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Assignment State and Illustrate Levels at which Ambiguity is Possible in Discourse In every human language there are individual expressions used that may have two or more distinct meanings Thus a word phrase or sentence is ambiguous if it has more than one meaning Ambiguity occurs when meaning of a word phrase or sentence can have two possible interpretations and the reader cannot determine from the sentence which is correct A distinctive feature of ambiguity is that one sound makes another sound significant However meaning can vary in a word but can change overtime ambiguity arises in syntax not because of a cluster in a sentence but because of what arises in deep structure and surface structure Ambiguity can occur on four levels 1 Words lexical ambiguity 2 Sentences structural ambiguity 3 Ideas ambiguity of scope 4 Context pragmatic ambiguity There are two types of ambiguity Lexical and Structural Lexical ambiguity is by far the more common The word light for example can mean not very dark Words like light note bear and over are lexically ambiguous They induce ambiguity in phrases and in sentences in which they occur such as light suit and the woman cant bear children However phrases and sentences can be ambiguous even if none of their constituent is The phrase porcelain egg container is structurally ambiguous Ambiguity can have both a lexical and structural basis for example I left her behind for you and he saw her duck Lexical ambiguity occurs because words have multiple meanings Some common examples of lexical ambiguity are nouns like chip pen and suit verbs like call draw and run and adjectives like deep dry and hard Further examples in depth of lexical ambiguity are 1 He picked a date Date used in this context could have a number of meanings Firstly date may refer to a fruit a day of the year an appointment a romantic encounter The sentence is
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