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Title: The survival of the Maltese language in Australia
Authors: Muscat, Adrian Guido (2019)
Keywords: Malta -- Emigration and immigration
Australia -- Emigration and immigration
Language maintenance -- Australia
Maltese -- Cultural assimilation -- Australia
Linguistic change -- Australia
Maltese language -- Australia
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Muscat, A. G. (2019). The survival of the Maltese language in Australia (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: Malta has a history of migration. Australia is a country built by migrants from all over the globe. People from Malta have been migrating to Australia since 1838 with Antonio Azzopardi being the first Maltese migrant to ever settle there (Agius, 2001). Since then, thousands of people from Malta have made Australia their homeland. The mass exodus of emigration from Malta started soon after the Second World War and continued up to the years after Independence in 1964. As Cohen (1997) describes it, the Maltese diaspora is a labour diaspora since the Maltese moved to Australia mainly due to the economic downturn and with hopes of better financial stability. I have often heard that there are more Maltese people living in Australia than there are on the Maltese Islands. This hearsay is often repeated and many Maltese seem to believe it. However, according to the latest Australian census of 2016, there are 243,344 people who are of a Maltese descent, who were either born in Malta or who have one Maltese parent. There are, of course, many more who are third or fourth generation Maltese. Yet the number of settlers in recent years has dwindled, probably due to better opportunities in Malta. One must point out also, that the migration questions forming part of the census are not clear and to the point, and therefore resulting in an unknown number of citizens end up stating that they are not Maltese and/or of Maltese ancestry. The Maltese Australians have been duly assimilated in their new homeland. With the vast majority being proficient in English. However, the Maltese language is still used among the Maltese community and seems to be nurturing a warm community spirit. There are a few who still have not mastered the English language and thus their only medium of communication is Maltese. The main aim of this thesis is to take a snapshot of the Maltese language in Australia in 2018. This study seeks to determine how, when and why is Maltese still being used among the Maltese diaspora. The research purports to trace and outline the survival of the Maltese language, since it is very evident from the 2016 census, that the Maltese community has been largely assimilated in Australia and has thereby become more proficient in the English language. The study was carried out in Melbourne and Sydney, the capital cities of the states of Victoria and New South Wales respectively. These two localities were chosen because they have the greatest number of Maltese Australians living there.
Description: M.MALTESE STUD.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsMS - 2019

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