Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Three functions of the dual suffix in Maltese
Authors: Fenech, Edward
Keywords: Maltese language -- Morphology
Maltese language -- History
Maltese language -- Foreign elements -- Arabic
Issue Date: 1978
Publisher: University of Malta
Citation: Fenech, E. (1978). Three functions of the dual suffix in Maltese. Journal of Maltese Studies, 12, 1-9.
Abstract: The purpose of this survey is that of analyzing, classifying and describing the different usages of the dual morphological increment, taking into consideration both the written and the spoken forms. More precisely, this analysis attempts to show that the old dual actually has three distinct roles: a) that of a real dual; b) that of a plural allomorph; and c) that of an empty morph. It seems that one can safely say that the dual suffix was used initially in Maltese, as in Classical and other Arabic dialects, as a morphological increment denoting the presence of two objects or things. It was only later that the same suffix was used as a plural allomorph. This semantic shift was perhaps mainly due to the loss of sharp distinctiveness between the old dual form and the plural which, on its side, seems to have been brought about, at least partially, through the constant metaphoric use of the dual form. The use of the old dual form as an empty morph is a recent phenomenon and is attested very well in the journalistic Maltese of the 1960's. It occurs as well in spoken Maltese, but it is still considered as unacceptable in standard Maltese. The three usages of the dual suffix will be analysed and described individually in this article.
Appears in Collections:JMS, Volume 12
JMS, Volume 12

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.