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From the Latin textus 'texture, tissue; (in language:) context', in the middle ages also 'contents of speech or writing' (Niermeyer s.v.) leading to the modern meaning.

The term text is perhaps the most controversial and open-ended to be discussed in this lexicon. Without excluding the many meanings invested in this term, it is possible and probably recommendable from a stemmatological point of view to regard the text as basically a string of characters. In structuralist terms, it means that a text should be seen as being constituted along a syntagmatical axis, and that even if there are paradigmatic oppositions for any character (word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, chapter) along this axis, a single text can always be described as a discrete string of characters.