This section critically pinpoints translational issues in defining Abyssinia from a ‘colonial’ perspective, starting with the name of the country, Habesh and Habasha. It features instances of prejudice and inadequacy for word semantics and it introduces the problem of allonyms and toponyms and their colonial appropriation. The introduction is followed by casestudies highlighting inadequate lexical choices of keywords in religious texts and contexts. The first case-study features the stigma of the assumed nigredo of the Queen of Sheba in the Song of Solomon due to bisemy. The second example sheds light on erroneous interpretative monosemy, regardless of the religious symbolism of a bird (The Glory of Kings). The third instance accounts for conceptual ambiguity derived from superordinates and metonymy (The Ark of the Covenant). The impacting factors in the dynamics of colonialism from the ‘centre’ to the margins account for persistent distortions in the definition of territorial space and geographical identification. The Horn of Africa has been subject to invasions, conquests, and colonization. The question of the changing of names of places and protagonists is, therefore, a challenging linguistic and religious issue. The localization of areas and places in East Africa has puzzled scholars, engendering speculations on myths and archaeological quests triggered by translations.

Ethiopian Enigmas and Ambiguity in Translation

Tomei R
2018

Abstract

This section critically pinpoints translational issues in defining Abyssinia from a ‘colonial’ perspective, starting with the name of the country, Habesh and Habasha. It features instances of prejudice and inadequacy for word semantics and it introduces the problem of allonyms and toponyms and their colonial appropriation. The introduction is followed by casestudies highlighting inadequate lexical choices of keywords in religious texts and contexts. The first case-study features the stigma of the assumed nigredo of the Queen of Sheba in the Song of Solomon due to bisemy. The second example sheds light on erroneous interpretative monosemy, regardless of the religious symbolism of a bird (The Glory of Kings). The third instance accounts for conceptual ambiguity derived from superordinates and metonymy (The Ark of the Covenant). The impacting factors in the dynamics of colonialism from the ‘centre’ to the margins account for persistent distortions in the definition of territorial space and geographical identification. The Horn of Africa has been subject to invasions, conquests, and colonization. The question of the changing of names of places and protagonists is, therefore, a challenging linguistic and religious issue. The localization of areas and places in East Africa has puzzled scholars, engendering speculations on myths and archaeological quests triggered by translations.
978-1-5275-0782-1
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12071/11038
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