The Enigma of “Malti” (al-Jisr baina l-Islām wal-Masīhiyyah)
This paper reports the results of the study of the Maltese language and the extent of Arabic influence on the Maltese Language. The factors underlying the vitality of the Arabic source-code in modern Maltese are analyzed.
Novelty of the research consists in using the language material as evidence that the period of stay of the Arabs in Malta was substantially longer and the degree and nature of influence of the Arab civilization on the development of the language and culture of population of Malta were more decisive than it is commonly believed. To use the language material as an argument is important considering the fact that written documents of the period are almost nonexistent, and facts of material culture are scarce. The study of the evolution of Maltese from a dialect of Arabic to the state language of Malta (non-Arabic Catholic country) is a contribution to development of the typology of Arabic dialects and helps to understand the possible path of their development.