Supralingualism and the Translatability Industry

David Gramling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article argues that a new form of globalizing multilingualism, which I call 'supralingualism', has been afoot since 1990, when the rise of algorithmic translation and cross-linguistic information retrieval (CLIR) practices set in in earnest in the supply-side logistics industries. A political landscape characterized by international consensus and compliance in the 1990s (as opposed to tariff wars and logistical nationalism) further buttressed this new ideology, leading to a newly multilingual centripetality in the global management of meaning. Based on historical examples and evidence from computational engineering, this article tracks the extraordinary growth of this sector and its implications for other arenas of language practice, implications that include: monolingualization, securitization, dehistoricization, lexicaliztation, and the reduction of 'culture' to its most overt linguistic forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-147
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Supralingualism and the Translatability Industry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this