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City University of New York (CUNY)

Banū Sāsān

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Tracing A Gypsy Mixed Language Through Medieval And Early Modern Arabic And Persian Literature, Kristina Richardson Apr 2017

Tracing A Gypsy Mixed Language Through Medieval And Early Modern Arabic And Persian Literature, Kristina Richardson

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In this paper I will analyze and trace samples of a tribal dialect that thrived in medieval Islam and has survived into the modern period. It is a mixed language or para-language that takes the form of embedding a substitutive vocabulary into the grammatical structure of other languages and it has historically been spoken within communities of peripatetics and commercial nomads, or Gypsy 1 groups. In 10th-century Arabic sources produced in Būyid Iraq and Iran, non-speakers named this language lughat al-mukaddīn (the language of the beggars), another demonstration of an outsider’s perspective. However, speakers of this language called it ...