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Title: L’ultima isola musulmana in Italia, Pantelleria (Bint al-riyāḥ)
Authors: Staccioli, Giuseppe
Keywords: Pantelleria Island (Italy) -- History
Maltese language -- History
Italian language -- Dialects -- Italy -- Pantelleria Island
Maltese language -- Foreign elements -- Arabic
Italian language -- Foreign elements -- Arabic
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: University of Malta. Junior College
Citation: Symposia Melitensia. 2015, Vol.11, p. 193-225
Abstract: After the Norman conquest of Sicily, the islands of Pantelleria and Malta still sustained important Arabic communities but their eventual linguistic destinies were quite diverse: the former was submerged by continuous Italian admissions, whereas the latter survived the Italian cultural onslaught. However, traces of Arabic influence are still recognizable on Pantelleria, particularly in the name of its capital and of some old villages. The toponyms usually describe the structure of the soil, the devices to extract water, the controlled use of it, the names of ancient proprietors or tribes, etc. Much less evident, but still consistent, was the influence of the Arabic language on the Pantelleria dialect, as it remained in contact with Arabophones for several centuries. Loanwords and calques are numerous: some Italian words effectively changed their gender according to their Arabic counterparts; some verbs were affected by Arabic conjugation patterns. The great similarity between some Maltese and Arabic words present in the present Pantelleria dialect enables an easier identification of Arabic original words, even when the structure of some has actually changed. References to surnames of Arabic origin are rather scanty, as most family names derive from Sicilian and Spanish sources; only two, Casano and Tatania, seem to have originated in Pantelleria itself.
ISSN: 1812-7509
Appears in Collections:SymMel, 2015, Volume 11
SymMel, 2015, Volume 11

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