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Romani, Romanes, Calè and many other European population groups who are collectively referred to by the mostly pejorative term "Gypsies" refer to their language as Romani, Romanes and romani čhib. Linguistic-genetically it is a New Indo-Aryan language and as such belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. As an Indo-Aryan dispora language which occurs only outside the Indian subcontinent, Romani has been spoken in Europe since the Middle Ages and today forms an integral part of European linguistic diversity.

The first chapter addresses the genetic and historical aspects of Romani as indicated. Four further chapters cover the individual linguistic structural levels: lexicon, phonology, morphology and syntax. This is followed by a detailed discussion of dialectology and a final presentation of the socio-linguistic situation of Romani.