This dissertation examines lexical and phonetic variations between Daigi, Hakka, and Modern Standard Chinese elements as used in two Daoist temples of southern Taiwan, the Daode Yuan (DDY) and Yimin Miao (YMM) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, which form linguistic repertoires from which religious communities construct language variants called religiolects. Specific variations in the use of these repertoires appear to be linked to specific religious thought processes. Among my results, one finds that phonetic features of Daigi and Hakka appear linked to the use of language in religious contexts at the DDY and YMM, especially such that alterations in pronunciation, which would otherwise be inappropriate, are linked to speakers of the religiolects processing and producing religious thought in ways they otherwise would not. For example, what would normally be pronounced [tʰe laɪ] internal to one's body would be archaicized as [tʰe lue], from frequent contact with [lue tan] inner alchemy; this leads to reinforced conception of the inner body as sacred space. One also finds that semantic features of lexical items received sacralized contours in overt and non-overt ways, such that lexical items that would otherwise be irreligious become religious in nature; e.g., instances of the appearance of 道, especially in binomial items, would be resolved or parsed by reference to the sacred meaning of the word (such as the [to] in [tsui to tsui], which normally means having its source in, coming to be associated with 道 as path from sacred font).
- These are not just words: religious language of daoist temples in Taiwan