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The semantic structure of adjectives referring to the holiness in Maltese and Arabic languages

From the book Maltese

  • Sebastian Bednarowicz


The present paper is an analysis of the Maltese and Arabic adjectives related to the notion of ‘holiness’. The research was conducted through the componential analysis of meaning used in terms of the contrastive description. The study showed: 1) the extension of meaning of the Maltese adjective mqaddes (in comparison to their etymological counterpart in Arabic muqaddas) what resulted in changes within the lexical field of holiness, which in Maltese reflects rather the opposition of the Italian adjectives santo and sacro. 2) the general lack of the lexico-semantic parallelism between Maltese and Arabic adjectives bearing the notion of ‘holiness’.

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