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Grammar In ESL: Reasoning & Discussion, Lexical Ambiguity (Research Paper Sample)


grammar in esl


Lexical Ambiguity
Structural Ambiguity8-9CONCLUSION9-10REFERENCES11-12
Do not copy the assignment question and instructions to your answer.
Prepare your assignment answer following the layout of the ASSESSMENT CRITERIA shown in the RUBRICS provided for the course. Where RUBRICS are not provided, follow the instructions/guidelines specified by the Faculty for the assignment concerned.
Your assignment should be between 2500 to 3000 words (depending on number of words outlined in the assignment instruction) EXCLUDING references.
Type your answer using 12 point Times New Roman font and 1.5 line spacing.
Show the number of words at the end of your assignment.
Tables and figures where provided, should be appropriately titled.
List your references separately in the APPENDIX page.
Languages are essential tools for human to communicate with each other and record and transfer information every day; and without it, we cannot communicate with each other properly. It is difficult to imagine the situation without language delivery and it is through language, either spoken or written, that people talk, share their thoughts, feelings and emotions (Longman Group UK, 1998). On another note, a natural language is not so perfectly designed to transfer all the information in an expected way, as some flaws in a language are inevitable. For instance, the ambiguity of a language, which causes confusion in people's common utterances. As a result, different interpretations of the same utterance may result in various interpretations and this may create a misunderstanding between the listener and speaker. This misunderstanding is called ambiguity, which is the result of the difficulty of comprehension of listeners. This ambiguity is actually quite a common phenomenon among different languages as there are often certain ambiguous words and sentences appearing in human's utterances and acquiring a more precise clarification from the speakers (Matthews, 1997).
The purpose of this assignment is to understand lexical and structural ambiguity and decide whether it is easy to understand lexical and structural ambiguity as a second language (L2) speaker of English (Saeed, 2003). Hence, this assignment attempts to focus on explaining the lexical and structural ambiguity as well as to give reasoning to support my stand. Literature review is provided to support each of the reason I offered for my stand on whether it is easy to understand lexical and structural ambiguity as a L2 speaker of English (Clough, 1989).
Ambiguity arises when a single word or phrase is associated in the language system with more than one meaning, which means a sentence can be interpreted in different ways and it may be caused by multiple meanings of one word (lexical ambiguity), by different structures of a sentence (structural ambiguity), or even by a combination of lexical and structural ambiguity.

Lexical ambiguity occurs when there is an ambiguous word or phrase (which has more than one possible meaning) within a sentence (Cruse, 2000). It is also known as semantic ambiguity, and this phenomenon is a result of polysemy, which refers to the coexistence of many possible meanings for a word or phrase. Lexical ambiguity is sometimes used deliberately to create pun and other wordplays; some writers and speakers even use this kind of ambiguity as an element of literature to make a sentence more meaningfully (Fromkin et al., 2006). These are some examples of lexical ambiguity:
We saw her duck.
It could mean either we saw her pet animal (noun) or we saw her bend to avoid something (duck could be a verb).
The minister married his sister.
It could mean either his sister married the minister or the minister performed his sister

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