Archive for Mixed lanuage

Aspects of Maltese linguistics

[Full disclosure:  the reason I am so consumed by the Arabic vernaculars is because of their own inherent, intrinsic nature, but I must confess that I'm also preoccupied by their comparative parallelism with the Sinitic "topolects".  The workings of both are extremely difficult to comprehend.]

This post is to follow up on VHM's "Arabic and the vernaculars, part 6" (5/12/24) and Mark's "Maltese Arabic: Correction?" (5/13/24), plus J.W. Brewer's excellent first comment to the latter.

Mark ends his post thus:  "…it seems entirely wrong to exclude Maltese from a taxonomy of Arabic 'colloquials' or 'vernaculars' (i.e. Arabic languages), purely on the grounds of its borrowings from Italian."  I would not want to do that.

To provide for a more nuanced evaluation of the position of Maltese vis-à-vis the Arabic vernaculars, below I cite several scholarly accounts of the subject and related issues.  Extensive coverage of the history of the languages on Malta is provided.

Britannica

Maltese language, Semitic language of the Southern Central group spoken on the island of Malta. Maltese developed from a dialect of Arabic and is closely related to the western Arabic dialects of Algeria and Tunisia. Strongly influenced by the Sicilian language (spoken in Sicily), Maltese is the only form of Arabic to be written in the Latin alphabet."

That's the bare bones.  As we shall find in the following paragraphs, the complexities of Maltese are far greater than can be told in such a capsule description.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (28)

Franglais freaks Quebec

Language remains a hot button across Canada:

Quebec’s ‘Language Police’ Take Aim at Sneaky English Slang

Authorities fret over ‘Franglais,’ the creep of words like ‘cool’ or ‘email’ into French discourse; even elevator music is scrutinized.

By Vipal Monga, WSJ (12/13/23)

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (15)

Pseudo-Chinese conversation of a Japanese couple

Comments (4)

TMD and LPM: a tale of five 'mothers'

[This is a guest post by Conal Boyce]

A tale of five mothers, two of whom got rich, one of whom became infamous, 

and two of whom were to meet each other later in the bilingual alphabet soup shown below.

(Suitable for playing "This little piggy went to market, and this little piggy…"?)

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments off

Colloquial Cantonese and Taiwanese as mélange languages

Charles Belov writes:

My understanding was that Hong Kong newspapers, newscasts, and popular Cantonese songs use literary Chinese exclusively while Hong Kong star magazines and Cantonese hip-hop (e.g., LMF, Softhard) use colloquial Cantonese exclusively. But today as I was walking along, an old Beyond song, 俾面派对, was earworming me and it suddenly hit me that, unlike most Cantonese songs, and like Cantonese hip-hop, which it isn't, it includes colloquial Cantonese, specifically 唔 and 佢 (and, as it turns out, "D").

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (5)