By E. Fenech
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Additional resources for Contemporary Journalistic Maltese: An Analytical and Comparative Study (Studies in Semitic Languages & Linguistics)
Id-dinja antika 'the old world' 0 5 . 2. 1 5- 1 6 :2 ; bil-ligi gdida 'with the new law' N 5. 3. 5-6 : 1 . This trend owes its origin to foreign, mainly English and Italian, influences, and is noticed also in the spoken language. According to this tendency, the definite noun and its attributive adjective are considered as one immediate constituent, and the definite article, which precedes them, marks the definiteness of both units jointly. Graphically, therefore, the example id-dinja antika can be presented thus : (id- ( (dinja) (antika) ) ) .
G. gnala 'a cover', sema 'sky'. g. gnata gdida 'a new cover' N 3 . 5 . 1 2- 1 3 : 8 . This reflects similar usages in the spoken language, but such a trend is considered as lapsus linguae. g. Malta 'Malta', Filfla ' Filfola'. These two types of Maltese, however, differ in determining the gender of the names of islands which end in a consonant. g. Gnawdex isibuha fgata bin-nies 'they will find Gozo overcrowded' M 7 . 1 . 1 8- 1 9 : 1 7. In literary Maltese, this example would read Gnawdex isibuh fgat bin-nies.
3 . 7 :3 in the newspapers. 21 5 The definite article may precede not only a noun, but also an adjective. g. il-knisja l-qadima 'the old church' M 8 . 2 :6. 2 1 6), such adjectives receive in Maltese syntax a different treatment from that given to adjectives of a general descriptive type. In the example given, the definite adjective il-qadima 'the old' is specifying the definite noun il-knisja 'the church' which precedes it syntactically. 3 . 2 1 6 While the above is true for adjectives denoting a particular characteristic, a descriptive adjective cannot take the definite article, even if it stands with a definite noun.