Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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Scientific literature has tackled Maltese English (MaltE) mainly in the framework of World Englishes in order to focus on its features compared to other varieties of English around the world. In this paper we shed more light on MaltE by proposing a sociolinguistic perspective, oriented towards its social stratification, and by referring to it through degrees of linguistic competence in English. We therefore propose two continua of variation: MaltE as an L2 continuum and as a situational one. Within this framework, we identify two groups defined as Mainly Maltese Speakers (MMS) and Mainly English Speakers (MES). We suggest that MaltE can be interpreted both as an L2, and as a variety used according to speech events, domain, participants, in-groupness etc. To investigate this we carried out a perceptual experiment involving two groups of university students, specialising in Maltese and English respectively. We discuss the results based on ratings and evaluations of authentic MaltE written and spoken prompts.


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