Had there been food, love-making and fighting would have gone on apace, and the pack-formation would have been broken up.
Upon first reading this sentence from White Fang, my intuition was to interpret the initial comma as indicating the beginning of a list, (and thus I interpreted lovemaking and fighting as the 2nd and 3rd items respectively). However after reading "fighting" I was met with "would have gone on apace", and thus had to double back to the beginning and then correctly interpret the initial comma as indicating the separation between a subordinate and independent clause.
Thus, should I observe the latter rule with a higher priority than the former, hereon? Then in all future sentences I would read the sentence as if the latter rule was the case, and if I found it did not work within the sentence I would then restart observing the rule with the 2nd highest priority and repeating the process until I had correctly interpreted the sentence.
Are there lists available showing comma grammar rules or grammar rules in general along with their frequency of appearance/manifestation, and their being prioritised in an order reflecting highest frequency to lowest? Should I then train my intuition to reflect these prioritisations? Is there any literature that discusses the potential trade-offs in prioritising grammatical understanding over the minimisation of repeated readings? Did English grammar rules evolve with the latter in mind?