SlideShare a Scribd company logo
1 of 7
Download to read offline
AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE
AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE
1
AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE
ABSTRACT
There have been several lexical and syntactical items are present that have many
meanings, however, it is not clear whether this advantage for ambiguous words arises
because they have multiple unrelated meanings, or because they have a large number
of highly related word senses. on this account we will discuss this ambiguity in a
discriptive way to clear its obstacles.
2
AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE
AMBIGUITY
Doubtfulness or uncertainty as regards interpretation.
OR
the possibility of interpreting an expression in two or more distinct ways.
AMBIGUITY IN LANGUAGE
Something is ambiguous when it can be understood in two or more possible senses or ways.
In a language A word, phrase, or sentence is ambiguous if it has more than one meaning.
TYPES OF AMBIGUITIES IN LANGUAGE
Linguistic theorists have identified these main types of ambiguity.
LEXICAL AMBIGUITY
If the ambiguity is in a single word it is called as lexical ambiguity.
FOR EXAMPLE
Everyday examples include nouns like 'chip', 'pen' and 'suit', verbs like 'call', 'draw' and 'run', and
adjectives like 'deep', 'dry' and 'hard'. There are various tests for ambiguity. One test is having
two unrelated antonyms, as with 'hard', which has both 'soft' and 'easy' as opposites. almost any
word has more than one meaning.
"Note" = "A musical tone" or "A short written record."
"Lie" = "Statement that you know it is not true" or "present tense of lay: to be or put yourself in a
flat position.
3
AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE
SYNTACTIC AMBIGUITY
If ambiguity is in a sentence or clause it is called as syntactic ambiguity
FOR EXAMPLE:
Consider the structurally ambiguous sentence, 'The chicken is ready to eat', which could be used
to describe either a hungry chicken or a broiled chicken.
"John enjoys painting his models nude." Who is nude?
"Visiting relatives can be so boring." Who is doing the visiting?
HOW AMBIGUITY CREAT IN A LANGUAGE:
We tend to think of language as a clear and literal vehicle for accurately communicating ideas.
But even when we use language literally, misunderstandings arise and meanings shift. People
can be intentionally or unintentionally ambiguous. Nevertheless, when someone uses a
potentially ambiguous sentence or expression, usually the intention was to express only one
meaning. As we know, most words can have denotations, apparent meanings, connotations and
implied or hidden meanings. Also, we often use words in a figurative way.
Although ambiguity is fundamentally a property of linguistic expressions, people are also
said to be ambiguous on occasion in how they use language. This can occur if, even when their
words are unambiguous, their words do not make what they mean uniquely determinable Strictly
speaking, however, ambiguity is a semantic phenomenon, involving linguistic meaning rather
than speaker meaning.. Generally when one uses ambiguous words or sentences, one does not
consciously entertain their unintended meanings, although there is psycholinguistic evidence that
when one hears ambiguous words one momentarily accesses and then rules out their irrelevant
senses. When people use ambiguous language, generally its ambiguity is not intended.
Occasionally, however, ambiguity is deliberate.
4
AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE
AMBIGUITY IN NATURAL LANGUAGES
“You would expect that since languages are constantly changing, they would evolve to get rid of
Ambiguity. But if you look at natural languages, they are massively ambiguous: Words have
multiple meanings, there are multiple ways to parse strings of words. To borrow a phrase from
Geography: "The map is not the land". Language can be used to embody ideas, but not all ideas
can be pinned down in one word. Japanese has a lot of words for cultural concepts, but they are
more defined by each individuals' experience, upbringing, and social circle than by some
dictionary entry. It is hard to have an efficient culling of ambiguity when meaning can be
dependent on one's circumstances.
If you look at most spoken English, the vast majority of the words have one or maybe
two syllables at most. Many of the words we use are quite flexible, though, having many, many
meanings. Philosophers interest in ambiguity has largely stemmed from concerns regarding the
regimentation of natural language in formal logic: arguments that may look good in virtue of
their linguistic form in fact can go very wrong if the words or phrases involved are equivocal.
Philosophers have often found ambiguity the sort of thing one needs to avoid and eradicate.
When they do their serious Philosophical business. Frege worried about the phenomenon enough
to counsel against allowing any multiplicities of sense in a perfect language. Authors, poets,
lyricists and the like, on the other hand, have often found ambiguity to be an extremely powerful
tool.
5
AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE
Senior author of the study Ted Gibson, an MIT professor of cognitive science says:
"Various people have said that ambiguity is a problem for communication. But once we
understand that context disambiguates, then ambiguity is not a problem - it's something you can
take advantage of, because you can reuse easy [words] in different contexts over and over
again."
SOME EXAMPLES OF AMBIGUITY
• I promise I'll give you a ring tomorrow.
(Ring can simply mean calling them on phone but can also mean a piece of jewellery).
• He gave her cat food.
(Is he giving cat food to her or is he giving her cat some food?)
• The lady hit the man with an umbrella.
(Is the lady using an umbrella to hit or is she hitting a man who is carrying an umbrella?)
• '[Tibetan history] teacher' and 'Tibetan [history teacher]'.
• 'Perot knows a richer man than Trump'.
(Perot knows a man who is richer than Trump and that Perot knows man who is richer
than any man Trump knows)
CONCLUSION
Language cannot exist without ambiguity; which has represented both a curse and a blessing
through the ages. Since there is no one "truth" and no absolutes, we can only rely on relative
truths arising from groups of people who, within their particular cultural systems, attempt to
answer their own questions and meet their needs for survival.
6
AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE
REFRENCES
• THE ADVANTAGE OF AMBIGUITY IN LANGUAGE.
www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/
• KENT BACH, Rout ledge encyclopedia of philosophy entry.
http://online.sfsu.edu/kbach/
• Ambiguity (2011)
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/
• Language Ambiguity: A curse and a blessing, by CECILIA QUIROGA-
CLARE
www.seasite.niu.edu/
7

More Related Content

What's hot

presupposition-and-entailment
presupposition-and-entailmentpresupposition-and-entailment
presupposition-and-entailmentSeemab Abbas
 
Referential and attributive uses chapter 3, George Yule
Referential and attributive uses chapter 3, George YuleReferential and attributive uses chapter 3, George Yule
Referential and attributive uses chapter 3, George YuleMarisol87M
 
Lexical Relations By Nasir
Lexical Relations By NasirLexical Relations By Nasir
Lexical Relations By NasirDr. Cupid Lucid
 
Presupposition And Entailment By Dr.Shadia
Presupposition And Entailment By Dr.ShadiaPresupposition And Entailment By Dr.Shadia
Presupposition And Entailment By Dr.ShadiaDr. Shadia Banjar
 
Politeness strategies
Politeness strategiesPoliteness strategies
Politeness strategiesMoza AE
 
Theory of meaning by Ogden and Richards
Theory of meaning by Ogden and RichardsTheory of meaning by Ogden and Richards
Theory of meaning by Ogden and RichardsZaryabQureshi3
 
Compounding (Linguistics)
Compounding (Linguistics)Compounding (Linguistics)
Compounding (Linguistics)Dr. Mohsin Khan
 
Reference, Sense, and Referring Expression in Semantics
Reference, Sense, and Referring Expression in SemanticsReference, Sense, and Referring Expression in Semantics
Reference, Sense, and Referring Expression in SemanticsErsa Dewana
 
Componential analysis ppt
Componential analysis pptComponential analysis ppt
Componential analysis pptAlveenaNazir
 
Immediate constituent analysis
Immediate constituent analysisImmediate constituent analysis
Immediate constituent analysisMuhamadYasinSleman
 
Deixis and distance
Deixis and distanceDeixis and distance
Deixis and distanceBarozh
 
Pragmatics implicature 2
Pragmatics implicature 2Pragmatics implicature 2
Pragmatics implicature 2phannguyen161
 
Semantics: Seven types of meaning
Semantics: Seven types of meaningSemantics: Seven types of meaning
Semantics: Seven types of meaningMiftadia Laula
 
Lecture 3 implicature
Lecture  3 implicatureLecture  3 implicature
Lecture 3 implicatureAdel Thamery
 

What's hot (20)

Ambiguity
AmbiguityAmbiguity
Ambiguity
 
Semantic relation among words
Semantic relation among wordsSemantic relation among words
Semantic relation among words
 
presupposition-and-entailment
presupposition-and-entailmentpresupposition-and-entailment
presupposition-and-entailment
 
Referential and attributive uses chapter 3, George Yule
Referential and attributive uses chapter 3, George YuleReferential and attributive uses chapter 3, George Yule
Referential and attributive uses chapter 3, George Yule
 
Extension and Prototype
Extension and PrototypeExtension and Prototype
Extension and Prototype
 
Lexical Relations By Nasir
Lexical Relations By NasirLexical Relations By Nasir
Lexical Relations By Nasir
 
Presupposition And Entailment By Dr.Shadia
Presupposition And Entailment By Dr.ShadiaPresupposition And Entailment By Dr.Shadia
Presupposition And Entailment By Dr.Shadia
 
Politeness strategies
Politeness strategiesPoliteness strategies
Politeness strategies
 
Theory of meaning by Ogden and Richards
Theory of meaning by Ogden and RichardsTheory of meaning by Ogden and Richards
Theory of meaning by Ogden and Richards
 
Compounding (Linguistics)
Compounding (Linguistics)Compounding (Linguistics)
Compounding (Linguistics)
 
Reference, Sense, and Referring Expression in Semantics
Reference, Sense, and Referring Expression in SemanticsReference, Sense, and Referring Expression in Semantics
Reference, Sense, and Referring Expression in Semantics
 
Implicature
ImplicatureImplicature
Implicature
 
Componential analysis ppt
Componential analysis pptComponential analysis ppt
Componential analysis ppt
 
Immediate constituent analysis
Immediate constituent analysisImmediate constituent analysis
Immediate constituent analysis
 
Deixis and distance
Deixis and distanceDeixis and distance
Deixis and distance
 
Pragmatics implicature 2
Pragmatics implicature 2Pragmatics implicature 2
Pragmatics implicature 2
 
Deixis
DeixisDeixis
Deixis
 
PRAGMATICS: CONCEPT OF IMPLICATURE
PRAGMATICS: CONCEPT OF IMPLICATUREPRAGMATICS: CONCEPT OF IMPLICATURE
PRAGMATICS: CONCEPT OF IMPLICATURE
 
Semantics: Seven types of meaning
Semantics: Seven types of meaningSemantics: Seven types of meaning
Semantics: Seven types of meaning
 
Lecture 3 implicature
Lecture  3 implicatureLecture  3 implicature
Lecture 3 implicature
 

Similar to AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE

Ways of knowing language summary
Ways of knowing language  summaryWays of knowing language  summary
Ways of knowing language summaryteamhumanities
 
Some problems of ambiguity in translation with reference to english and arabic
Some problems of ambiguity in translation with reference to english and arabicSome problems of ambiguity in translation with reference to english and arabic
Some problems of ambiguity in translation with reference to english and arabicfalah_hasan77
 
Assissment _Properties of language 1st year LMD G6 2021-2022.pdf
Assissment _Properties of language 1st year LMD G6 2021-2022.pdfAssissment _Properties of language 1st year LMD G6 2021-2022.pdf
Assissment _Properties of language 1st year LMD G6 2021-2022.pdfhakiche2000
 
Twins Are Sometimes Observed To Make Up Their Own Languages
Twins Are Sometimes Observed To Make Up Their Own LanguagesTwins Are Sometimes Observed To Make Up Their Own Languages
Twins Are Sometimes Observed To Make Up Their Own LanguagesSheila Guy
 
Aspects of Sentential Meaning.pptx
Aspects of Sentential Meaning.pptxAspects of Sentential Meaning.pptx
Aspects of Sentential Meaning.pptxkarlwinn1
 
Semantics session 3_18_10_2021 Sentence, Utterance and proposition.pdf
Semantics session 3_18_10_2021 Sentence, Utterance and proposition.pdfSemantics session 3_18_10_2021 Sentence, Utterance and proposition.pdf
Semantics session 3_18_10_2021 Sentence, Utterance and proposition.pdfDr.Badriya Al Mamari
 
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of LanguagePhilosophy of Language
Philosophy of LanguageSheng Nuesca
 
Linguistic And Social Inequality
Linguistic And Social InequalityLinguistic And Social Inequality
Linguistic And Social InequalityDr. Cupid Lucid
 
unit I [Autosaved].ppt
unit I [Autosaved].pptunit I [Autosaved].ppt
unit I [Autosaved].pptMitikuTerefe
 
Linguistic And Social Inequality
Linguistic And Social InequalityLinguistic And Social Inequality
Linguistic And Social InequalityDr. Cupid Lucid
 
Morphology and syntax
Morphology and syntaxMorphology and syntax
Morphology and syntaxSohaibisrar1
 
Learning about language structure
Learning about language structureLearning about language structure
Learning about language structureRoda Menil
 
Language_lead_lesson
Language_lead_lessonLanguage_lead_lesson
Language_lead_lessonRic Faulkner
 
Chapter 4.1.pptx
Chapter 4.1.pptxChapter 4.1.pptx
Chapter 4.1.pptxbrianjars
 
Linguistics 1 10
Linguistics 1 10Linguistics 1 10
Linguistics 1 10Mousa Mzuri
 

Similar to AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE (20)

Ways of knowing language summary
Ways of knowing language  summaryWays of knowing language  summary
Ways of knowing language summary
 
Some problems of ambiguity in translation with reference to english and arabic
Some problems of ambiguity in translation with reference to english and arabicSome problems of ambiguity in translation with reference to english and arabic
Some problems of ambiguity in translation with reference to english and arabic
 
Assissment _Properties of language 1st year LMD G6 2021-2022.pdf
Assissment _Properties of language 1st year LMD G6 2021-2022.pdfAssissment _Properties of language 1st year LMD G6 2021-2022.pdf
Assissment _Properties of language 1st year LMD G6 2021-2022.pdf
 
Twins Are Sometimes Observed To Make Up Their Own Languages
Twins Are Sometimes Observed To Make Up Their Own LanguagesTwins Are Sometimes Observed To Make Up Their Own Languages
Twins Are Sometimes Observed To Make Up Their Own Languages
 
Aspects of Sentential Meaning.pptx
Aspects of Sentential Meaning.pptxAspects of Sentential Meaning.pptx
Aspects of Sentential Meaning.pptx
 
Hxe302sentencemeaning (1)
Hxe302sentencemeaning (1)Hxe302sentencemeaning (1)
Hxe302sentencemeaning (1)
 
Semantics session 3_18_10_2021 Sentence, Utterance and proposition.pdf
Semantics session 3_18_10_2021 Sentence, Utterance and proposition.pdfSemantics session 3_18_10_2021 Sentence, Utterance and proposition.pdf
Semantics session 3_18_10_2021 Sentence, Utterance and proposition.pdf
 
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of LanguagePhilosophy of Language
Philosophy of Language
 
Linguistic And Social Inequality
Linguistic And Social InequalityLinguistic And Social Inequality
Linguistic And Social Inequality
 
unit I.ppt
unit I.pptunit I.ppt
unit I.ppt
 
unit I [Autosaved].ppt
unit I [Autosaved].pptunit I [Autosaved].ppt
unit I [Autosaved].ppt
 
Linguistic And Social Inequality
Linguistic And Social InequalityLinguistic And Social Inequality
Linguistic And Social Inequality
 
Morphology and syntax
Morphology and syntaxMorphology and syntax
Morphology and syntax
 
Learning about language structure
Learning about language structureLearning about language structure
Learning about language structure
 
Bowen PPT.pptx
Bowen PPT.pptxBowen PPT.pptx
Bowen PPT.pptx
 
Language
LanguageLanguage
Language
 
Language_lead_lesson
Language_lead_lessonLanguage_lead_lesson
Language_lead_lesson
 
(2) semantics and linguistics
(2) semantics and linguistics(2) semantics and linguistics
(2) semantics and linguistics
 
Chapter 4.1.pptx
Chapter 4.1.pptxChapter 4.1.pptx
Chapter 4.1.pptx
 
Linguistics 1 10
Linguistics 1 10Linguistics 1 10
Linguistics 1 10
 

AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE

  • 1. AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE 1
  • 2. AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE ABSTRACT There have been several lexical and syntactical items are present that have many meanings, however, it is not clear whether this advantage for ambiguous words arises because they have multiple unrelated meanings, or because they have a large number of highly related word senses. on this account we will discuss this ambiguity in a discriptive way to clear its obstacles. 2
  • 3. AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE AMBIGUITY Doubtfulness or uncertainty as regards interpretation. OR the possibility of interpreting an expression in two or more distinct ways. AMBIGUITY IN LANGUAGE Something is ambiguous when it can be understood in two or more possible senses or ways. In a language A word, phrase, or sentence is ambiguous if it has more than one meaning. TYPES OF AMBIGUITIES IN LANGUAGE Linguistic theorists have identified these main types of ambiguity. LEXICAL AMBIGUITY If the ambiguity is in a single word it is called as lexical ambiguity. FOR EXAMPLE Everyday examples include nouns like 'chip', 'pen' and 'suit', verbs like 'call', 'draw' and 'run', and adjectives like 'deep', 'dry' and 'hard'. There are various tests for ambiguity. One test is having two unrelated antonyms, as with 'hard', which has both 'soft' and 'easy' as opposites. almost any word has more than one meaning. "Note" = "A musical tone" or "A short written record." "Lie" = "Statement that you know it is not true" or "present tense of lay: to be or put yourself in a flat position. 3
  • 4. AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE SYNTACTIC AMBIGUITY If ambiguity is in a sentence or clause it is called as syntactic ambiguity FOR EXAMPLE: Consider the structurally ambiguous sentence, 'The chicken is ready to eat', which could be used to describe either a hungry chicken or a broiled chicken. "John enjoys painting his models nude." Who is nude? "Visiting relatives can be so boring." Who is doing the visiting? HOW AMBIGUITY CREAT IN A LANGUAGE: We tend to think of language as a clear and literal vehicle for accurately communicating ideas. But even when we use language literally, misunderstandings arise and meanings shift. People can be intentionally or unintentionally ambiguous. Nevertheless, when someone uses a potentially ambiguous sentence or expression, usually the intention was to express only one meaning. As we know, most words can have denotations, apparent meanings, connotations and implied or hidden meanings. Also, we often use words in a figurative way. Although ambiguity is fundamentally a property of linguistic expressions, people are also said to be ambiguous on occasion in how they use language. This can occur if, even when their words are unambiguous, their words do not make what they mean uniquely determinable Strictly speaking, however, ambiguity is a semantic phenomenon, involving linguistic meaning rather than speaker meaning.. Generally when one uses ambiguous words or sentences, one does not consciously entertain their unintended meanings, although there is psycholinguistic evidence that when one hears ambiguous words one momentarily accesses and then rules out their irrelevant senses. When people use ambiguous language, generally its ambiguity is not intended. Occasionally, however, ambiguity is deliberate. 4
  • 5. AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE AMBIGUITY IN NATURAL LANGUAGES “You would expect that since languages are constantly changing, they would evolve to get rid of Ambiguity. But if you look at natural languages, they are massively ambiguous: Words have multiple meanings, there are multiple ways to parse strings of words. To borrow a phrase from Geography: "The map is not the land". Language can be used to embody ideas, but not all ideas can be pinned down in one word. Japanese has a lot of words for cultural concepts, but they are more defined by each individuals' experience, upbringing, and social circle than by some dictionary entry. It is hard to have an efficient culling of ambiguity when meaning can be dependent on one's circumstances. If you look at most spoken English, the vast majority of the words have one or maybe two syllables at most. Many of the words we use are quite flexible, though, having many, many meanings. Philosophers interest in ambiguity has largely stemmed from concerns regarding the regimentation of natural language in formal logic: arguments that may look good in virtue of their linguistic form in fact can go very wrong if the words or phrases involved are equivocal. Philosophers have often found ambiguity the sort of thing one needs to avoid and eradicate. When they do their serious Philosophical business. Frege worried about the phenomenon enough to counsel against allowing any multiplicities of sense in a perfect language. Authors, poets, lyricists and the like, on the other hand, have often found ambiguity to be an extremely powerful tool. 5
  • 6. AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE Senior author of the study Ted Gibson, an MIT professor of cognitive science says: "Various people have said that ambiguity is a problem for communication. But once we understand that context disambiguates, then ambiguity is not a problem - it's something you can take advantage of, because you can reuse easy [words] in different contexts over and over again." SOME EXAMPLES OF AMBIGUITY • I promise I'll give you a ring tomorrow. (Ring can simply mean calling them on phone but can also mean a piece of jewellery). • He gave her cat food. (Is he giving cat food to her or is he giving her cat some food?) • The lady hit the man with an umbrella. (Is the lady using an umbrella to hit or is she hitting a man who is carrying an umbrella?) • '[Tibetan history] teacher' and 'Tibetan [history teacher]'. • 'Perot knows a richer man than Trump'. (Perot knows a man who is richer than Trump and that Perot knows man who is richer than any man Trump knows) CONCLUSION Language cannot exist without ambiguity; which has represented both a curse and a blessing through the ages. Since there is no one "truth" and no absolutes, we can only rely on relative truths arising from groups of people who, within their particular cultural systems, attempt to answer their own questions and meet their needs for survival. 6
  • 7. AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE REFRENCES • THE ADVANTAGE OF AMBIGUITY IN LANGUAGE. www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/ • KENT BACH, Rout ledge encyclopedia of philosophy entry. http://online.sfsu.edu/kbach/ • Ambiguity (2011) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ • Language Ambiguity: A curse and a blessing, by CECILIA QUIROGA- CLARE www.seasite.niu.edu/ 7