Caló is one of the about 5,400 languages that researchers believe will become extinct before the end of this century. It belongs to a group of languages called Para-Romani, where the vocabulary is mainly from Romani but the grammar, morphology, phonology and syntax, in the case of Caló, come from Spanish.

‚ÄėIn Spain there is considerable interest in reintroducing Cal√≥ by letting young Romanies learn the language in school. The potential for success is largely determined by the future speakers‚Äô attitudes to the language and its speakers,‚Äô says the author of the thesis Pierre Andersson.

Andersson studied the attitudes of both Romanies and non-Romanies to Cal√≥ and its speakers ‚Äď a type of study that has never been conducted before. A total of 230 adolescents aged 14-15 years participated in the study, which was conducted in the Andalusian cities Seville, Jerez de la Frontera and Fuengirola. The subjects for example listened to recordings of voices speaking Spanish and Cal√≥ at the same time as they wrote down their impressions of the voices. They also answered a set of questions regarding the voices.

‚ÄėThe results show that the adolescents, who claim to belong to the ethnic group Romanies, have positive attitudes to both Cal√≥ and Cal√≥ speakers. The same can be said about those who have frequent contact with the language, meaning that it is spoken by somebody in their household.‚Äô

Moreover, girls are more positive than boys. The teenagers’ knowledge of some Caló words was also tested, and it was found that the most knowledgeable were also the most positive towards the language.

‚ÄėThe fact that young individuals have positive attitudes to Cal√≥ and its speakers implies good prospects for a Cal√≥ reintroduction project,‚Äô says Andersson.

He emphasises the importance of projects where young people get to learn the language, in order to increase the number of speakers.

‚ÄėThese reintroduction projects are very important to minority groups, since they may mark the end of a long history of discrimination and they facilitate appreciation of and respect for these people‚Äôs ethnic heritage, both among themselves and in other groups in society. In addition, the projects help build bridges between minority and majority groups in countries, leading to improved relations.‚Äô

For more information please contact:
Pierre Andersson, telephone: 0034-600 71 42 43 (Spain), e-mail: pierre.andersson@rom.gu.se

Thesis title: Actitudes hacia la variedad cal√≥. Un estudio socioling√ľ√≠stico de adolescentes andaluces (Attitudes towards the variety Cal√≥. A sociolinguistic study of Andalusian adolescents; in Spanish with an English abstract)
Date, time and venue of the public defence of the thesis: Saturday 11 June 2011 at 1.15 pm, Room G 412, Faculty of Arts, Renströmsgatan 6, Gothenburg, Sweden
Faculty examiner: Associate Professor Michol Hoffman, York University, Toronto, Canada
The thesis is available at http://hdl.handle.net/2077/25038