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Cultures and languages in contact

The research project „Europe and America in contact. A multidisciplinary study of cross-cultural transfer in the New World across time”, financed by the European Research Council, explores the cross-cultural contact and transfers between Europeans and the native people of the Americas since XVI century until modern times, focusing on the linguistic change in the Nahuatl and the Spanish language.

This international project, led by Dr Justyna Olko from the Faculty „Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw, goes beyond analyzing the differences between older and modern forms of Nahuatl. Studying them systematically forms a starting point for reconstructing other elements of Nahua culture, such as ways of perceiving the world, religious beliefs, rituals, mythology, various forms of sociopolitical and economic organization, social relationships and structures, as well as kinship systems. The research team also studies the processes of translating and interpreting European concepts, such as legal, political and Christian, and the adaptation of foreign systems of classification.