History of the Romani language

Development phases

The earliest documentation of Romani dates from the mid-sixteenth century. This means that in order to interpret the earlier history of the language we depend on linguistic reconstruction and comparison. Although we have no record of earlier forms of Romani, we can compare Romani as we know it today with various stages of development in the languages of India for which we do possess textual attestation.

We distinguish three phases in the historical development of Romani: