Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar/handle/123456789/22825
Title: Neologisms and archaisms in the "regole per la lingua Maltese"
Other Titles: Languages of the Mediterranean : substrata, the Islands, Malta : proceedings of the Conference held in Malta, 26-29 September, 1991
Authors: Cassola, Arnold
Keywords: Maltese language -- Grammar
Maltese language -- 18th century
Issue Date: 1994
Publisher: University of Malta. Institute for Linguistics
Citation: Cassola, A. (1991). Neologisms and archaisms in the "regole per la lingua maltese". Languages of the Mediterranean : substrata, the Islands, Malta,Malta. 209-217.
Abstract: The Regole per la lingua maltese, the earliest extant grammar and dictionary of the Maltese language, was recovered at the Biblioteca Vallicelliana in Rome, in 1987. Certain linguistic features prove that this manuscript has been written by a Frenchman. A Provencal Knight of the Order of St John, Chevallier Thezan, had compiled a dictionary of the Maltese language. This manuscript is now lost. Thezan must have compiled his dictionary between 1600, date given by Mifsud 1764 in his Indice Cronologico degli Scrittori, delli quali si fa menzione nell'Appendice, and 1647, date of publication of G.F. Abela's Descrittiane di Malta. The Regole is probably an augmented version of Thezan's original. The Regale per la lingua maltese was last in possession of Girolamo Spinola. Spinola, a nobleman from Genoa, had been admitted into the Order of St John in 1702, at the age of sixteen years. He died of hydropsy in Rome, at the convent of the Preti Filippini, in 1721. His presence in the Roman convent was already documented in 1719. One can presume that during his stay in Malta Spinola could have contracted his illness and that he must have left the island for Rome some time between 1703 -1719. This means that the Regole can certainly be backdated to 1719, at least. However, the fact that it belonged to "Monsieur Le Chevallier De La Bastie Fogasses" before it came into Spinola's possession as well as the fact that the paper on which it is transcribed was possibly produced in the latter part of the 17th century point towards the 17th century as the probable period of its compilation.
URI: https://www.um.edu.mt/library/oar//handle/123456789/22825
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