Questions tagged [ambiguity]

The phenomenon of an expression (a word, a phrase, ...) having more than one meaning. Ambiguity can be lexical or structural.

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Phonological ambiguity that changes the syntactic structure

I'm looking for two sentences that have phonological/phonetic ambiguity (like John's feat, and John's feet), but with different syntactic structures. For example, "John's feat was a big deal" and "...
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8answers
7k views

Are there languages that don't have this kind of ambiguity?

In the sentence "John told James that he's happy.", the pronoun "he" is ambiguous, since it could refer to either John or James. Are there any languages which try to solve this ...
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2answers
768 views

Are some human languages significantly less ambiguous than others?

Lojban was created to be syntactically unambiguous. I wonder though if there are natural languages that have the same property, or at least come much closer to having it than English does? Has ...
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3answers
396 views

Structural ambiguity and 'because'

I am trying to analyze Arthur doesn't discipline his children because he loves them to show the structural ambiguity using phrase structure rules that precede X' rules, and that because is ...
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2answers
2k views

Syntactic and semantic ambiguity

Does syntactic (structural) ambiguity always come with semantic ambiguity, or is semantic ambiguity always due to syntactic ambiguity? Or are both statements correct?
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1answer
13k views

What do you understand by the term 'register'? [duplicate]

I'd be interested in asking people about their understanding of the term register and what this signifies for them. This would be a discussion about a specialised term and I'm sure there are multiple ...