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1. In interpersonal communication, how a speaker expects an utterance to be interpreted, which may or may not correspond with how it is actually interpreted: see also communicative presumption; intentional communication.

2. A reader's understanding of how the author of a text expected a particular work, or part of it, to be interpreted, which they may infer from the text and/or from external evidence. In the case of films, the ‘author’ is typically seen as the director (see auteur theory). In literary and filmic contexts audiences commonly privilege what they understand to be the creator's intentions. For problems with this stance see intentional fallacy.

Subjects: Media Studies.


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