Language issue 2019


Non-literary translation:

forms and trends from early to late modern English

Editor: Iolanda Plescia


Call for papers:

Status Quaestionis (Language Issue 2019) is launching a call for papers for an issue dedicated to the translation of non-literary texts towards English, from the Renaissance to the late modern period.  In the last few decades important assessments have traced paths that follow in particular the birth of scientific and specialized English, largely identified with the second half of the seventeenth century, focusing on formal features and rhetorical strategies (Bazerman 1998; Halliday 1999; Acker 2008; Banks 2008; Gotti 2003, 2008; Moessner 2009; Canziani, Grego, Iamartino 2014; Fransen, Hodson, Enekel, 2017; Lonati 2017). This issue intends to assess the role of translation in the circulation of seminal texts and the development of specialized language, with reference not only to scientific works (which we here define for convenience as generally dealing with mathematics/natural sciences/medicine) but also to a variety of non-literary texts, including but not limited to those dealing with juridical, religious, philosophical, political, geographical and travel-related topics. Bearing in mind that the period in question largely does not yet draw clear-cut distinctions between the ‘two cultures’, our aim is to assess the role played by translation in adding to the English language and culture in an area that has traditionally enjoyed less attention, as studies have tended to deal with literary translation rather than non-literary text types (though the trend is being reversed: see Pantin 2007, Fransen and Hodson 2017). Essays reflecting on the textual characteristics, strategies and goals which translators deal with in the cultural reading/construction of texts as specialized or generally non-literary will be especially welcome, as will papers dealing with hybrid textualities (for example early modern didactic poetry) and case studies on individual figures of translators. Studies focusing on source texts in any European language in dialogue with English at the time are equally welcome. The issue will include papers using an array of methodologies related to linguistic and translation studies, in particular stylistic and pragmatic approaches, with a focus on descriptive, historical and corpus analysis.   


Topics may include but are not restricted to the following:


-       Historical trends in non-literary translation into English

-       The rise of English as a language of science, law, medicine

-       The construction of scientific/specialized English via translation

-       Individual case studies on early modern/late modern translators

-       Translation strategies within the texts and paratextual materials

-       The translation of emphasis, persuasion, and rhetoric

-       Hybrid textualities: non-literary and literary interfacing in translation

-       The rise of European vernaculars and vernacular to vernacular translation

-       Juridical, religious, philosophical, political, geographical, travel-related translation



Submission Procedure:

Abstract deadline: 30th November 2018. Abstracts should be max 300 words (including references). They should contain: a) full name, academic position, academic affiliation, email address; b) title of the contribution c) a list of key-words (max.5);  d) a short list of key references (max.5), f) a brief bio-sketch of no more than 100 words.

Abstracts should be sent as email attachments and named SURNAME_Abstract_SQLanguage Issue 2018.

Notification of acceptance: 15th December 2018.

Article deadline and start of peer-reviewing: 15th May, 2019

Language: English.

Proposals should be sent to: