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missionary-linguist (plural missionary-linguists)

  1. A missionary who seeks to study a people's language in order to facilitate religious conversion.
    • 1858: C. W. Russell, The Life of Cardinal Mezzofanti, p. 29
      although we do not meet among the missionary linguists that marvellous variety of languages which excites our wonder, yet we find in them abundant evidences of a solid and practical scholarship
    • 1881: John Ebenezer Honeyman Thomson, Memoir of George Thomson, Cameroon Mountains, West Africa, by one of his nephews, p. 20
      While he had fulfilled what was expected of him as a missionary linguist, his eagerness for the welfare of the Africans led him to occupy himself with other plans
    • 1883: H. Hale, "The Iroquois institutions and language", in Science, vol. 2, no. 36, p. 497
      the valuable work of the excellent and indefatigable missionary-linguist, the late Father Marcoux, on the Iroquois language, is about to be published by the Bureau of ethnology.
    • 1979: J.G. Platvoet, "The Akan Believer and his Religions", in Official and Popular Religion: Analysis of a Theme for Religious Studies, p. 595
      Even the famous missionary-linguist J.G. Christaller could not break away from the spell of this 'priestcraft'-theory.
    • 2006: Lenore A. Grenoble & Lindsay J. Whaley, Saving Languages: An Introduction to Language Revitalization, p. 196
      Many missionary-linguists leave the familiarity of their home and their social network to go spend many years (often decades) in local communities, learning the local language and local customs and beliefs.

Related terms[edit]