ROMIDENT

Codeswitching in Online Communication

Event Date: 
Mon, 26/03/2012 - 11:00 to 18:00
Venue: 
University of Manchester, University Place room 6.208
Location: 
Manchester

Organized in co-operation with Multilingual Manchester and with the participation of the Hera project IDII4MES, the workshop brought together postgraduate students to share their data and analysis about on-line language usage. Particular attention was paid to the mixing between different languages and its connections to group identity and representation in virtual environments such as chatrooms, forums, YouTube and more.

The Role of Language in the Transnational Formation of Romani Identity (ROMIDENT)

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 understand the process of identity formation as creativity, and the means that support identity forging (historical narratives, codified language and literacy, concrete and virtual forms of organisation, association and representation) as innovations. We wish to examine how innovations related to the shaping and use of language serve particular creative processes of identity formation and identity representation. We are interested in particular in the tension between top-down processes of identity building and the uniformity that they tend to propagate, and bottom-up processes and the pluralism that they entail. We wish to explore the effect that these processes have on the shaping of language, both in the declarative sense (language as an object of attention) and in the technical sense (so-called corpus-planning or adopting technical solutions for codifying and using language in new contexts). We intend to examine the following questions:
1) What roles does language play in forging a modernised Romani identity – as a cultural asset upon which identity is predicated, as an emblem of identity, and as a vehicle through which identity is presented and communicated?
2) Which social conditions and attitudes support pluralism in identity formation, and which are the forces that promote uniformity instead?
3) What role do new technologies play in the innovative use and innovative shaping of language?
4) What role do European-led initiatives and processes have on raising the profile of Romani in individual countries? How do local initiatives -- NGOs, local authorities, individual activists -- react to the implementation of a Council of Europe initiative on Romani, and how are members of Romani communities inspired to engage in ‘language activism’ through transnational encounters?
5) How does the Romani model in its pluralist and trans-national context contribute to our theoretical understanding of trans-national and diasporic identity formation in the age of globalisation?
 

ROMIDENT

Professor Dieter Halwachs

Title: 
Professor
Institution: 
University of Graz
E-mail: 
dieter.halwachs@uni-graz.at
Project Title: 
ROMIDENT

Professor Peter Bakker

Title: 
Professor
Institution: 
Aarhus Universiteit
E-mail: 
linpb@hum.au.dk
Project Title: 
ROMIDENT

Professor Yaron Matras

Title: 
Professor
Institution: 
University of Manchester
E-mail: 
yaron.matras@manchester.ac.uk
Project Title: 
ROMIDENT

Annual Meeting of the Gypsy Lore Society

The RomIdent Project will participate at the annual meeting of the Gypsy Lore Society, 19-23 of September 2012 in the historic district of Beyoğlu, in Istanbul, Turkey.

The project will contribute to the conference with four papers.

Daniele Viktor Leggio (University of Manchester): Being Roma on YouTube: language choice, identity representation and performance.

Yaron Matras and Hazel Gardner (University of Manchester). Attitudes of English and Welsh Gypsies towards their language and its revival.

For the full conference programme see the attached file.

Charlotte Jones (University of Manchester): A study in integration – the Romanian Roma cohort at Gorton Mount Primary School.

Yaron Matras (University of Manchester): Scholarship and the politics of Romani identity: Strategic and conceptual issues.

Appleby Fair

External Website Address: 

8 June 2012, Appleby. RomIdent staff from the University of Manchester participated at the events organized at Appleby Horse Fair.

Audio-visual materials on the history of the Roma/Gypsies and interactive teaching and learning materials for Romani were presented to the public.

Members of the English Gypsy community were involved on a round table during which they offered feedback on the materials present by the RomIdent staff. Furthermore, their ideas and wishes for audio-visual supports for language learning and were discussed.

Colloquium on attitudes toward the Romani language

8-9 March 2012, Manchester. The University of Manchester organized a colloquium to discuss attitudes toward the Romani language on websites, social forums, and in teaching.

Enhancing Romani language education in schools in Europe

11-14 July 2012. Prof Dieter Halwachs (University of Graz) participated in the co-ordinators' meeting and the training seminar organized by the QualiRom project at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Romani language in Stockholm

August 2012. An event on the Romani language was held in Stockholm. Prof Peter Bakker (Aahrus University) took part discussing Romani teaching and learning materials with participants and collecting recently published materials for the RomIdent virtual library.

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