Intralingual Diachronic Translation and Transfer: The Case of Old French

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Abstract

Intralingual translation presupposes the crossing of several types of boundaries: societal, geographic, religious and diachronic among others. This paper focuses on the diachronic aspect. The French language has seen a large number of diachronic intralingual transpositions throughout its history, such as gloss, summaries, extracts, adaptations, reduced copies and translations. Interestingly, a text can be taken for a translation at a given moment, but viewed differently at a later stage and vice versa. The label ‘translation’ is significant because its use reflects accepted conceptions of change and linguistic continuity. Indeed, descriptive translation studies avoid formulating a rigid definition of the process and the product of translation. Based on a corpus of modern transpositions of medieval French texts, we aim to find the contexts and circumstances in which the term ‘translation’ emerged, demonstrating the different categories of intralingual transfer, in particular the affinities and relations between translation and paratext on the one hand and editions and translations on the other. As a case study, the paper reviews the various translations of Saint Alexis since 1880 and examines the circumstances of their production, their features and their positions on relevant questions of language and literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-207
Number of pages19
JournalRomance Studies
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Intralingual translation
  • Old French
  • Saint Alexis
  • diachronic translation
  • transfer

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