Syntactic linearity as a strategy in simultaneous interpreting

a case study on English-Chinese interpretation

Yi Chen, Zhongwei Song, Canzhong Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study has assessed whether syntactic linearity can be used as one of SI strategies from a linguistic perspective. Using Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) as the linguistic framework, the study analyses the thematic choices of Obama`s speech made in his visit to China and its simultaneous interpretation by three interpreters and focuses on the analytic unit of clause being grammatically correlated to the " unit of meaning "in the TL. The findings show that most of the Themes in English text are preserved in Chinese. Furthermore, the textual and topical elements of Theme in English are more influential than the interpersonal Theme for the interpreters to decide whether a Theme should be retained or changed in facilitating syntactic linearity in SI. The assessment result seems to support that syntactic linearity could be used as a strategy for SI training together with other coping strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-69
Number of pages41
JournalT&I Review
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Syntactic linearity
  • Simultaneous interpreting
  • Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL)

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