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Exploring Arab Folk Literature$
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Pierre Cachia

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640867

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640867.001.0001

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Maltese: Arabic Roots and Sundry Grafts

Maltese: Arabic Roots and Sundry Grafts

(p.178) 15 Maltese: Arabic Roots and Sundry Grafts
Exploring Arab Folk Literature

Pierre Cachia

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the Maltese language, with the aim of determining the Arabic roots of Maltese. Malta had been under Islamic rule for many centuries, but its close association with Europe coloured its culture. The discussion focuses on Maltese idioms culled from K. Fenech's Idjomi Maltin. A representative sample of idioms consists of idioms relating to the mouth for which three Maltese words are used: the uncomplimentary ‘geddum’, literally snout; ‘fomm’, which is applied mostly to the orifice of the mouth; and ‘halq’, the cavity. The idioms are arranged according to the ideas they express.

Keywords:   Maltese language, Malta, Maltese idioms, Idjomi Maltin, geddum, fomm, halq

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