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CHAT: EU allumettes (was: Re: THEORY/CHAT: Talmy,

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 5, 2004, 8:43
From:    And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
> Tommie L Powell: > And Rosta wrote: > > > > Politically, of course. But not linguistically. I think it is > > > instructive to realize that a language that has the > > > expressive capabilities of a natlang but that is > > > unambiguous is linguistically achievable. > > > > Actually, there are some natlangs that are very nearly > > impossible to make ambiguous statements in (without > > violating mandatory rules of grammar). Czech is one > > I react with polite skepticism. I wonder whether you are thinking > only of syntactic ambiguity? (I have often heard it said that > languages with well-marked case systems are less prone to > ambiguity.)
I think I should second this. All natural languages have vague predicates, lexemes that inherently fuzzy like _bald_ or _yellow_ or _fuzzy_. And I'll betcha they also have plenty of syntactically ambiguous constructions too. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637