chapter  1
On the Interpret Ability of Texts in General and of Literary Texts in Particular
Pages 25

Conversely, it is possible to have texts which make perfect sense though they lack overt links between the sentences. The following text gives no difficulties to people who know something about football:

The terms I shall propose for a discussion of interprctability are similarly three: intelligibility, comprehensibility, and interpretability proper. A piece of text is intelligible to those who can recognize in it phonological, lexical and syntactic structures. Intelligibility thus presupposes pattern recognition, the correct perccpti.on of structures. A text is comprehensible to those who can assign to it a definite meaning, a semantic structure. And a text is interpretable to those who can build around that text a scenario, a text world, a set of states of affairs, in which that text makes sense. Thus to English hearers a sequence such as toffits broyse is intelligible: they can discern its phonemes and a syntactic structure where toffits is a plural of toffit, and used generically to judge by the absence of the article, and a subject; and broyse the appropriate plural of a verb. Unlike 'Jabberwocky', however, this sequence is at least to myself too short and the words not sufficiently suggestive to evoke a proper meaning, beyond vague guesses that toffits are animate, and perhaps small and even furry (would you agree,

When I suggested that a text is interpretable to those who can, under the prevailing circumstances, build around it a text world - or scenario, if you prefer the term - in which that text makes sense, I used several phrases that need comment and further specification. These are global problems, and here I can only touch upon them briefly.