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  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 7. AMBIGUITY IN A LANGUAGE REFRENCES • THE ADVANTAGE OF AMBIGUITY IN LANGUAGE. • KENT BACH, Rout ledge encyclopedia of philosophy entry. • Ambiguity (2011) • Language Ambiguity: A curse and a blessing, by CECILIA QUIROGA- CLARE 7