On Tuesday 7 February, Michael Spagnol will give a talk in Maltese on wordplay, “Ħafna par(għ)oli u ftit kliem baxx: il-logħob bil-kliem fil-Malti.” The event will be held in Hall B1, M.A. Vassalli Conference Centre, University of Malta Msida Campus. The talk starts at 18:00 and is open to the general public. Entrance is free. Light refreshments will be served after the talk.
Wordplay occurs when people manipulate the forms and functions of language as a source of fun. It takes many forms, such as riddles, puns, rebuses, anagrams, and tongue twisters. In this talk, Dr Michael Spagnol will consider the various ways in which we play with different linguistic elements — from spelling to pronunciation, from semantics to grammar — with the aim of showing that wordplay is passed on orally from one generation to another precisely because it is an inherent property of human language.
Dr Michael Spagnol is a lecturer in the Department of Maltese and the Institute of Linguistics at the University of Malta. His research interests include morphology, semantics, lexicography, and dialectology. Since January 2013 he is the administrator of the Facebook page “Kelma Kelma”, which deals with several linguistic issues, such as the word of the day, proverbs, nursery rhymes, wordplay, and the like. He is also one of the organisers of the concert series “Kelma Kelma Nota Nota” which bring humour, Maltese music and literature on stage together.
This is the seventh lecture in the series about Maltese Oral Traditions organized by the Department of Maltese of the University of Malta. It-Tradizzjoni Orali started with a lecture by Prof. Mourad Yelles of Inalco in Paris in May 2016. Prof. Manwel Mifsud will give a talk on 21 March entitled, "Mistur u minsi: Fredu Spiteri (il-Lavarist), għannej u makkjettist Għawdxi prim” about the Gozitan folk singer Fredu Spiteri. After that, on 4 April, Ġorġ Peresso will give a talk about “Il-Vrajs tal-Madalena.”
The Department of Maltese would like to thank Klabb Kotba Maltin for supporting this series of public events. More information about It-Tradizzjoni Orali is available on the Facebook page, “It-Tradizzjoni Orali, L-Università ta’ Malta”.