Objective. The paper examines knowledge of Romani grammatical categories among Roma children from Bulgaria and Slovakia between the ages of 3 and 6 years.
Design. Roma children from Bulgaria and from Slovakia completed a psycholinguistic test in the Romani language. The test was developed for the first time in Europe to measure an individual’s knowledge of the Romani language (comprehension and production). The newly developed test measured comprehension of categories such as wh questions, wh complements, passive verbs and possessiveness.
Results and discussion. The children’s knowledge is associated with two theories: the ecological theory of Ogbu (1978) and the integrative theory of child development (García Coll et al. 1996). Ogbu’s theory stresses the importance of children’s home culture in their development. According to the theory of García Coll and her collaborators, the family’s home environment and SES are important predictors of language development.
Keywords: Roma children, language assessment test, integrative theory