Language change In Maltese English : the influence of age and parental languages

Faculty/Professorship: English and Historical Linguistics  
Author(s): Krug, Manfred  ; Sönning, Lukas  
Publisher Information: Bamberg : Otto-Friedrich-Universität
Year of publication: 2022
Pages: 247-270
Source/Other editions: The languages of Malta. Paggio, Patrizia; Gatt, Albert (Hg) Berlin : Language Science Press, 2018. S. 247-270. - ISBN: 978-3-96110-070-5.
is version of: 10.5281/zenodo.1181801
Year of first publication: 2018
Language(s): English
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY - Attribution 4.0 International 
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1181801
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-irb-551998
In this study, which is based on questionnaire data collected in 2013 from 430 Maltese informants, we ninvestigate ongoing language change in Maltese English. We concentrate on 63 pairs of lexical variants that are known to differ in usage between British English and American English (e.g. vacation vs. holiday). Overall, informants clearly tend towards BrE usage. Regardless of the statistical approach we adopt, our studies show consistently apparent-time trends towards a less exclusively British English usage in Malta, converging on a more globalized usage of lexical items, in particular among the youngest cohorts. This confirms trends reported for older Maltese English data (collected in 2008; see Krug 2015). While Age emerges as the most important factor in our data, lexical choices are also sensitive to the native languages of the informants’ parents. When the mother’s native language(s) includes English, the informants’ lexical choices are biased in the expected direction, figuring in an increase in Britishness of the informants. Informants whose parents’ L1 is neither English nor Maltese show the highest degree of linguistic globalization. Overall, the native language(s) of the mother appeared to be more influential than that of the father.
GND Keywords: Englisch; Malta; Sprachwandel
Keywords: Maltese English, language change, questionnaire data
DDC Classification: 420 English  
RVK Classification: HF 560   
Type: Contribution to an Articlecollection
Release Date: 5. September 2022

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