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Title: Some grammatical characteristics of the place-names of Malta and Gozo in early modern times
Authors: Wettinger, Godfrey
Keywords: Maltese language -- Foreign elements -- Arabic
Maltese language -- Morphology
Maltese language -- Semantics
Names, Geographical -- Malta -- Etymology
Issue Date: 1983
Publisher: University of Malta
Citation: Wettinger, G. (1983). Some grammatical characteristics of the place-names of Malta and Gozo in early modern times. Journal of Maltese Studies, 15, 31-68.
Abstract: It has already been shown by the present writer that, among the thousands of Maltese and Gozitan place-names of the period 1370-1600 recorded in extant documents, a few hundreds contain at least one non-Arabic word. These could be either one or other of a select group of common descriptive words like Stabal, ,Forn, Cens, Birgu, Mandra. The majority, however, consist of non-Arabic personal nouns, surnames or nicknames referring to some former proprietor or benefactor of the area. On the other hand, an examination of the morphology of Maltese and Gozitan place-names of the same period shows an almost total lack of non-Arabic morphological elements among the common descriptive topographical words, and the syntax of the compound place-names is also almost completely Arabic, except for one particularly important feature which, though present in dialectal Arabic from elsewhere, does not seem to have affected Arabic place-names in the way it has clearly done in the Maltese islands. The present study shall examine the mimated place-names and the diminutives, as well as the characteristics of composite formations. The particularly Arabic character of Maltese and Gozitan place-names should become amply evident.
Appears in Collections:JMS, Volume 15
JMS, Volume 15

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