- Language: Maltese
- Alternate names: Malti
- Language code: mlt
- Language family: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic
- Number of speakers: 371900
- Script: Latin script
Maltese is the national language of Malta, and an official language of the European Union. It is the only Semitic language written in the Latin alphabet in its standard form. There have been some claims that it is descended not from Arabic but Phoenician, but this view has no support among linguists.
Maltese grammar is fundamentally derived from Arabic, although Romance and Anglo-Saxon patterns are also used.
Verbs still show a triliteral Semitic pattern, in which a verb is conjugated with prefixes, suffixes, and infixes (for example ktibna, Arabic katabna, Hebrew katavnu "we wrote").
The Maltese verb system incorporates Romance (mainly Italian) verbs and adds Arabic suffixes and prefixes to them (for example iddeċidejna "we decided" < (i)ddeċieda 'Romance verb' + -ejna 'Arabic first person plural perfect marker'). Also borrowings from English are common.
There are two tenses: present and perfect.
Sample verb, Arabic origin: kiteb
|Sg.3 m||kiteb||he wrote|
|Sg.3 f||kitbet||she wrote|
|Pl.2||ktibtu||you (pl) wrote|
Sample verb, Italian origin: kanta
Sample verb, English origin: iddawnlowdja
Other English loanwords:
- iddawnlowdja 'to download',
- aġġastja 'to adjust',
- iddeċide 'to decide'.
- Aquilina, Joseph. Teach yourself Maltese. The English Unversities Press Ltd.. Teach yourself language books. Valetta, 1965.
- Aquilina, Joseph. teach yourself Maltese. Teach yourself language books. The English Unversities Press Ltd.. Valetta, 1965.