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From:  Wayne Smith
Date:  Thu Apr 4, 2002  12:54 pm
Subject:  Re: Maltese

Thanks for the clarification, Marie.
     - Wayne
Dr. Wayne H. Smith, Director
Learning Unlimited Language School
5 Jellison Ridge Rd.
Surry, ME 04684-3340
Tel.: 207-667-9482
----- Original Message -----
From: Marie Alexander
Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2002 5:29 AM
Subject: Maltese

Dear friends...
Wayne wrote :
Also, to get technical, Maltese is a dialect of Arabic, albeit written in the Roman alphabet.
Well he is right and he is wrong.... it is difficult to summarize language issues in a few words I suppose.  Maltese is a now a language distinct from other dialects of Arabic - not just because it is written in the Roman alphabet. However, it did originate as a dialect of Arabic from the time the Arabs took Malta in 870 A.D.  Modern Maltese has seen many other influences, notably Italian and English.  However Maltese is still a Semitic language and has a very rich morphology... 
I am afraid that one cannot consider Maltese as an Arabic dialect ..... a fact acknowledged among linguists who specialize in Semitic languages too.
And, yes, we are using Signwriting here for research and our dictionary (VERY slow work meeting some major obstacles currently).... and we hope that we can start spreading it soon  (a mediterranean soon though !!!)
Have a good day everyone
Marie Alexander
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