L’acquisizione imperfetta di una lingua adstrato
L’italiano degli analfabeti a Malta dal Settecento al Novecento
The fact that Maltese has adopted over 20,000 Sicilian and Italian words, including 41% of its vocabulary at the Threshold Level, shows that this is not a case of borrowing at the higher social levels. To explain this unusual phenomenon the extraordinary growth in the island’s population and its rapid development under the Knights of St John and the British government are taken into account. Whereas works written in Italian from the 16th to the 20th century are abundant, and their quality is not inferior to those written in Italy, little is known about the efforts made by illiterate persons to speak the high language. The paper presents a few symptomatic comments and samples from the past, and from the present.