The project is a consortium involving research teams at three partner institutions: the Linguistics Department at the University of Aarhus (team led by Peter Bakker), the Romani Projekt at the University of Graz (team led by Dieter W. Halwachs), and the Romani Project at the University of Manchester (led by Yaron Matras).
The project will examine the role that language plays in forging a new, institutionalised concept of identity and a new identity manifestation among the trans-national Romani population of Europe.
In the past two decades (with earlier roots going back to the late 1960s), Romani activists and their supporters have been engaged in forging a modernised identity based largely on a sense of loyalty toward the common language. A central objective of the Romani political movement is the safeguarding and codification of the Romani language, its use as a vehicle of communication in political and cultural activism, and its recognition by governments. The historical narrative that is being developed by activists relies on language as a clue to the territorial origin of the Roma in India, and in some depictions as a clue to their social affiliation in India and even to the circumstances that brought their ancestors to Europe. At the same time, the reality on the ground is one of pluralism of activity centres and strategies and of pluralism in the shapes and forms of language that are promoted and codified.
We intend to examine the following questions:
The project RomIdent is financially supported by the HERA Joint Research Programme which is co-funded by AHRC, AKA, DASTI, ETF, FNR, FWF, HAZU, IRCHSS, MHEST, NWO, RANNIS, RCN, VR and The European Community FP7 2007-2013, under the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities programme.