Exploring genre variation and simplification in interpreted language from comparable and intermodal perspectives

Cui Xu, Dechao Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores genre variation and simplification in interpreted language from both comparable (interpreted vs. non-interpreted/non-mediated) and intermodal (interpreted vs. translated) perspectives. It draws on a newly built unidirectional comparable and intermodal corpus named the LegCo+, which features legislative proceedings in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (including originals and their translations and interpretations from Cantonese to English), as well as original plenary speeches delivered by native English speakers in the UK Parliament. It investigates the variation patterns of four simplification features in three dimensions, namely, standardized type-token ratio (STTR) and list heads for lexical diversity, lexical density for informativeness, and average sentence length for lexical sophistication. It aims to uncover the effects of mediation and genre, as well as their interaction effects on linguistic variation. The results indicate that texts of different mediation statuses and genre categories vary with respect to simplification patterns. From a comparable perspective, interpretations rely on a narrower range of vocabulary than non-interpretations, but they are also more informative, and such informativeness is dependent on genre categories. Intermodally speaking, interpretations exhibit consistent patterns of simplification, indicating a strong modality (or mode of mediation) effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-770
Issue number5
Early online date27 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • genre variation
  • simplification
  • comparable
  • intermodal
  • variation patterns


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