Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton
pne

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Old Maltese orthography

I checked out some books on Maltese from the university library. Some of them are fairly old, dating from the time before the orthography was standardised.

It's interesting to see the various spellings that were employed, e.g. 'ctieb' for 'book' or 'tchellem' for 'speak' or 'għandec giobon taijeb' for 'you have good cheese' (not, one book notes, "għandech", as is sometimes erroneously written), or differentiating between għ that originated from Arabic ع `ayn and għ that originated from Arabic غ ghayn (one Maltese–Arabic–Italian dictionary I saw in the library used upside-down U for the first and upside-down U with dot above for the second, for example (ᑎ and ᑏ, as it were, at least by shape); it also distinguished between ħ for etymological ح hha and h-dot (ḣ) for etymological خ kha).

Verilye, it remyndeth mee of ye tyme before Englysshe ſpellynge was ſtandardysed and every body wrote as he wysshed and it ſeamed propper to him.

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