Cognitive and linguistic consequences of translation. Comparative approaches

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

This project focuses on the cognitive and linguistic consequences of translation process, especially in the Christian context. It brings together anthropologists and linguists working on translation theory and on various case studies, whose geography comprises Oceania, Amazonia, Yucatan, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, Europe, Alaska and Chukotka (Russia), and whose temporal frame spreads from the Early Medieval times to Spanish colonization of the Americas and to the present time.

Conversion to Christianity often implies a total change from one belief system to another. The states of “before” and “after” are then analyzed as discontinuous. Paradoxically, when it comes to the language spoken by the converted group, there is a (seeming) continuity. The main theoretical hypothesis for the resolution of this paradox is the following: religious conversion is accompanied by translation process which triggers creation of religious genres and codes in the target language. These genres and codes serve as a “trading zone” between languages and cultures caught in the process of conversion and translation, and ultimately ensure their commensurability.
Effective start/end date01/04/201701/07/2018


  • Fondation Fyssen: €34,776.00

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages