Structural ambiguity examples pdf

Ambiguity is when the meaning of a word, phrase, or sentence is uncertain. There could be more than one meaning. Typically, it is best to avoid ambiguity in your writing. When you make statements that are ambiguous, you confuse the reader and hinder the meaning of the text. However, sometimes ambiguity is used deliberately to add humor to a text.

In "The Rose" by William Blake, there is enough ambiguity about what is meant by "rose," "sick," "bed of joy," and "worm," that the poem is open to many interpretations:. From Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare-Mercutio is dying from his wound, but he attempts to remain lighthearted. The word "grave" has an ambiguous meaning: Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man. Toggle navigation. Ambiguity Ambiguity is when the meaning of a word, phrase, or sentence is uncertain.

Sarah gave a bath to her dog wearing a pink t-shirt. Ambiguity: Is the dog wearing the pink t-shirt? I have never tasted a cake quite like that one before! Ambiguity: Was the cake good or bad? Did you see her dress? Ambiguity: Is she getting dressed or are they talking about her clothes? Examples of Ambiguity in Literature and Speech In "The Rose" by William Blake, there is enough ambiguity about what is meant by "rose," "sick," "bed of joy," and "worm," that the poem is open to many interpretations: "O Rose thou art sick.

The invisible worm, That flies in the night In the howling storm: Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy; And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy" From Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare-Mercutio is dying from his wound, but he attempts to remain lighthearted.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 context. Some structural ambiguity is the result of writing errors, such as misplaced modifiers. That sentence might be intended to mean that the server has plug-in circuit boards, and a human would be likely to understand that.

The term structural ambiguity is often contrasted with lexical word-related ambiguity, which often arises because words can have multiple meanings.

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Both are examples of linguistic ambiguitywhich also results from other things including figurative language and vagueness. Please check the box if you want to proceed. A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United Medical practice management MPM software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and A crisis management plan CMP outlines how to respond to a critical situation that would negatively affect an organization's A business continuity plan BCP is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue A kilobyte KB or Kbyte is a unit of measurement for computer memory or data storage used by mathematics and computer science Megabytes per second MBps is a unit of measurement for data transfer speed to and from a computer storage device.

A zettabyte is a unit of measurement used by technology professionals and the general public to describe a computer or other Home Topics Computer Science Artificial intelligence - machine learning structural ambiguity. This was last updated in January Related Terms artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence AI is the ability of a machine or computer system to copy human intelligence processes, learn from Login Forgot your password?

Forgot your password? No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password. Your password has been sent to:. Please create a username to comment. Powered by:. Search Compliance compliance framework A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with Search Health IT telemedicine telehealth Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the Project Nightingale Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United Search Disaster Recovery crisis management plan CMP A crisis management plan CMP outlines how to respond to a critical situation that would negatively affect an organization's Search Storage kilobyte KB or Kbyte A kilobyte KB or Kbyte is a unit of measurement for computer memory or data storage used by mathematics and computer scienceToday I want to talk about two different kinds of ambiguity and I want to explain how each of these different kinds of ambiguity can give rise to fallacies.

I call them semantic and syntactic ambiguity. So what are these two different kinds of ambiguity? So here are examples, of semantic ambiguity. Semantic ambiguity is when a particular word has two different interpretations.

The two different interpretations are two different interpretations, of that one word. So one example is, consider the newspaper headline, Gandhi stoned in rally in India. Well, there are two different interpretations of the verb stoned.

One interpretation is people threw stones at Gandhi at the rally in India. Another interpretation is, Gandhi was using illicit drugs at the rally in India. So those are two different interpretations of the word stoned, and they give rise to two different interpretations of what someone is saying when they say, Gandhi stoned in rally in India. Consider the sentence, Iraqi head seeks arms. Head could be interpreted to mean a part of the body, like the head.

Or it could be understood to mean a part of the body politic: The head of the body politic, the Iraqi President or the, Head of State, or the Head of their Defence Department or their Military Department, but the head of some Organization.

So the word head could be interpreted to mean, the leader of some organization. It could also be understood to mean the head, the top of the body. Arms, well arms of course could be understood to mean arms.

These appendages or they could be understood to mean weapons. So that sentence has two words, each of which is semantically ambiguous. So consider this argument.

Premise one, Ghandi stoned in rally in India. Premise two, Drug users are not qualified to lead. Conclusion, Ghandi not qualified to lead. Now superficially that might look a valid argument. Right, Gandhi falls into a certain category, stoned in the rally in India. It could be understood as meaning, people threw stones at Gandhi in the rally in India, or it could mean Gandhi was using illicit drugs at the rally in India.

Now, if it means the second thing, then this argument is valid. Gandhi is not qualified to lead. Meredith is in a terrible state. Meredith is in Texas. And therefore Texas is a terrible state.

Superficially, it might seem valid. Meredith is in Texas, so Texas must be a terrible state. The correct way to understand premise one, is on the other interpretation the interpretation according to which a terrible state is a terrible psychological state, not a terrible political or geographical state. Nothing follows. So those are some examples of how semantic ambiguity gives rise to fallacies. Now I said there was another kind of ambiguity, syntactic ambiguity.

Syntactic ambiguity is when you have a phrase, That can be given two different interpretations where the two different interpretations differ in the grammar, in what grammatical categories are assigned, to different parts of that phrase. So let me give you some examples to illustrate the idea. Consider the sentence, the government asks us to save soap and waste paper.To browse Academia.

Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Donald Hindle. Structural Ambiguity and Lexical Relations. This work suggests syntactic nodes Frazier Psycholinguistic work on structure-based strate- Prepositional phrase attachment is the canonical gies is primarily concerned with modeling the time case of structural ambiguity, as in the time worn course of parsing and disambiguation, and propo- example, nents of this approach explicitly acknowledge that other information enters into determining a final 1 I saw the man with the telescope parse.

Semantic and Syntactic Ambiguity

Still, one can ask what information is rel- evant to determining a final parse, and it seems The existence of such ambiguity raises problems that in this domain structure-based disambigua- for understanding and for language models.

It tion is not a very good predictor. A recent study looks like it might require extremely complex com- of attachment of prepositional phrases in a sam- putation to determine what attaches to what. And experiments by Taraban and McClel- Steedman Of course, if attachment am- land show that the structural models are biguity demands reference to semantics and dis- not in fact good predictors of people's behavior in course models, there is little hope in the near term resolving ambiguity.

Resolving ambiguity through lexical associations Structure based ambiguity resolution Whittemore et al. Ford, Bresnan, and Ka- plan ; Marcus In the Whittemore money et al.

Thus, we are accord posed with the problem: how can we get a good enrage radical list of lexical preferences. WHPRO Our proposal is to use cooccurrence of with spare it prepositions in text as an indicator of lexical pref- grant concession erence. Thus, for example, the preposition to oc- determine flaw curs frequently in the context send NP -- i. Similarly, from occurs frequently in the context withdrawal -- and this is evidence of a lexical as- sociation of the noun withdrawal with the prepo- sition for.

Example b is an instance of a noun sition from. Of course, this kind of association phrase whose head is money; this noun phrase is, unlike lexical selection, a symmetric notion.

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Example c represents an in- the verb is selecting the preposition or vice versa. It is a separate matter, which we is the object of a verb. Example d is an instance unfortunately cannot pursue here, to assign the of a noun phrase with head government, which is association to a particular linguistic licensing re- the object of the verb control but is followed by no lation.

The suggestion which we want to explore preposition. Example j represents an instance of is that the association revealed by textual distri- the ambiguity we are concerned with resolving: a bution whether its source is a complementation - noun phrase head is concessionwhich is the ob- relation, a modification relation, or something else ject of a verb grantfollowed by a preposition - gives us information needed to resolve the prepo- to.

From the 13 million word sample, 2, noun phrases were identified.

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Of these,were recognized as the object of a verb, and Discovering Lexical Associa-were followed by a preposition. Of the tion in Text noun phrase objects identified,were am- biguous verb-noun-preposition triples. A 13 million word sample of Associated Press new stories from were automatically parsed by the Fidditch parser Hindleusing Church's Estimating attachment prefer- part of speech analyzer as a preprocessor Church ences From the syntactic analysis provided by the parser for each sentence, we extracted a table Of course, the table of verbs, nouns and preposi- containing all the heads of all noun phrases.

For tions does not directly tell us what the strength each noun phrase head, we recorded the follow- lexical associations are. There are three potential ing preposition if any occurred ignoring whether sources of noise in the model. First, the parser in or not the parser attached the preposition to the some cases gives us false analyses.

Second, when noun phraseand the preceding verb if the noun a preposition follows a noun phrase or verbit phrase was the object of that verb. Thus, we gen- may or may not be structurally related to that erated a table with entries including those shown noun phrase or verb. In our terms, it may at- in Table 1. We will proceed to build resenting our guess about what prepositions asso- the model of lexical association strength, aware of ciate with what nouns or verbs, made on the basis these sources of noise.

To do this we ment need to try to assign each preposition that occurs either to the noun or to the verb that it occurs Given the table of bigrams, derived as described with. In some cases it is fairly certain that the above, we can define a simple procedure for de- preposition attaches to the noun or the verb; in termining the attachment for an instance of verb- other cases, it is far less certain.This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.

Learn more Got it! Have you ever been accused of being ambiguous? It means you're being unclear or inexact. Ambiguity is a funny thing. Sometimes, people do it on purpose. Other times, they don't know they're doing it.

Sometimes, people enjoy a little ambiguity because it feels like you're solving a puzzle. Other times, they find it annoying and want you to just "come out with it.

In speech and writing, however, ambiguity can be a useful tool.

structural ambiguity examples pdf

In your speech, you might want to use ambiguity to make your audience consider things for themselves. In a creative writing piece, you'll be dealing with some sort of conflict, climax, and resolution. Within that story arc lies the opportunity to be a bit ambiguous while setting the stage for the conclusion. Together, let's explore a few examples of ambiguity. We'll see how it's used and how you can add it to your toolkit for your next big piece.

Let's take a look at some common examples of ambiguity.

structural ambiguity examples pdf

Hopefully, these will get the wheels turning so you can incorporate a little bit into your everyday speech and writing. Each of these general examples of ambiguity can carry double meanings:. Marcy got the bath ready for her daughter wearing a pink tutu. Was Marcy wearing the tutu?

Or was her daughter? Well, I've certainly never tasted chicken cooked that way before! Was the chicken good or bad? Call me a taxi, please. Is the speaker asking someone to hail them a taxi or to be called a taxi? Stop trying to push the envelope. Is someone trying to push the boundaries in a current situation or literally push an envelope across a desk? I saw someone on the hill with a telescope.To browse Academia.

Semantic and Syntactic Ambiguity

Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Lexical and Syntactic Ambiguity in Humor. Danin Christianto. Ambiguity can be caused by the ambiguous lexicon in which a word has more than one meaning and it can also be caused by the syntactic structure. Context also determines whether the sentence can be interpreted differently and become ambiguous. Ambiguity often causes confusion and it has become one of the phenomena in linguistic studies, particularly semantics. This study investigates ambiguity in creating humors in which the data were gathered from electronic sources in forms of newspaper headlines, jokes, riddles and anecdotes.

The number of the data collection includes 25 cases of ambiguity. The results showed that lexical ambiguity and syntactic ambiguity were the language devices used to create puns in humor. The results also suggested that the ambiguity could be an effective source of humor when it particularly involves dual interpretations in which one interpretation gives a serious meaning and tone, whereas the other interpretation gives a humorous meaning which is not likely to occur in normal contexts.

Ambiguous sentences have more than one meaning and sense. The different meanings can elicit different and humorous senses in certain contexts. In many humors and jokes, this kind of wordplay is often used. Therefore, it can be seen that ambiguity is an important means of creating puns in jokes, or riddles. Ambiguity is also deliberately employed in many contexts to elicit a sense of wit and to make a sentence more attractive, or to make people curious about it.

In some newspaper headlines and advertisement slogans, ambiguous sentences are sometimes used. Ambiguity, as a language device, is commonly used to create puns in humors which gives some insights into how word play can manipulate the interpretation of meaning resulting in humorous and witty senses.

This suggests that due to the multi-interpretations, certain different senses of a single sentence can confuse the meanings and give different comprehensions which may elicit humors in certain contexts. These prior studies found that ambiguity is a source which is oftenly used to create humor.

There are two types of ambiguity commonly used as the source of humors, i. The former one refers to ambiguity conveyed through polysemous words or homonymous strings, while the latter refers to phenomena of ambiguous word order, referential ambiguity, prepositional phrase arrangement e. This study is limited to the discussion of those two kinds of ambiguity since they are the most employed types of ambiguity found in humors.

The purpose of this study is to identify the types of ambiguity used in the ambiguous sentences which elicit humors, whether it is lexical or syntactic ambiguity. The study will also investigate the process on how the pun is created due to the multi interpretations of the sentence by analysing the meanings and senses that it elicits.

The study attempts to answer the research questions below: 1 What kind of ambiguity does the sentence contain? This ambiguity utilises homonymy, and polysemy in creating the ambiguity, and can involve word class change. Homonymy refers to the unrelated senses of the same phonological word Kreidler, Homonymy can include homographs, senses of the same written word, and homophones, senses of the same spoken word. Polysemy is similar to homonymy because both deal with multiple senses of the same phonological word, but polysemy is invoked if the senses are judged to be related Kreidler, Some examples of lexical ambiguity and the dual meanings are shown below.

structural ambiguity examples pdf

Although saw also can belong to a noun, meaning a tool for cutting woods Longman Dictionarythe possible interpretations are limited to the verbs due to the syntactic grammatical requirement of the sentence. The contexts of the word occurrence also make it possible for the meanings to be both interpreted. The second type of ambiguity, syntactic ambiguity occurs in a sentence level.

This ambiguity occurs because of the structure of the sentence. The example of syntactic ambiguity is the ambiguous meanings of the sentence: ii I shot an elephant in my pajama. This sentence can have more than one interpretation.The Golden Rules of Disambiguation. Examples of Ambiguity.

structural ambiguity

Ambiguity makes it impossible for us to determine the truth-value of a statement. Here's a Worksheet. Ambiguity is important to logic and to careful thinking more generally because if a sentence is ambiguous, it affects our ability to evaluate its truth-value. More specifically, if a sentence is ambiguous, then there are at least two distinct meanings that can be attributed to it, and these two meanings represent different statements.

Therefore, until we rid sentences of ambiguity, we are not in a position to evaluate their truth-value. You might think of an ambiguous sentence as comparable to a picture or sign that conveys more than a single meaning. Furthermore, when ambiguous sentences occur in the context of arguments either as premises or conclusionwe cannot evaluate their contribution to the argument. Therefore, ridding sentences of ambiguity is a preliminary task that must be completed before you can successfully evaluate an argument.

To disambiguate a sentence, you must write at least two sentences that are free of the original ambiguity. Indeed, a part of the rationale for learning how to disambiguate is to ensure that you no longer confuse ambiguity with vagueness. Make sure your new sentences are free of the original ambiguity, since this can occur despite a change of syntax, the use of synonyms, or the adding of words.

Check your new sentences to make sure they are ambiguity-free. Syntactic ambiguity occurs whenever a sentence can be understood as having two or more distinct meanings as a result of the order of the words within the sentence. Semantic ambiguity occurs whenever one or more words within a sentence can be understood as having two or more distinct meanings. Grouping ambiguity occurs whenever the meaning of a sentence is affected by whether we understand a word or phrase to refer to individual members of a group, or a group as a whole.

Closely related to this type of ambiguity are the fallacies of composition and division. The fallacy of composition occurs when somebody asserts that because the parts of x have a certain quality, property, or disposition, then so too must the whole of x.

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The fallacy of division occurs when somebody asserts that because the whole of x has a certain quality, property, or disposition, then so too must the parts of x.

Verbal ambiguity occurs whenever a sentence admits of more than one meaning, but these multiple meanings are eliminated once the sentence is written down. Since I have written these out, however, you know immediately to which I am referring and thus the written form immediately eliminates the ambiguity. Argumentative Essays. Audio Attraction. Critical Thinking. Definition Types.

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