LINGUIST List 7.1419

Fri Oct 11 1996

Sum: A Questionnaire "Ambiguous or Unambiguous?"

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <lveselinemunix.emich.edu>


Directory

  1. Eung-Cheon Hah, Sum: A Questionnaire "Ambiguous or Unambiguous?"

Message 1: Sum: A Questionnaire "Ambiguous or Unambiguous?"

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 23:11:02 +0900
From: Eung-Cheon Hah <echeoninterpia.net>
Subject: Sum: A Questionnaire "Ambiguous or Unambiguous?"
Dear linguists,

Sorry that I had to delay providing a summary of my questionaire
posed in Aug. Though a long time has elapsed since then, I feel
I have to be true to my words, so I'm delivering the summary
below. First of all, the original query is again provided. The
numbers specified in the parenthesis indicate that the specified
number of people answered the questions either in the affirmative
or in the negative.


Original Query-------------------------------------------------------------

 Please answer the following questions, bearing in mind the
difference in tense and the second conjunct. What you are
required to do is to put yes or no in the blank provided in the
righthand side of each question. I put aside the unmarked reading
where one and the same nurse/guide examines/accompanies every
..... Directly receive enough responses, I will share them with
you all in the form of a summary.

1. A nurse examines every patient, and Lucie does too. ==>Does
this sentence have a reading where for every patient there is a
different nurse? ( no(6) / yes(10) )

2. A nurse will examine every patient, and Lucie will too.
==>Does this sentence have a reading where for every patient
there is a different nurse? ( no(5) / yes(11) )

3. A nurse examines every patient, and Lucie, the only doctor,
does too. ==>Does this sentence have a reading where for every
patient there is a different nurse? ( no(4) / yes(12) )

4. A nurse will examine every patient, and Lucie, the only
doctor, will too. ==>Does this sentence have a reading where for
every patient there is a different nurse? ( no(5) / yes(11) )

5. A guide accompanies every tour, and Jeanne does too. ==>Does
this sentence have a reading where for every tour there is a
different guide? ( no( 3 ) / yes(13) )

6. A guide will accompany every tour, and Jeanne will too.
==>Does this sentence have a reading where for every tour there
is a different guide? ( no(2) /yes(14) )

7. A guide accompanies every tour to the Eiffel Tower, and
Jeanne does too. ==>Does this sentence have a reading where for
every tour there is a different guide? ( no(2 ) / yes(14) )

8. A guide will accompany every tour to the Eiffel Tower, and
Jeanne will too. ==>Does this sentence have a reading where for
every tour there is a different guide? ( no(2) / yes(14) )


	---------------------------------------------------------

The summary is as follows. Sixteen people answered my questions
and the responses can be grouped into two parts, one being the
set of the first four questions and the other the set of the
others. As seen above, the ratio of 'no' to 'yes,' on the
average, was 5 to 11 in the first set while in the second it
amounts to 2 to 14. The reason the number of 'yes' is relatively
smaller in the first set than in the second is said, by several
of the people, to lie not in the structure but in the
contexts. As far as 'medical facilities' are concerned, it is
practically impossible for every patient to be attended by a
different nurse. In the case of 'tourist facilities,' however,
the context where the guides can vary with the tours is
relatively more conceivable. Interestingly, that the greater part
of the questions are said to have distributive reading shows that
parallelism is hardly observed between the two conjuncts.

Many thanks to the following collegues: Tracy Mansfield, Karen
Stanley, Cynthia Wiseman, Michael Robertson, Dorine Houston, Gary
H. Toops, Bernard Kripkee, Anthony M. Lewis, Karen Davis,
Stirling Newberry, Jayne Al-Hindawe, Anthea Fraser Gupta, Norman
Roberts, Marina & Anthony Green, Dick Watson.

Sincerely,
Eung-Cheon Hah
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue