Maltese and Arabic.

Remember last year I posted about Maltese, and in a comment bulbul talked about a grant to functionally study the mutual intelligibility of Maltese and Benghazi Arabic? Well, he’s now on his way to Groningen for the Methods in Dialectology XV conference where he’ll be speaking about it, and he sent me a link to his presentation (pdf) saying I should feel free to share it, so I’m sharing it; I presume when the actual paper is available he’ll link to it in the comments. He also says “wish me luck tomorrow,” so: break a leg and give ‘em hell!


  1. Good luck, bulbul!

  2. Thank you, gentlemen! I also have a new embarrassing conference story (a tip: if you’re going to point out flaws in somebody’s work, make sure they are not sitting in the audience) and a bunch of comparison points. As it turns out, the 35-40% levels of mutual intelligibility we got for Maltese vs. Tunisian / Libyan Arabic are actually quite high as compared to mutual intelligibility of Slovenian/Croatian and Polish which folks at Groningen tested.

  3. if you’re going to point out flaws in somebody’s work, make sure they are not sitting in the audience

    Ouch! I’ve become less acerbic in my comments about people’s writing here on LH since the early days when it never entered my head they might be reading me.

  4. David Marjanović says:

    Nice work!

  5. Eh, I once performed a piano piece with the composer in the audience. I was so nervous because of that I made a complete balls of it.

  6. It wasn’t so bad – the criticism was a minor and I had plenty of data to back it up. Still, it was an ‘oh crap’ moment.

  7. Max Pinton says:

    Maltese is a good answer for Linguistic Trivial Pursuit, as it’s the only Semitic language written in the Latin script, and it’s spoken in a country that’s 98% Catholic.


  1. […] Hat notes a study comparing the intelligibility of Maltese with different nearby Arabic varieties and […]

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