33(1) - 2021

Traducción y construcción verbal de ‘culpa’ en textos judiciales del México colonial

Martina Schrader-Kniffki & Yanna Yannakakis

Translation and verbal construction of ‘guilt’ in judicial texts of colonial Mexico

This contribution focuses on the role and strategies of translation in the verbal construction of ‘guilt’ in 17th and 18th century judicial texts written in New Spain in the indigenous Zapotec language and translated into Spanish. Both, the Zapotec language texts and their translations, raise questions about the origin of the textual and lexical norms that guide their writing and translation and the idiosyncrasies they generate. The analyses are based on a corpus of bilingual judicial text pairs and on the hypothesis of semantic and textual relationships between them. A methodology guided by the principles of discursive semantics is proposed, which implies the search for occurrences of verbal and translation strategies in other contexts. The texts of the Indian legislation as well as those produced in the context of evangelization turn out to have intertextual relations with the judicial texts. The most specific results are at the level of text structuring which shows patterns from doctrinal texts and strategies originating in Christian grammatical works. On the basis of the analyses, the conclusion is reached that both, source and target texts, are not to be understood as closed entities, but are nourished by previous translation processes and at the same time serve for subsequent translations. This has implications for the conception of the basic units of translation itself, namely the source text and the target text whose nature as such is called into question.

Colonial translation, evangelization, Zapotec, jurisdiction

DOI 10.17462/para.2021.01.05

April 25, 2021
  33(1) - 2021