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Title: A comparative study in lexical material relating to nicknames and surnames
Authors: Aquilina, J.
Keywords: Names, Personal -- Malta -- History
Maltese language -- Lexicology
Issue Date: 1964
Publisher: University of Malta
Citation: Aquilina, J. (1964). A comparative study in lexical material relating to nicknames and surnames. Journal of Maltese Studies, 2, 147-176.
Abstract: Personal names become necessary as social labels or tags to make it possible to tell one man or family, tribe or clan from another. Civilized man was not content with just a simple nickname or family name, he gradually evolved a more or less complicated system which, for reasons of social prestige or easier identification, indicated his parentage, his personal or family rank, his social status, his religious membership and other aspects of social ranking. As words increased the volume of the human lexical material, so also the nicknames, single or composite, increased the variety of human speech forms. This article comprises of the originality of Maltese surnames and their evolution. The author shall treat Maltese surnames as so many additions to, or extensions from, the lexical material of the Maltese language. To conform to the structural pattern of the language, he is also going to divide Maltese surnames into two major linguistic divisions. These two linguistic structures are (a) the earliest Maltese surnames which belong to the Semitic stock as well as (b) later Maltese surnames belonging to the Romance Stock which, in their turn, are divided into two categories, namely (i) Romance surnames which, go back to the early times of the Normans or later Romance linguistic influences accumulating through ethnic admixtures and (ii) those which are comparatively modern and go back to recent times.
Appears in Collections:JMS, Volume 2
JMS, Volume 2

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