Journal of Universal Language
Sejong University Language Research Institue

A Case Study of Intra-sentence Conjunctions in English-Chinese Legal Parallel Texts Yihe or Xinghe?

Yan Xi1
1University of Macau

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


In the fields of translation studies in China, there is a perpetual argument regarding Yihe ( 意合, Parataxis) and Xinghe ( 形合,

Hypotaxis). Most scholars believe that there are more cases of conjunction in the English texts than in the Chinese ones because it is generally considered that Chinese is predominantly paratactic and English mainly hypotactic. Through a case study of explicitation of conjunctions in Chinese-English legal parallel texts, the results show that more intra-sentence conjunctions are used in the two translations than their respective source texts. The notions of Yihe and Xinghe do not seem to account for the increased use of intra- sentence conjunctions in legal translation. Instead, explicitation of cohesive devices and grammatical differences between Chinese and English play important roles in more use of intra-sentence conjunctions in legal translation. Through an investigation of Yihe and Xinghe from the perspective of translation universals, this study aims to test the explanatory force of Yihe and Xinghe in the use of conjunction in legal texts and give a clearer picture of conjunction in Chinese and English legal parallel texts, and therefore will reconstruct the discourse on Chinese and English languages.

Keywords: Yihe; Xinghe; explicitation; conjunction; legal parallel texts



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