The Role of Schemata in Interpreting Some Certain Texts

Sukirmiyadi Ahmad


Some certain texts either written or spoken are sometimes very difficult to understand and interpret. This might happen if the readers or hearers do not have any experience or background knowledge about the texts to be interpreted. To make it clear, this paper aims at discussing the problems dealing with the role of schemata in interpreting some certain texts related to written and spoken texts. Concerning with individual’s experience or background knowledge of the texts, we then realize that everybody of us or a group of people has their own background knowledge which is different between one person and another, one group of people and another. These facts more often might make them interpret the texts differently based on their own experiences or background knowledge. This different interpretation is due to the different background knowledge or schemata of the readers or hearers, to whom the text is directed. In line with this problem, to avoid misunderstanding and misinterpreting between the two persons or community having different background knowledge or schemata, here are several special texts to discuss and analyze as it was stated by Michael Mc. Carthy (1991), such as: a) Public Notice, b) Headlines of Article on the Newspaper, c) Some Peaces of Small Ads, d) Short Dialogues in Public Services, and e) the Term “Jamu” in Javanese Culture were discussed in this paper. Based on the data analysis, it could be concluded that schemata were required much in efforts to understand and interpret both written and spoken texts correctly.

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