Maltese English

Maltese English (“MaltE”) is a postcolonial English variety spoken on the Mediterranean island-nation of Malta by Maltese-English bilinguals. According to the 2005 census, English is spoken by 318,354 Maltese residents, or 87.9% of the population; Maltese is reported as being spoken by 97.9% of the population. MaltE is acquired as an L1 and L2, both simultaneously with Semitic Maltese and sequentially. While the majority of people acquire MaltE largely outside the home as an early L2, MaltE is also acquired at home as an L1 by a minority of speakers residing largely in the Northern Valletta Harbour region. MaltE is the main language in independent and church schools and at the University of Malta, yet there is good evidence of high-levels of codeswitching in teacher-pupil discourse (Camilleri 1995). Both languages are used in the workplace to varying degrees. MaltE exhibits deviations from British and American varieties at all levels of linguistic structure, it displays structural regularity conditioned by linguistic, social, and stylistic factors, and shows influence from Maltese and Italian.

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