The twelve contributions to this collection of articles focus on variation
and change in the lexicon, morphology, syntax and phonology of Maltese.
Various aspects of lectal variation are addressed: the properties of
sociolects, technolects, regional varieties, and different registers of
present-day Maltese are discussed. On-going changes are looked at in
several of the papers. The questions of whether or not there is a typical
Maltese EU-variety or a distinct sociolect spoken by the younger generation
are raised. Not all of the phenomena which attest variation can be ascribed
to the sociolinguistic sphere. Morpho-syntactic issues like the definition
of clitics, the causative-inchoative alternation and the employment of the
possessive relative clause are linked more closely to structural and
functional factors. Suprasegmental issues like the use of pauses in spoken
Maltese and the syllable structure of Maltese are scrutinized as well.
These topics are complemented by dialectological studies, investigations of
the pragmatics of Maltese and the description of literary Maltese. The
range of topics covered in this collection proves that it is worth the
while studying Maltese from the perspective of general linguistics.