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Volume :3 Issue : 12 1983      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Levels of Linguistic Ambiguity

Auther : Ahmad El Bakri

This paper aims at presenting the reader with a systematic analysis of the linguistic phenomenon of ambiguity. Unintentional ambiguity, as a feature of human speech, is a source of much misunderstanding among individuals. Intentional ambiguity, on the other hand, is quite often exploited as a source of linguistic humor.

The paper is divided into five sections each allotted to one of the levels of linguistic analysis. The first section deals with phonological ambiguity, the second with morphological ambiguity. The third section which deals with syntactic ambiguity, is divided into four sub-sections, each illustrating one of the different types of class-reference which can result in producing an ambiguous utterance, the fourth and fifth sections deal with lexical and semantic ambiguity, respectively.

The paper also includes an introductory section that reviews the four different scales of linguistic deviation. Viz ungrammaticality, unacceptability, nonsensically, and ambiguity, establishing the linguistic criteria that distinguish one type of deviation from the other. It also tries to define the concept of ambiguity as different from the concept of vagueness or obscurity.

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