18 Facts About Maltese language


Maltese language is a latinised variety of spoken historical Arabic through its descent from Siculo-Arabic, which developed as a Maghrebi Arabic dialect in the Emirate of Sicily between 831 and 1091.

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Maltese language has always been written in the Latin script, the earliest surviving example dating from the late Middle Ages.

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Origins of the Maltese language are attributed to the arrival, early in the 11th century, of settlers from neighbouring Sicily, where Siculo-Arabic was spoken, reversing the Fatimid Caliphate's conquest of the island at the end of the 9th century.

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Largest diaspora community of Maltese language speakers is in Australia, with 36, 000 speakers reported in 2006.

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Maltese language has historically been classified in various ways, with some claiming that the ancient Punic language was its origin instead of Siculo-Arabic, while others believed the language to be one of the Berber languages (another family within Afroasiatic), and under the Fascist Kingdom of Italy, it was classified as regional Italian.

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In general, rural Maltese language is less distant from its Siculo-Arabic ancestor than is Standard Maltese language.

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Maltese language has final-obstruent devoicing of voiced obstruents and voiceless stops have no audible release, making voiceless–voiced pairs phonetically indistinguishable.

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Since Maltese evolved after the Italo-Normans ended Arab rule of the islands, a written form of the language was not developed for a long time after the Arabs' expulsion in the middle of the thirteenth century.

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Many examples of written Maltese language exist from before this period, always in the Latin alphabet, Il Cantilena being the earliest example of written Maltese language.

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Maltese language has a tendency to have both Semitic vocabulary and vocabulary derived from Romance languages, primarily Italian.

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Tendency in modern Maltese language is to adopt further influences from English and Italian.

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Complex Latinate English words adopted into Maltese are often given Italianate or Sicilianate forms, even if the resulting words do not appear in either of those languages.

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Maltese language has merged many of the original Arabic consonants, in particular the emphatic consonants, with others that are common in European languages.

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Days of the week in Maltese are referred to by number, as is typical of other Semitic languages, especially Arabic.

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Months of the year in Maltese language are mostly derived from Sicilian, but Frar and Awwissu are possibly derived from African Romance through Siculo-Arabic.

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Maltese language il- is coincidentally identical in pronunciation to one of the Italian masculine articles, il.

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Maltese language generally receives equal usage in newspaper periodicals to English.

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Maltese language population, being fluent in both Maltese language and English, displays code-switching in certain localities and between certain social groups.

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