From: Mike Sangrey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Oct 20 2000 - 11:01:18 EDT
> I would argue that the situation is much worse than this. I would
> argue that all words and morphemes are ambiguous, (ambiguous meaning
> that they have many meanings). The lists of Wallace and the many
> entries in BADG or Kittle illustrate the many possible meanings of
> words and morphemes. When you put these words and morphemes into
> phrases and sentences, however, the ambiguity lessens. When you put
> these sentences into paragraphs, the meanings become clearer. When
> you put these paragraphs into sections and divisions, then the
> meanings become even clearer. When you have multiple
> non-contradictory books in a corpus, then the ambiguity is lessened
> even more. When you live out the meaning of a given text, then the
> ambiguity for is also lessened by the feedback of reality. (Clearer
> means having one distinct meaning that could fit the context.)
You're a wonderful person!!!!
I was beginning to think I was the only one who thought this is the key.
I couldn't help but think as I was pondering through this discussion that
the forms (eg genitive) are rather fuzzy packages and the many categories
should NOT be thought of as categories of the form, but the effect of a
particular context upon a particular form. There would then be common
categories presented to us from the many contexts, but the resulting
taxonomy would by necessity be fuzzy since the possible contexts are
In other words, if you are right, and I think you are, then your
hypothesis would predict that grammarians would continue to argue over
what the categories should be. Well...Duh!
I would add only one thing--as one applies what you've said above IN
COMMUNITY the meaning becomes even clearer. Within the context of
interpersonal relationships, in the context of people, the meaning becomes
Diversity coupled with humility generates unity; and unity clarifies the
> If this is true, then the problem with our semantics is simply that we
> do a poor job of studying the context.
Each of the many language features an author has command of he or she uses
to select and refine the meaning of the text as he or she builds it.
It's OK to think differently, just think together.
Sooner or later that will bring out our faults;
then we can deal with them...together.
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