The statement is the basic unit of discourse, and therefore the basic unit analyzed in the archeological method. The statement has, however, no stable unit; depending on the conditions in which it emerges and exists within a field of discourse, and depending on scope of the ‘field of use’ in which it is to be analyzed, anything from a scientific chart to a sentence to a novel can be a statement. This makes the statement difficult to define in and of itself, and Foucault ends up defining it not in terms of a stable unit (like the sentence), but in terms of a specific field of function and a corresponding level of the analysis of signs. The enunciative function defines the level at which the statement operates; at issue is how a set of signs emerges and functions in relation to a field of other statements. The level of analysis by which we can describe the statement lies between the analysis of grammar and propositional content on the one hand, and the fact of pure materiality on the other; the analysis of statements works at the level of the active life of language as it functions in a discourse. This in-between status of the statement, in which it is neither just content nor just material, gives statements the definitive quality of ‘material repeatability’ (see below).