Characteristics of the Maltese language in AX Semantics
In Maltese, you need to know the number and gender of a noun to form the accompanying adjectives, determiners, pronouns and numerals correctly.
Maltese has two genders for nouns: masculine and feminine. There are two numbers: singular and plural. Additionally, Maltese only has the nominative case.
(a good word)
|dual||żewġ kelmtejn tajbin|
(two good words)
|adjectives (noun)||after noun||tuffieħ aħmar|
|verb tenses||imperfect||Huwa jikteb|
The standard order of a noun phrase in Maltese is the following:
preposition + determiner + numeral + noun + adjective. See for example:
dwar dawn it-tliet kantanti popolari (about these three singers popular) PREP DET NUM NOUN ADJ "about these three popular singers"
Maltese nouns inflect for number. Nouns should be added to the lexicon if they do not inflect regularly.
Lexicon entries for nouns may also be necessary for inflecting determiners and pronouns correctly. They are omitted, if a lexicon entry is required, but missing.
The basic lexicon entry for jum (day) contains:
- gender: masculine
- inflection table for number:
In Maltese, adjectives inflect for number and gender. The default position for Maltese adjective is "after noun".
Maltese verbs inflect for tense, number, person, and gender. The most common verbs are encoded in our software. If a verb inflects incorrectly, you should add it to the lexicon.
The AX NLG platform supports the following determiners for Maltese: definite, demonstratives (proximal + distal), and possessive. Definiteness is expressed by adding the definite article "il-" before a noun. For example:
kollega (colleague) il-kollega (the colleague)
Additionally, demonstratives (e.g.,
dan (this)) require a definite article, for example:
dan il-kollega (this colleague)
Possessive determiners also require a definite article which proceeds the noun while possessives (e.g.,
tiegħi (my)) stay after it, for example:
il-kelb (the dog) il-kollega tiegħi(my colleague)
Prepositions and determiners: contractions
On the AX NLG platform prepositions are automatically joined with determiners (e.g. prepositions such as
ta). For example, the preposition
ma is contracted with the definite article
mal-mara (with the woman) [ma + il- = mal-]
The AX NLG platform supports the following pronouns for Maltese: demonstrative (proximal + distal), personal, and possessive (third person).
Four types of numerals are possible on the AX NLG platform: cardinal, cardinal as digit, ordinal, and ordinal as digit. Take
jum (day) for example:
(the ninth day)
(the 9th day)
For Maltese, ordinal numerals are written out until 12, otherwise (above 12) the output is in digit form. Cardinal numerals are written out until 10, otherwise (above 10) the output is in digit form. Take cardinal numerals for example:
għaxar karozzi (ten cars) 11 karozzi (11 cars)
For both examples below (i.e.,
Maldivi(the Maldives) and
Kreta(Crete)) the noun container on the AX NLG platform is created the same way:
mill-Maldivi (from the Maldives)
minn Kreta (from Crete)
In the first example,
determiner=definite is automatically applied based on container settings. However, in the second example, the lexical information changes the result, i.e. it switches
determiner=None. Thus, the lexicon entry of the noun contains a determiner switch from
Again, for both examples below the container settings on the AX NLG platform are the same:
għal Franza (to France)
lejn l-Istati Uniti (to the United State)
In the second example, however, the lexical information indicates a preposition switch and changes the preposition from