Asia; however, the vowel is probably the outcome of epenthesis.

mel 'dirt' is usually derived < OIA mala 'dirt' (9899) but a derivation < OIA *malin 'dirty' (9904) is equally possible and would explain the Romani vowel; cf. under 9904 Khashali mel 'ear-wax', Kotgarhi mela 'dirt', Garhwali mel 'dirt'.

len 'river' < OIA nadi 'river' (6943) with consonant metathesis--compare Wotapuri nyed, Gawar-Bati nendi, Torwali ned, Ashkun ned'i, n'edi Dameli nali, Savi neli, Chameali nei all 'stream'. Thus there is also here a case of epenthesis. Note that Rom.T. ljen 'river' seems to have preserved the word-final palatal vowel.

les 'him' < OIA ta base of nominative singular neuter, genitive masculine, neuter tasya (5612)--compare Kalasha te 'they'; Torwali tes, Bhalesi tes, Bangani tes. Here we have again a clear case of north-western epenthesis. But the change of initial t- > l- in the Romani form is unusual and has only one parallel in len 'river'. But there one would expect the change -d- > -l- to have occurred before the metathesis even though there is no supporting evidence from Dardic. Could the word have been borrowed from Rom.Arm.?

sel 'hundred' < OIA gata '100' (12278)--compare Bhatise syal, but there are also other NIA forms with an i as in Nepali, Bihari, Marathi sai, Simhalese siya, etc.; compare above des 'ten'. (49)

There are also some words where the e goes back to older i. Since the number of examples is so small it is, however, an open question whether or not this sound change in Romani was caused by an influence from north-western languages:

sero 'head' < OIA siras 'head' (12452)--cf. Kashmiri heri 'above, upstream', Siraji of Doda seri 'head' (Kaul 2006 II: 328). chela 'smallpox' (discussed above in section 4): compare Waigali sele and Wotapuri sel 'cold'.
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Title Annotation:p. 243-292
Author:Zoller, Claus Peter
Publication:Acta Orientalia
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 1, 2010
Previous Article:Texts from the winter feasts of the Kalasha of Birir.
Next Article:Aspects of the early history of Romani.

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