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An Introduction to the Bahá’í Religiolect

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Religious dialects like Judeo-Arabic and Christianese have become popular topics of study in recent years. First proposed in the world of academia, the mass media – including public radio stations like PRI (Public Radio International) – have now begun to cover these ‘religiolects’ in their programmes. The purpose of this paper is to offer an introductory look at the religiolect of the Bahá’í Faith, a relatively recent religion founded in 19th century Persia (present-day Iran). To that end, we will explore the origins of the Bahá’í religiolect; examine the most essential loanwords of the religiolect; discuss some of the phraseology, both contemporary and historical, which composes the religiolect; and review especially extensive efforts to codify the religiolect. In striving to achieve the aforementioned goals, it is hoped that this paper will serve as a stepping-stone that others may use in their endeavours to further a greater understanding of the Bahá’í religiolect.

Keywords: Religiolect; cryptolect; religious dialect; religious parlance; religious terminology; religious vocabulary

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: MA BS

Publication date: June 1, 2015

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