Re: Question: 'mperie' < lat. 'imperium'
|From:||Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, March 3, 2007, 9:16|
On 2/27/07, Henrik Theiling <theiling@...> wrote:
> Philip Newton writes:
> > ... "huwa mportanti" ...
> BTW, is that a loan from Sicilian or otherwise Southern Italian?
> It's 'mpurtanti' in Sicilian IIRC.
Presumably, from Standard Italian, since I seem to recall reading that
the form "should" be "importanti", even after another vowel -- so it
should be "huwa importanti".
However, the place I read it was in the discussion of the behaviour of
prothetic vowels, and the reason "importanti" was brought up was that
they said that such (loan) words occasionally act as if the first
vowel were prothetic rather than integral to the stem.
Interestingly, both of my informants unquestioningly accepted "huwa
mportanti" and (seemingly unhesitatingly) said that the phrase, when
spoken, contained a syllable /wam/. So it seems that prescriptive
spelling (and, presumably, pronunciation) is about as useful a concept
in Maltese as in English :)
Google does find a few hits for "mpurtanti" and "impurtanti" in
Maltese, but not many; I'm guessing that those are by analogy (as if
the word had been borrowed from Sicilian rather than Standard
(By the way, if anyone ever tries to look for Maltese words on Google,
one trick I sometimes use is to add the search term "hu" -- Googling
just for "mpurtanti" gives a fair number of Sicilian hits, but adding
"hu" narrows it down to mostly Maltese. "hu" is the 3sg.masc. pronoun,
FWIW, and is sufficiently frequent, apparently, in written Maltese
that chances are good it'll show up on the same page as the word
you're really interested in. Occasionally, this trick is not enough
and you'll still get e.g. Arabic sentences, but it's often
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>