History of the Romani language

Other characteristic features of Proto-Romani

Romani remains conservative in retaining the Old and Middle Indic present conjugation; in fact, it is one of the most archaic Indic languages in this respect. The first person present ending ker-ava 'I do' goes back to Old Indic kar-āmi, the second person ker-esa 'you do' goes back to Old Indic kar-asi, the third person ker-ela goes back to Old Indic kar-ati, and so on.

Romani also shows some unique innovations that are typical of its separate, distinct development, and which may therefore have emerged outside of India. These include:

  • the change of medial -a- to -e- as in deš 'ten', from Indic daśa
  • the change of final inflectional -a- to -o-, as in tato 'warm' from tāta (Old Indic tapta, Middle Indic tatta)
  • the change of -ḍ- to -r- or -ř-, as in phuřo 'old man', from Middle Indic buḍḍha, also řom 'Rom', from ḍom
  • the loss of voice in aspirated plosives, as in thov- 'to wash', from dhāv-
  • the change of initial v- to b-, as in berš 'year', from varṣa
  • the change of medial -t- and -d- to -l-, as in gelo 'gone' from gata, or šel 'hundred' from śata.

and more