Balaibalan is a sacred invented language developed within the ḥurūfī sect in the 16th century. Not much is known about this language, but a religious text in Balaibalan has been transmitted. What emerges from this text is an original vocabulary, inserted in an Arabic-like syntax. This paper aims to provide an historical and linguistic overview of Balaibalan, especially in relation to Bausani’s studies on the language, and ultimately describe its features in relation to those of the three languages that inspired its linguistic structure, namely Turkish, Persian, and Arabic. The objective, with reference to Bausani’s controversial definition of “Islamic languages”, is to attempt an outline of Balaibalan as a language used both in the Muslim world and by Muslims. In describing the language, we will thus address aspects of orthography, pronunciation, and word-formation, finally accounting for how Arabic, Turkish, and Persian have been used as landmarks in the arrangement of specific aspects of the language.

Oliveri, S., Lancioni, G. (2020). Balaibalan: An Artificial Islamic Language?. EURASIAN STUDIES, 20(1), 42-56.

Balaibalan: An Artificial Islamic Language?

Giuliano Lancioni
2020-01-01

Abstract

Balaibalan is a sacred invented language developed within the ḥurūfī sect in the 16th century. Not much is known about this language, but a religious text in Balaibalan has been transmitted. What emerges from this text is an original vocabulary, inserted in an Arabic-like syntax. This paper aims to provide an historical and linguistic overview of Balaibalan, especially in relation to Bausani’s studies on the language, and ultimately describe its features in relation to those of the three languages that inspired its linguistic structure, namely Turkish, Persian, and Arabic. The objective, with reference to Bausani’s controversial definition of “Islamic languages”, is to attempt an outline of Balaibalan as a language used both in the Muslim world and by Muslims. In describing the language, we will thus address aspects of orthography, pronunciation, and word-formation, finally accounting for how Arabic, Turkish, and Persian have been used as landmarks in the arrangement of specific aspects of the language.
Oliveri, S., Lancioni, G. (2020). Balaibalan: An Artificial Islamic Language?. EURASIAN STUDIES, 20(1), 42-56.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/375761
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