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LING6930: Language and Meaning: Assignment 2 I. Consider the following sentences and identify any instances of vagueness or ambiguity in them. If there are any instances of ambiguity, state whether t

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LING6930: Language and Meaning: Assignment 2 I. Consider the following sentences and identify any instances of vagueness or ambiguity in them. If there are any instances of ambiguity, state whether they are lexical or structural. If a sentence does not contain any instances of ambiguity or vagueness, say so. (2 pts.). a. The cricket ball hit a fan. b. The teacher said on Tuesday he would give a test. II. State whether the following sentences, in their most likely interpretation, have any of the following modalities: epistemic, dynamic, deontic. If a sentence has more than one of these, s...

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LING6930: Language and Meaning: Assignment 2 I. Consider the following sentences and identify any instances of vagueness or ambiguity in them. If there are any instances of ambiguity, state whether they are lexical or structural. If a sentence does not contain any instances of ambiguity or vagueness, say so. (2 pts.). a. The cricket ball hit a fan. b. The teacher said on Tuesday he would give a test. II. State whether the following sentences, in their most likely interpretation, have any of the following modalities: epistemic, dynamic, deontic. If a sentence has more than one of these, state all which it has. If a sentence has none of these modalities, say so. (6 points) a. Your hypothesis could be wrong. b. John eats a lot of celery. c. You may not have noticed that your glasses are dirty. d. My letter should be received by next Wednesday. e. You can phone me at any time, even late at night. f. Everyone must read my paper about presuppositions. III. State whether the following sentences, in their most likely interpretation, describe activities, states, accomplishments, or achievements. If a sentence describes more than one of these, state all which it describes. If a sentence describes none of these, say so. (5 points) a. John finished the race. b. The politicians destroyed the university. c. Mary is very fond of hyponyms. d. John and Mary argued about conventional implicatures. e. John told us a story. IV. In the following sentences how many deictic, anaphoric (in a narrow sense), and cataphoric elements are there? For each deictic item, state what kind of deixis is involved (i.e. person deixis, place deixis, time deixis, social deixis, empathetic deixis, or discourse deixis). If there are no elements of a certain type (e.g. no anaphoric items) in a sentence, state this explicitly. Explain your answer in relation to each element that you mention. (5 points) a. Can you see those people by the gate? b. Manchester and Birmingham are two of the largest cities in England. c. On May 12, 1996 a friend told me something very significant. It was a bit of news that he had been concerned about for quite some time. V. Which of the following relations, if any, hold between the members of the following pairs: presupposition, conventional implicature, conversational implicature? If more than one of these relations holds, state all of them. If none of these relations holds between the members of a pair, say so. If there is a conversational implicature, state which maxim(s) is/are involved. Consider all sentences in their literal sense. Explain your answers. (2 points) 1. a. John went to Spain or Germany last week. b. The speaker of this sentence does not know which of these countries John went to. 2. a. John went to Spain or Germany last week. b. John did not go to Belgium last week. VI. Identify the semantic roles of the underlined items in the following sentences in their most likely interpretation. Your choices are agent, patient, instrument, cause, experiencer, phenomenon, location, temporal, goal, source, accompanier, attribute. If an item has more than one of these, identify all the roles which it has. If an item does not have any of these roles (either because it does not have a role at all, or because it has one that is different from the ones listed), state this. (5 points) a. The hurricane destroyed my boat. b. Bill passed the basketball to his teammate. c. Bill’s teammate was impatient. d. This glue will fix anything. e. Mary will depart tomorrow.

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LING6930: Language and Meaning: Assignment 2

Due Date: November 3, 2017 at 11 p.m.             Marked out of 25; worth 25% of total grade

I. Consider the following sentences and identify any instances of vagueness or ambiguity in them. If there are any instances of ambiguity, state whether they are lexical or structural. If a sentence does not contain any instances of ambiguity or vagueness, say so. (2 pts.).

a.The cricket ball hit a fan. 
The use of impersonation is eminent in that the cricket ball had the ability to hit a fan which in itself is vague.
b.The teacher said on Tuesday he would give a test.
This sentence has a structural ambiguousness; the day the teacher made the statement was on Tuesday. It could also mean the teacher referred to the day to sit for the test

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