What is structural ambiguity in linguistics

By Zut | 08.07.2021

what is structural ambiguity in linguistics

The Analysis Of Lexical And Structural Ambiguity English Language Essay

Jan 06, Structural or syntactic ambiguity is the potential of multiple interpretations for a piece of written or spoken language because of the way words or phrases are organized. Linguistic ambiguity makes it difficult for a human or an AI system, such as a natural language processing (NLP) program, to determine meaning unless further information is available that clarifies the odishahaalchaal.com: Ivy Wigmore. Jul 17, Distinct underlying interpretations that have to be represented differently in deep structure is called Structural Ambiguity. Tree Diagram A tree diagram is a way of representing the hierarchical nature of a structure in a graphical form.

In English grammarsyntactic ambiguity also called structural ambiguity or grammatical ambiguity is the presence of two or more possible meanings within a single sentence or sequence of wordsas opposed to lexical ambiguitywhich is the presence of two or more possible meanings within a single word. The intended meaning of a syntactically ambiguous phrase can generallyalthough not alwaysbe determined by the context of its use.

Syntactic ambiguity generally results from poor word choice. If care is not used when selecting phrases that taken in a connotative rather than a denotative context may have more than one meaning, or if the sentences in which they're used are not properly constructed, the results can often be confusing for readers or listeners.

Here are some examples:. In "Cognitive Psychology," authors M. Eysenck and M. Keane tell us that some syntactic ambiguity occurs at a "global level," meaning entire sentences can be open to two or more possible interpretations, citing the sentence, "They are cooking apples," as an example.

The ambiguity is whether the word "cooking" is being used as an adjective or a verb. If it's an adjective, "they" refers to the apples and "cooking" identifies the type of apples being discussed. If it's a verb, "they" refers to the people who are cooking the apples. The authors go on to say that listeners can figure out which meaning is implied in spoken sentences "by using prosodic cues in the form how to do this math problem step by step free stress, intonationand so on.

They explain that if the women sitting on the bench are not elderly, when the word "men" is spoken it will be relatively long in duration, while "the stressed syllable in 'women' will have a steep rise in speech contour. Syntactic ambiguity is not usually something one strives for in clear communication, however, it does have its uses.

One of the most entertaining is how to find business owner name double meanings are applied for comedic purposes.

Ignoring the accepted context of a phrase and embracing an alternative meaning often ends in a laugh. The ambiguity here is lies within the phrase "small world. Comparatively speaking, the worldas in the Earthmay not be as large as other planets, but it would still be a Herculean chore to paint it. Share Flipboard Email. Richard Nordquist. English and Rhetoric Professor. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks.

Updated September 18, Cite this Article Format. Nordquist, Richard. Syntactic Ambiguity. Lexical Ambiguity Definition and Examples. The Definition of 'Conjunct' in Grammar. Definition and Examples of Referents in English Grammar. Definitions and Examples of Passivization in English. Definition and Examples of Vagueness in How to be a classroom assistant. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience.

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Sentences With Multiple Possible Meanings

Sep 18, In English grammar, syntactic ambiguity (also called structural ambiguity or grammatical ambiguity) is the presence of two or more possible meanings within a single sentence or sequence of words, as opposed to lexical ambiguity, which is the presence of two or more possible meanings within a single word. Structural ambiguity refers to sentences in which the meaning of the words is not the issue, but how they are related. Consider the sentence "She saw a man with binoculars." Does it mean that she looked through binoculars and saw a man, or does it mean that she saw a man, and he had binoculars with him? Structural Ambiguity A sentence is called structurally ambiguous if there is more than one complete structural description that may be assigned to it (Tesar, par. 1).

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What is Syntax? It implies the way in which words are arranged so as to reveal relationships of meanings within sentences and often between them. It studies combinations of words including word-structure and sentence-structure. What is Grammar? Grammar is a word that confuses considerably. It has been approached and defined differently by different scholars and schools of linguistics. But for a long time, this term has been used very closely to incorporate the whole study of language.

Generative Grammar Generative Grammar is a grammar in which a set of formal rules are used to generate or define the membership of an infinite set of grammatical sentences in a language. Instead of analyzing a single sentence, this grammar devises a set of rules of construction that may help in generating sentences or structures in an infinitely large number.

This grammar attempts to produce all and only grammatical sentences of language. We can produce a large number of infinite phrase using this rule. Passive Voice Some linguists, in particular Noam Chomsky, have tried to account for this similarity by positing that these two sentences are distinct different surface forms that derive from a common deep structure.

Passive Voice The distinction between them is a difference in their surface structure. They have different syntactic forms of individual sentence. This superficial difference is called surface structure. And so on An abstract level of structural organization in which all the elements determining structural interpretation are represented is called deep structure. OR The underlying level where the basic components can be represented is called their deep structure.

Explanation can show in the first sentence two ideas: i. Annie had an umbrella and she bumped into a man. Annie bumped into a man when he happened to be carrying an umbrella. Small boys are playing with young girls. Small boys and all girls are playing. Distinct underlying interpretations that have to be represented differently in deep structure is called Structural Ambiguity. A child can kick a football.

Lexical Rules As we know, phrase structure rules generate structures. To turn those structures into recognizable English, we also need lexical rules that specify which words can be used when we rewrite constituents such as N.

Movement rules It is easy to represent Declarative forms in tree diagrams. You will help Mary. Will you help Mary? Movement rules Simply Will you help Mary? Movement rules You will help Mary. The man [who the girl [who sneezed] saw] is my friend. The man [who the girl [who Peter [who knows] met] saw] is my friend. The rules of grammar will also need the crucial property of recursion. In this, we can put sentences inside other sentences and these sentences can be generated inside another sentences.

Traditionally, such sentences are called clauses that-clause In the above examples, that is called complementizer C. We can say that sentences with that are Complement Phrase CP. Query Session Thanks You just clipped your first slide! Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later. Now customize the name of a clipboard to store your clips. Visibility Others can see my Clipboard. Cancel Save.

3 thoughts on “What is structural ambiguity in linguistics

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