An introduction to the analysis of linguistic ambiguity

For example, the law divides between patent and latent ambiguity, where the former roughly corresponds to a case where the meaning of a law is unclear, the latter to cases where the meaning is clear but applies equally well to highly disparate things. James wants to marry an overweight man and Jane does too.

This is often due to a modifying expression, such as a prepositional phrase, the application of which is unclear. Here is one example: If atomism is right, there is good reason to think that nearly all the lexicon fails to submit to any interesting analyses in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions see Fodor Isolated from any textual relations it is unclear whether God is the subject or the object in this noun phrase.

The semantics is carefully rigged so as not to make a truth-conditional difference; but there is ambiguity nonetheless in what names literally express. This usage is particularly prevalent with electronic memory devices e. The notion of definition here has to be taken as a heavy-weight notion: The test depends partly on how strict we are about what counts as a definition.

Computer science[ edit ] In computer science, the SI prefixes kilo-mega- and giga- were historically used in certain contexts to mean either the first three powers ofand contrary to the metric system in which these units unambiguously mean one thousand, one million, and one billion.

The law is sensitive to this and makes certain division between ambiguities. Therefore, the lexeme flying can be interpreted as the gerund form of a verb in a verb phrase, or as an attribute of a noun phrase.

Why should the two separate senses be reproduced in languages unrelated to English? The use of multi-defined words requires the author or speaker to clarify their context, and sometimes elaborate on their specific intended meaning in which case, a less ambiguous term should have been used.

An introduction to the analysis of linguistic ambiguity

After Ferdinand de Saussure proposed that there is no mutual correspondence between a word and a thing, to ascribe significance becomes much more complicated. In continental philosophy particularly phenomenology and existentialismthere is much greater tolerance of ambiguity, as it is generally seen as an integral part of the human condition.

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Puns in spoken discourse make use of homophones, and puns in written discourse utilize homographs. Linguistic Inquiry, 8 1: They also have distributive readings on which there were as many liftings of the piano as there were boys and at least two different deal brokerings respectively.

A famous example of such an ambiguity is the succession of the vice president, where the framers stipulate that: DRAM addressed directly by a binary machine register where a decimal interpretation makes no practical sense.

Negation has similarly been argued to present interesting scope ambiguities see Russell for an early example of a philosophical use of this type of ambiguity. The following, however, seems to be zeugmatic: Pictures or photographs may also be ambiguous at the semantic level: The Grammar of Quantification, New York: Now, on that reading, there are still two interpretations of the second sentence to deal with: The following is clearly ambiguous: One of the most significant problems in processing natural language is the problem of ambiguity.

It at least apparently is associated with truth conditional effects. Metonymy involves the use of the name of a subcomponent part as an abbreviation, or jargon, for the name of the whole object for example "wheels" to refer to a car, or "flowers" to refer to beautiful offspring, an entire plant, or a collection of blooming plants.

A statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true; a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true; an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises.

Our own associations give understanding of what is presented to us. The listener can deduce or infer the intended meaning from what has been uttered. For example, a politician might say, "I oppose taxes which hinder economic growth", an example of a glittering generality.

Syntactic ambiguity arises when a sentence can have two or more different meanings because of the structure of the sentence—its syntax.

For instance, the word "bank" has several distinct lexical definitions, including " financial institution " and " edge of a river ". Speech Acts, Cole and Morgan eds. Others, however, have been content to posit ambiguities in type for one and the same expression. We thought we saw Smith in the dumps and he did too.LEXICAL AND STRUCTURAL AMBIGUITY INHUMOROUS HEADLINES by ChiaraBucaria linguistic nature, in an attempt to propose a systematic analysis ofhumorous texts that have rarely been considered in the literature.

theories on linguistic ambiguity and its resolution, starting with lexical ambiguity and. May 03,  · Lexical & Syntactic Ambiguity in Linguistics THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY & TRANSDISCIPLINARY ANALYSIS OF MENTAL DISORDERS!

An introduction to the analysis of linguistic ambiguity

Introduction To Linguistics Organic Search Engine Theory (LOSE-T). Linguistic ambiguity can be a problem in law, because the interpretation of written documents and oral agreements is often of paramount importance.

Philosophers (and other users of logic) spend a lot of time and effort searching for and removing (or intentionally adding) ambiguity in arguments because it can lead to incorrect conclusions and can be used to deliberately conceal bad arguments.

Introduction to the Special Issue on Ambiguity and Semantic Judgments This special issue of Research in Language and Computation was born out of the belief that. In this sense, ambiguity has been the source of much frustration, bemusement, and amusement for philosophers, lexicographers, linguists, cognitive scientists, literary theorists and critics, authors, poets, orators and just about everyone who considers the interpretation(s) of linguistic signs.

1. Introduction Prepositional phrase attachment is the canonical case of structural ambiguity, as in the The existence of such ambiguity raises problems for language models.

It looks like it might require extremely complex Donald Hindle and Mats Rooth Structural Ambiguity and Lexical Relations [pp.]]. ] (lexical of - the. in.

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An introduction to the analysis of linguistic ambiguity
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