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Authenticating a Tradition in Transition: Language of Hinduism in the US

  • Rajeshwari V. Pandharipande
Chapter

Abstract

‘Language of religion’ is as illusive a concept (if not more) as ‘religion’ and it is understood differently within different disciplines. For example, sociolinguists treat language of religion as a register of a natural language, which they perceive as a system or a resource from which utterances are composed (Samarin 1976). In linguists’ view, what separates language of religion from its non-religious counterpart is the selection of linguistic material at different levels (lexical, syntactic, phonological, semantic, stylistic, etc.) in the religious register. A theologian, on the other hand, may treat language of religion as a construct of thoughts which is different from its non-religious counterpart, and which is expressed through various linguistic structures. This difference in the perspectives on the language of religion is relevant for the discussion on the change, conflict and accommodation within the framework of the sociology of language of religion. For the sociolinguists, the change and conflict would imply the change and conflict in the choice of the linguistic code (and its function), linguistic repertoire of the speech community, and the linguistic structure as well as the function of the language of religion. Similarly, accommodation would mean the structural and/or functional changes within the new system to resolve conflict.

Keywords

Indian Language Linguistic Structure Linguistic Code Religious Meaning Hindu Tradition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Rajeshwari V. Pandharipande 2010

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  • Rajeshwari V. Pandharipande

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