Maltese

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A language of Malta

Alternate Names
Malti
Population

393,000 in Malta (European Commission 2012). Total users in all countries: 473,910.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1964, Constitution, Article 5(2)).

Dialects

Standard Maltese, Port Maltese, Rural West Maltese, Rural East Maltese, Rural Central Maltese, Zurrieq, Gozo. Descended from Moroccan Spoken Arabic [ary] with heavy borrowings from Italian [ita]; separately developed with different syntax and phonology.

Typology

SVO; prepositions; noun head initial; gender (masculine/feminine); definite article; verb affixes mark person, number; 23 consonants, 10 vowels, 8 diphthongs; non-tonal.

Language Use

Vigorous. No diglossia with Standard Arabic [arb]. Most also use English [eng] (European Commission 2006). Some also use French [fra] (European Commission 2006).

Language Development
Grammar. Bible: 1932–1984.
Writing

Arabic script, Naskh variant [Arab], no longer in use, attempts at using Arabic script have failed. Braille script [Brai]. Latin script [Latn], primary usage.