Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Romansh and Maltese

In La Quotidiana, they have a regular feature right now where they publish installments of Notiztgas dalla Sizilia by Linard Candreia (in Surmiran). (Is that the right word? Where they take a text and publish it a bit at a time, day by day?)

The other day, I was reading part 31, and came across this bit:

Chegl tgi fò smarvagler ad en Rumantsch an Sicilia è la preschientscha da pleds sicilians tgi sumeglian fitg (u èn schizont identics) cugl sursilvan! Cunchegl tg’ia na sung betg igl om digl fatg per sclareir tals misteris linguistics, surlascha l’explicaziun digl fenomen gist numno alla fantascheia digl singul lectour…

Which I understand as:

What makes a Romansh person in Sicily marvel is the presence of Sicilian words which strongly resemble (or are even identical to) Sursilvan! Since I’m not the kind of expert who can explain such linguistic mysteries, I’ll leave the explanation of the phenomenon I just mentioned to the imagination of each reader….

That bit reminded me of what I had experienced occasionally, where I would recognise a Romansh word here or there as one I had first come across in the context of Maltese (whose Romance word-stock, of course, comes mainly via Sicilian).

Tags: language, maltese, romansh
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