Rethinking Accounting and Translation through analysis of the ‘accounting statement'

Research output: Other contribution


Purpose: To investigate accounting as archetype of the first form of visible-sign statement, and analyse the nature of its systematic differences from subsequent ‘glottographic’ forms of writing (which follow the linear-flow patterns of speech). To analyse the accounting statement as non-linear and ‘non-glottographic’, and investigate its paradoxical power as non-linear so constrained statement form in transforming human thinking, acting and languaging even before glottographic writing.
Design: As a historical-theoretical study, this draws first on Foucault’s theorising of the strangeness of non-glottographic statement forms, and second on historical evidence from ancient Mesopotamia revealing the specific form and effects of accounting as archetype of the non-glottographic statement. Approaches from critical accounting and translation studies are combined to capture the range of the accounting statement’s effects on our thinking, acting and ‘languaging in general’.
Findings: Specific reflections are offered on how the accounting statement, as arithmetically regularised naming of what ‘ought’ to be counted is then evaluated against what ‘is’ counted, thus generating a first discourse of the norm and a first accounting-based apparatus for governing the state: on how the non-glottographic statement is constructed and read not as linear flow of signs but as simulacrum; and on how the accounting statement poses (i) practical issues over how to translate a non-flow statement and (ii) the conceptual problem of how to think this statement form’s general translatability, given its irreducibility to the linear narrative statement form.
Originality: The paper pioneers in approaching accounting as statement-form and analyzing the differences that flow from its non-glottographic status.
Original languageEnglish
TypeSubmitted paper
Media of outputPaper
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Accounting
  • Translation
  • statement
  • glottographic
  • non-glottographic


Dive into the research topics of 'Rethinking Accounting and Translation through analysis of the ‘accounting statement''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this