The Identity of Patients in 12th Century Medical Text in Persian: a Sociolinguistic Perspective

Manizheh Abdollahi, Sammad Sajjadi, Ehya Amalsaleh


This study investigates linguistic expressions featuring the patient in a medical textbook written in the 12th century in Persian. At this time, medical practice is noticed to be more scientific than those written years before or even many centuries after because, keeping a distance from superstitious views, the practice follows the scientific procedures of the day. The present study adopts a sociolinguistics perspective to examine the social status of the patient in the text. The textbook – “Khofi Alayee” – was chosen to be examined mainly because it was considered as a scientific book written for public  use; also it was published as  a kind of pocket book for people to use while on trip or, more importantly, when the doctors were in emergency situations. This text, like other medical texts, is expected to be written impartially, but this is not usually the case. The result of the study showed that the patient was primarily viewed as an object with no social status considered for revered citizen. On the other hand, in occasions when the patient was treated as a person, he represented a male belonging to the middle or higher classes of the society.  


Patient identity, power, gender, CDA

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