Intralingual Diachronic Translation and Transfer: The Case of Old French

Hilla Karas, Hava Bat Zeev Shyldkrot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


This paper constitutes a part of a large research project funded by the Israel Science Foundation, entitled ‘Intralingual translation: from Old French into Modern French. Through the Text and beyond’ (ISF grant no. 1905/17). We are grateful to the ISF for their generous support.

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1905/17


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


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