John Cowan cowan at
Fri Jan 6 22:56:18 CET 2017

On Fri, Jan 6, 2017 at 4:48 PM, Peter Constable <petercon at>

I could be wrong here, but my understanding is that you may not need full
> understanding of both languages.  You might use the words from one language
> to fill holes in the other.   Eg: with the Spanglish poetry earlier, I
> could read with pretty good comprehension the first example.  The second
> one was much more challenging.

Absolutely.  But you pretty much need full bilingualism to *do*
as opposed to just understanding it.  Here's a bit of (literary)

In an upper room on Olive Street in St. Louis, Missouri, a half-and-half
couple were talking half-and-half.

The rez has riser'd, the man said. I can sung it like brishindo. Let's jal.

All right, the wife said, if you're awa.

Hell, I bet I can riker plenty bano on the beda we got here. I'll have
kakko come kinna it saro.

With a little bachi we can be jal'd by areat, said the wife.

Nashiva, woman, nashiva!

All right, the wife said, and she began to pack their suitcases.

The full context of this (the R.A. Lafferty story "Land of the Great
Horses") makes it possible to decipher this if you are an anglophone,
despite the dense use of Romany words.

Note to Doug Ewell: "I'll have kakko come kinna it saro" is definitely
English-matrix even though there are about as many Romany words as English
ones, and they carry the content (with no Romany and no context at all this
would be wholly unintelligible), so it's not a matter of counting words,
but of which language is supplying the bulk of the grammar.
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