English language -- Religious aspects.
English language -- Etymology.
English language -- Semantics.
Language and culture.
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AbstractThis thesis is concerned with the correlation between cultural values and the semantic content of words over time; toward this purpose, the research focuses on Judeo-Christian religious terminology in the English language. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is of central interest to this study, and the implications of the hypothesis, including a bidirectional interpretation allowing for both the influence of language on worldview and culture on language, is of great relevance to the research findings and conclusions. The paper focuses on the etymology and sources of religious terminology in the English language, the prominent category of terms with both religious and secular applications attained through semantic shift, and the role of religious words as English taboo. The research findings imply that a bidirectional understanding of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is the correct one. This is achieved both through analysis of historical events and linguistic development which emphasize the speaker's role in language development and through the study of societal values that are reinforced through linguistic practices, namely taboo.
TypeThesis or Dissertation