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Title: I cognomi a Malta
Authors: Brincat, Joseph M. (Giuseppe)
Keywords: Multilingualism -- Malta
Language and culture -- Malta
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Società Editrice Romana
Citation: Brincat, G. (2008). I cognomi a Malta. Rivista Italiana di Onomastica, 14(2), 377-388.
Abstract: The most densely populated island in the central Mediterranean is marked by a great variety of surnames due to its central population, its chequered history and the rapid demographic growth. Its population rose from about 5,000 inhabitants around 1050 to over 400,000 today and its history is reflected in the 15,000 family names which can be subdivided into ethnic groupings. About 200 “traditional” surnames account for 83% of the population, but one must note that those coined in the local language were registered in Sicily as early as 1095 and in Malta after 1419, and that the top 200 include 89 Italian surnames which were already present before 1500. The more recent Italian (1,849) and English (3,845) surnames, together with a sprinkling of Spanish and French surnames, cover only about 15% of the population. In the past few years there has been a significant rise in Arab and Slav surnames, due to the recent wave of immigration from North Africa and Central and Eastern Europe.
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