Ambiguity in language essay sample



Hidden implications and ambiguity of expressions frequently pose an obstacle to communication. A kind of ambivalence may arise between two native speakers in their everyday interaction, not even to mention those who learn any foreign language. Lexical units of different languages possess a different amount of ambiguity which creates a barrier for foreign language learners. Ambiguity is also occasional: it may increase in some situations and drop in others.

Interaction through texting gave a boost to ambiguity. A great number of lexical units in the English language have more than one meaning which makes brief communication vague. Words and phrases quickly texted without any context may confuse recipients. Besides, people frequently use words in a figurative way and want others to read between the lines. We use ambiguous words unintentionally like in the case when we are not concentrated on our speech or when our language competence does not allow to avoid ambiguity. However, in some discourses speakers use ambiguity as a tool to evoke critical thinking in their audience.

Recently, linguists started to doubt the fact that ambiguity is a hurdle to communication. Perhaps, development of a language always stimulates ambiguity to some extent. During this process, lexical units and syntactic patterns undergo simplification: lengthy expressions become shorter and mono- or disyllabic words with numerous meanings become preferable. Anyway, all native speakers are able to decipher the meaning of every word which comes in context and is determined by surrounding lexical units. Similarly, the ambiguity of lexical construction may be clarified by the utterance which follows.

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