Negotiating intersubjectivity by interpersonal and appraisal shifts in Chinese-English government press conference interpreting

Jun Xu, Yuxiao Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates how interpreting shifts of interpersonal and appraisal resources facilitated the successful negotiation of intersubjectivity at China's premier press conferences (PPCs) from 2016 to 2021. This study conducts a corpus-based critical discourse analysis of interpersonal shifts at the PPCs as defined by systematic functional linguistics. Quantitative results show that the interpreter is strongly inclined to utilize appraisal shifts which enhance (or soften) the positive (or negative) evaluations of the Chinese government in interpreting the journalists' questions and uses shifts to first-person plurals and inclinational modal verbs in interpreting the Chinese Premier's answers. Qualitative results show these shifts facilitate the direct or indirect reproduction of the government's official ideology (especially the notions of solidarity, change, resolution, and people's wellbeing) and the existing power relations between the government, media, and Chinese people (both authority and solidarity). It is concluded that the interpreter displays a strong tendency to use interpersonal shifts to ensure successful negotiation of intersubjectivity at the PPCs by ultimately reproducing the social status quo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1106174
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 17BYY188).

Data availability statement
The original contributions presented in the study are included in the article/supplementary material, further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding authors.


  • government press conference
  • ideology
  • interpersonal resources
  • interpreting shift
  • intersubjectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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