We set out some of our metatheoretical assumptions. It might seem that there are many theories of humour, but most of these theories are stated only in very broad terms. However, these proposals provide useful initial sketches on which more detail can be imposed. We focus entirely on textual jokes, for various practical reasons, and aim to achieve a fuller and more precise description of how a joke is understood. In attempting to express our framework in terms of other phenomena such as ordinary text comprehension, we specify only those aspects that affect joke comprehension, to avoid adopting unnecessary details of these other areas of research. Although this does not provide a theory of what makes a text humorous, it is theoretical in the sense that it suggests a set of components that are involved in joke comprehension.