From: Francesco Brighenti
Message: 51882
Date: 2008-01-26

--- In, "Sergejus Tarasovas"
<S.Tarasovas@...> wrote:

> --- In, "Francesco Brighenti" <frabrig@>
> wrote:

> > in many Italian dialects, "maja" (pronounced as ma:ya)
> > means "undershirt".
> What's the etymology of the Italian dialectism you mentioned?

The It. word maglia (where -gl- represents a palatal lateral
approximant, i.e. /l^/ in the ASCII-IPA phonetic transcription
system) is phonetically transcribed as mal^l^a (N.B. /l^/ is always
geminated in It., except when it is at the beginning of the word and
when it follows a consonant). In the dialect of Rome, just to make
an example, It. /l^l^/ is reduced to /j/ (a palatal approximant --
cf. It. ieri 'yesterday', phonetically transcribed as je:ri).
Therefore, in the dialect of Rome It. maglia becomes maja. In
English phonology you would transcribe the latter word as "ma:ya:"
(N.B. In It. and its dialects there is no phonemic distinction
between long and short vowels).

As to the etymology of It. maglia ('mesh, sweater, vest,
undershirt'), it is the same as that of English "mail (armor)":
mail (2): "metal ring armor," c.1320, from O.Fr. maille "link of
mail, mesh of net," from L. macula "mesh in a net,"
originally "spot, blemish," on notion that the gaps in a net or mesh
looked like spots.

Hope this helps,