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Umberto Eco, The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts (1979)


(1) The original words of something written, printed, or spoken, in contrast to a summary or paraphrase.

(2) A coherent stretch of language that may be regarded as an object of critical analysis.

See also:


From the Latin, "texture, context, weave"


  • "Text. A stretch of language, either in speech or in writing, that is semantically and pragmatically coherent in its real-world context. A text can range from just one word (e.g. a SLOW sign on the road) to a sequence of utterances or sentences in a speech, a letter, a novel, etc."
    (Ronald Carter and Michael McCarthy, Cambridge Grammar of English. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006)

  • "On the one hand, TEXT may be defined as 'any sequence of sentences having a certain coherence,' and in this weak sense of the term each folk-tale is a text. On the other hand text may be defined more rigorously as 'any unchangeable sequence of sentences which has a strong cohesion and the unchangeable character of which is related to a value system of some sort.'"
    (Thomas G. Pavel, "Some Remarks on Narrative Grammars," in Linguistic Perspectives on Literature, ed. by M. K. L. Ching et al. Taylor & Francis, 1980)

  • "As a result of a communicative act, a text may be defined as a relatively independent and hierarchically structured linguistic unit (macrostructure) which reflects a complex state of affairs and has a specific communicative intention. The state of affairs may refer to the real world or to the world of imagination and fiction."
    (Rosemarie Glaser, "A Plea for Phraseo-Stylistics," in Linguistics Across Historical and Geographical Boundaries, ed. by Dieter Kastovsky and A. J. Szwedek. Walter de Gruyter, 1986)
Pronunciation: TEKST
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