Notes on the Text – Perception of the Text, (Non)Violation of Expectation, Recipient vs Author

Ondřej Krátky


The following paper is based on a broad understanding of communication (or the author-text-recipient relation) that considers as text basically anything that has been created within the framework of a cultural interaction by an author and that is perceived by a recipient. The first part of the paper introduces, explains and follows mostly cases in which the author’s violations of the recipient’s expectations have a communication value, i.e. provoke, in the recipient, a communication effect that matches the author’s intentions. In such cases, this effect results as a consequence of an (author-controlled) violation of the communication „cooperative“ principles. This, at the recipient’s end, translates into an event of expectancy violation. Each of such violations provokes an arousal in the recipient, which further motivates him/her to search for its cause. Finding this cause, and being “confronted” with the related violation pertaining to it with the norm equals, for the recipient, getting to the meaning of the text, or identifying its communication value etc. As part of the conclusion, a commented scheme is presented which offers a spectrum of possible communication outcomes “positioned” between the predictability of each textual element and the (author’s latent) stochasticity of choice. The effort to illustrate all the explained facts results, in the paper, in a rich set of examples stemming from miscellaneous spheres of human activity – from “high (artistic) styles” to rather day-to-day activities, to pop-culture. The objective is to show that the described principles, if not valid in general, permeate at least all forms of interaction.


text; author; recipient; norm; expectancy violation; communication; culture

Full Text:



BAKER, M. C. (2001): The Atoms of Language: the Mind´s Hidden Rules of Grammar. New York: Basic Books.

BARTHES, R. (1957): Mythologies. Paris: Seuil.

BARTHES, R. (1968): La Mort de l´Auteur.


BELL, C. (1992): Ritual theory, ritual practice. New York: Oxford University Press.

BELL, C. (1997): Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions. New York: Oxford University Press.

BENEDICT, R. (1934): Patterns of Culture. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

BERGSON, H. (1920): Le Rire, essai sur la signification du comique. Paris: Alcan.

BERNSTEIN, B. B. (2003): Class, codes and control. London, New York: Routledge.

BUDIL, I. T. (2003): Mýtus, jazyk a kulturní antropologie. Triton.

BURGOON, J. K., JONES, S. B. (1976): Toward a theory of personal space expectations and their violations. In: Human communication research, Vol. 2, No. 2, str. 131–146.

BURGOON, J. K. (1978): A communication model of personal space violation: Explication and an initial test. In: Human communication research, Vol. 4, No. 2, str. 129–142.

BÜRING, D. (2004): Binding Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

BYBEE, J. (2011): Usage-based theory and grammaticalization. In: Heiko Narrog and Bernd Heine (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Grammaticalization, str. 69-78. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

CARNIE, A. (2002): Syntax: A Generative Introduction. Malden: Blackwell.

CRYSTAL, D. 1997. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics (4th edition). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

ČERMÁK, F. (2001): Jazyk a jazykověda. Karolinum.

DERRIDA, J. (1988): Limited, Inc.: Supplement to Glyph 2. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press.

DOUGLAS, M. (1975): Implicit Meanings: Essays in Anthropology. London: Routledge.

ECO, U. (1979): The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

ECO, U. (1990): The Limits of Interpretation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

ECO, U. with RORTY, R.; CULLER, J.; BROOKE-ROSE, C. (1992): Interpretation and Overinterpretation. COLLINI, S. (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

ECO, U. (1997): Šest procházek literárními lesy. Votobia, Olomouc.

FODOR, J. A.; BEVER, T. G.; GARRETT, M. F. (1974): The Psychology of Language: an Introduction to psycholinguistics and generative grammar. University of California: McGraw-Hill.

FODOR, J. A. (1994): The Elm and the Expert: Mentalese and its Semantics. Cambridge, Massachussets: MIT Press.

FODOR, J. A. (1990): A Theory of Content and other Essays. Cambridge, Massachussets: MIT Press.

FOLEY, W. A. (1997). Anthropological Linguistics: an Introduction. Oxford: B. Blackwell.

FOUCAULT, M. (1971): L´ordre du discours. Leçon inaugurale au Collège de France prononcée le 2 décembre 1970. Collection Blanche: Gallimard.

GEERTZ, C. (1988): Works and Lives: the Anthropologist as Author. Stamford CT: Stanford University Press.

GEERTZ, C. (1973): The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books.

GIGLIOLI, P. P. (1972): Language and social context: Selected Readings. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

GOMBRICH, E. (1960): Art and Illusion. A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

GOMBRICH, E. (1979): The Sense of Order. a Study in the Psychology of Decorative Art. Oxford: Phaidon.

GOMBRICH, E. (1982): The Image and the Eye. Further Studies in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation. Oxford: Phaidon.

GOMBRICH, E. (2002): The Preference for the Primitive. Episodes in the History of Western Taste and Art. London: Phaidon.

GOMBRICH, E. (1999): The Uses of Images. Studies in the Social Function of Art and Visual Communication. London: Phaidon.

GOMBRICH, E. (1966): Studies in the Art of the Renaissance. London: Phaidon.

GOODMAN, M. E. (1967): The Individual and Culture. Homewood, Illinois: Dorsey Press.

GREENBERG, J. H. (1966): Language universals. The Hague: Mouton.

GREENBERG, J. H. (ed.) (1963): Universals of Language. Report of a conference on language universals held at Dobbs Ferry, New York, April 13 – 15, 1961. Cambridge, Massachussets: MIT Press.

GREENBERG, J. H. (1971): Language, culture and communication. Stanford University Press.

GRICE, H. P. (1975): Logic and conversation, In: P. Cole – J. Morgan (eds.). Syntax and semantics. 3: Speech acts, str. 41–58.

GRICE, H. P. (1981): Presupposition and conversational implicature. In: P. Cole (ed.). Radical pragmatics, New York, Ac. Press (str. 183–198).

GRICE, H. P. (1989): Studies in the way of words. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

GRICE, H. P. (1991): The conception of value. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

HALLIDAY, M. A. K. (1978): Language as social semiotic: the social interpretation of language and meaning. Edward Arnold.

HALLIDAY, M. A. K., HASAN, R. (1991): Language, context and text: aspects of language in a socio-semiotic perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.

HASPELMATH, M. (2007): Pre-established categories don't exist: consequences for language description and typology. Linguistic Typology 11.1: str. 119 – 132.

HJELMSLEV, L. (1928): Principes de grammaire générale. Copenhagen: Bianco Lunos Bogtrykkeri.

HJELMSLEV, L. (1963): Prolegomena to a Theory of Language, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

HORROCKS, G. C., (1987): Generative grammar. Longman, Routledge Ltd.: Routledge.

HOOPES, J. (1991): Peirce on Signs: Writings on Semiotic by Charles Sanders Peirce. The University of North Carolina Press.

HUDSON, R. A. (1980): Sociolinguistics. Cambridge Cambridgeshire UK: Cambridge University Press.

HUSSERL, E. (1984): Die Konstitution der geistigen Welt. Hamburg: F. Meiner.

HUSSERL, E. (1991): Ding und Raum: Vorlesungen 1907. Hamburg: F. Meiner.

HUSSERL, E. (1999): The idea of phenomenology. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

HUTTO, D. D. (2008): Folk psychological narratives. Cambridge, Massachussets: MIT Press.

CHOMSKY, N. (1982): Lectures on government and binding. Dordrecht, Holland: Foris Publications.

CHOMSKY, N. (1966): Topics in the theory of generative grammar. The Hague: Mouton.

ICKES, W.; KNOWLES, E. S. (ed.) (1982): Personality, roles, and social behavior. New York, NY: Springer New York.

JACKENDOFF, R. S. (1994): Patterns in the Mind: Language and Human Nature. New York: Basic Books.

JACKENDOFF, R. S. (2007): Language, Consciousness, Culture. Essays on Mental Structure. Cambridge, Massachussets / London: The MIT Press, A Bradford Book.

JAKOBSON, R. (1990): On language. Waugh, L. R. and Monville-Burston, M. (ed.). Cambridge, Massachussets: Harvard University Press.

JAKOBSON, R.; POMORSKA, K.; BRUHMANN, H. (1982): Poesie und Grammatik: Dialoge. Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft.

JAKOBSON, R. (1973): Questions de poétique. Paris: Editions du Seuil.

JAKOBSON, R. (1978): Six lectures on sound and meaning. Cambridge, Massachussets: MIT Press.

JELINEK, E.; DEMERS, R. A. (1994): Predicates and Pronominal Arguments in Straits Salish. Language Vol. 70, No. 4, str. 697 – 736.

KRÁTKÝ, O. (2018): Perception, Length of its Duration, Evaluation: Various Authors, Related Observations. In: Aesthetica Universalis, Vol. 2 (2), str. 71 – 97.

KRÁTKÝ, O. (2019): Where Peirce Ends. In: Aesthetica Universalis, Vol. 4 (8), str. 9 – 60.

LEECH, G. N. (1974): Semantics. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

LEVI-STRAUSS, C. (1962): La pensée sauvage. Paris: Plon.

LEVI-STRAUSS, C. (1963): Structural anthropology. New York: Basic Books.

LEVI-STRAUSS, C. (1983): The Raw and the Cooked. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press.

LEVI-STRAUSS, C. (2001): Myth and Meaning. London: Routledge.

LI, P., & GLEITMAN, L. (2002). Turning the tables: Language and spatial reasoning. Cognition, 83(3), str. 265–294.

LOUI, P., & WESSEL, D. L. (2007): Harmonic Expectation and Affect in Western Music: Effects of Attention and Training. In: Perception and Psychophysics, 69(7), str. 1084–1092.

MALINOWSKI, B. K. (1932): The Sexual Life of Savages in North-western Melanesia. 3rd ed. London: Routledge and Sons, Co.

MALINOWSKI, B. K. (1944): A Scientific Theory of Culture and Other Essays. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.

MALINOWSKI, B. K. (1948): Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays. Rev. ed. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press.

MALINOWSKI, B. K. (1922): Argonauts of the Western Pacific: an account of native enterprise and adventure in the archipelagoes of Melanisean New Guinea. London: Routledge

MALINOWSKI, B. K. (1926): Myth in primitive psychology. London: Paulette Pub. Co.

MALINOWSKI, B. K. (1962): Sex, culture and myth. New York: Harcourt Brace.

MAUSS, M (2013): Essai sur le don. La République des Lettres

NAKONEČNÝ, M. (1998): Základy psychologie. Academia.

OGDEN, C. K. (1923): The Meaning of Meaning: a Study of the Influence of Language upon Thought and of the Science of Symbolism. London: Harcourt Brace.

ORWELL, G (1st. publ. in 1946): Politics and the English language. Link:

PEIRCE, C. S. (1995): From pragmatism to pragmaticism. New Jersey: Prometheus Books.

PINKER, S. (2013): Learnability and cognition: the acquisition of argument structure. Cambridge, Massachussets: The MIT Press.

PRITCHARD, E. E. (1951): Social anthropology. Glencoe Illinois: Free Press.

PROPP, V. J. (1928): Morfologia skazki. Leningrad: Akademia. Link:

SAPIR, E. (1921): Language: an introduction to the study of speech. New York: Harcourt Brace.

SARKHOSH, K.; MENNINGHAUS, W. (2016): Enjoying trash films: Underlying features, viewing stances, and experiential response dimensions, in: Poetics, Volume 57, August 2016, str. 40 – 54.

SAUSSURE, F. (2005): Cours de linguistique générale. Genève: Arbre d´Or.

SEARLE, J. R. (1962): Speech acts: an essay in the philosophy of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

SOROKIN, P. A. (1948): The reconstruction of humanity. Boston: Beacon Press.

SOROKIN, P. A. (1943): Sociocultural causality, space, time: a study of referential principles of sociology and social science. Durham NC: Duke University Press.

SOROKIN, P. A. (1937 – 1941): Social and cultural mobility. New York: American Book Co.

THOMAS, J. (2009): The minds of the moderns. Stocksfield: Acumen.

TOBIN, Y. (1990): Semiotics and Linguistics. London: Longman.

TODOROV, T. (1987): Viaggio nella critica americana. Lettera internazionale: rivista trimestrale europea: 12, 2. 1987.

TRUBECKOI, N. (1949): Principles de Phonologie. Paris: Librairie C. Klincksieck

TRUDGILL, P. (1974): Sociolinguistics: an introduction. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

ULLMANN, S. (1962): Semantics: an introduction to the science of meaning. New York: Barnes & Noble.

ULLMANN, S. (1973): Meaning and style: collected papers. Oxford: B. Blackwell.

WÖLLFLIN, H. (1932): Principles of Art History. The Problem of the Development of Style in Later Art. New York: Dover Publications.

WÖLLFLIN, H. (1948): Classic Art. An Introduction to the Italian Renaissance. Basel: Benno Schwabe & Co.

WIERZBICKA, A. (1992): Semantics, culture and cognition: universal human concepts in culture-specific combinations. New York: Oxford University Press.

WIERZBICKA, A. (1991): Cross-cultural principles: the semantics of human interaction. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

WIERZBICKA, A. (1999): Emotions across languages and cultures: diversity and universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

ZAKAVI, D. (2005): Subjectivity and selfhood: investigating the first-person perspective. Cambridge, Massachussets: MIT Press.

ZEKI, S. (1998): Art and the Brain. In: Dædalus, Vol. 127, No. 2, str. 71 – 103.

ZEKI, S. (1999): Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



ESPES (ISSN 1339-1119) is published biannually by Faculty of Arts, University of Presov, Slovakia and the Society for Aesthetics in Slovakia

This journal is open access and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.