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Title: Developments of the Maltese baby language
Authors: Fenech, Edward
Keywords: Maltese language
Children -- Language -- Malta
Issue Date: 1977
Publisher: Peeters Publishers
Citation: Fenech, E. (1977). Developments of the Maltese baby language. Orbis, 26 (1), 32-42
Abstract: Baby language in general was dealt with by Mr. J. CASSAR PULLICINO in a section of his paper 'Nursery Vocabulary of the Maltese Archipelago' (Orbis VI, l, 1957, pp. 192-196). After a short introduction to the subject, the writer gave a list of 137 baby words in alphabetical order. In the compilation of these words, he made use of some previously published short lists, several published dictionaries, and the Ms. Maltese dictionary of Canon G. P. F. Agius de Soldanis (18th Century). He also added other vocabulary by personal recollection. The aim of the present study is different. Here we propose to deal with the historical stratification of the Maltese baby language. For this purpose, a survey was carried out on 217 baby words, including the 137 mentioned above and a new list of So words which were compiled during research in several villages of Malta, mainly Attard, Balzan, Qrendi, Mqabba and Kalkara. The same list was also supplemented by the present writer's personal knowledge of the baby language as used at home. Some of the newly collected words are to be found also in G. BARBERA's Maltese-Arabic-Italian dictionary (1939-40) which was not mentioned in the above paper and which, despite all its defects and its unscientific treatment under various aspects, is quite helpful when used with caution. The investigation here includes the following sections: l) nursery rhymes and baby language problem in Malta; 2) native (Semitic) baby words; 3) Sicilian baby loan-words; 4) Italian baby loan-words; and finally 5) English baby loan-words. The examples given below include all the newly collected So words, whether native or loan-words, and some examples from the older list as these were deemed necessary to give a correct picture of the present state of the Maltese baby vocabulary.
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCL&LMlt

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