Lexical Syntactic Ambiguity Analysis

937 Words4 Pages
Franz (1996: 30) additionally addresses the lexical-syntactic ambiguities involved in word class change. He observes ambiguity in prepositional phrase attachment as “structural” while designating part of speech ambiguity as “lexical syntactic ambiguity.” From Franz’s point of view, lexical-syntactic ambiguity seems to prevail at the word level (“many words can belong to more than one syntactic category or part of speech” (32)), while structural ambiguity belongs to the sentence level (“when more than one syntactic structure could be assigned to a given sentence, the sentence is structurally ambiguous”(33)).
What is more, his approach considers that changes in the meaning of a word often encourage changes in syntax at the word level. While
…show more content…
However, many authors regard word class ambiguity as an indicator of structural or syntactic ambiguity. Stageberg (1971: 356) views word class ambiguity as one of three types of structural ambiguity which “stems from the grammar of English, not from the meanings of words”.
Taha (1983: 253) also places word class ambiguities in the structural domain regardless of a double lexical meaning. In applying the example “French teacher,” he supports its lexical nature with two meanings of the phrase “a teacher of French, or as a native of France who teaches”; still he identifies the ambiguity as syntactic, concentrating on the confusion between compound noun and noun phrase containing a modifier. Bucaria’s (2004: 281) study of humorous headlines also demonstrates support for word class ambiguity as syntactic. In his categorization of 135 humorous headlines, all of those which changed word class were considered syntactic.
Perhaps Oaks (1994: 377) makes the clearest distinction. He uses the following two examples to illustrate: “Man in restaurant: I’ll have two lamb chops, and make them lean, please. Waiter: To which

More about Lexical Syntactic Ambiguity Analysis

Open Document