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M. Rayhan Bustam. The Analysis of Ambiguous Structures Through The Structural Ambiguity Concept

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The Analysis of Ambiguous Structures Through The Structural Ambiguity Concept

MUHAMMAD RAYHAN BUSTAM, S.S.

English Department

Faculty Of Letters

Indonesia University Of Computer

ABSTRACT

The Analysis of Ambiguous Structures Through The

Structural Ambiguity Concept

description of structural ambiguity. Structural ambiguity is a kind of ambiguities

which occurs when a phrase, clause or sentence can be given two or more different

interpretations as a result of the arrangement of words (the structure). The

structural ambiguity can arise even though there is no word(s) are ambiguous in the

structure. The result of the paper shows that the structural ambiguity can occur in

some structures, namely: Noun Phrase, Prepositional Phrase, Relative Clause, Noun

Clause, and also the combination of those with conjunction (coordinating).

INTRODUCTION

Language plays a great part in our life. Everybody uses language to communicate

with each other. It is also used to express our reaction to certain situation, and to reveal

our ideas, thoughts, feelings, or emotions. Horn by (1995:662) says that language is the

system of sounds and words used by humans to express their thoughts and feelings.

Human, as a social creature uses language to build relationship with other through

communication; therefore, the communication itself, both written and spoken, is very

important in human’s life.

In our daily life, sometimes communication can’t be run well if we don’t state our

utterance in clear meaning. It makes the listener or the reader interpret our utterance in

different meaning. Actually, to understand a written language is rather difficult than a

spoken language because if the listener doesn’t understand what we say, he/she can ask

us directly what we mean. On the other hand, if the reader doesn’t understand what we

had written in a book, a novel, and the other text media, he/she can’t ask us directly. It

makes the reader come to misinterpreting or misunderstanding about the message in the

text. This misunderstanding is known as ambiguity.

According to Leech (1981:30) an expression is said to be ambiguous when more

than one interpretation can be assigned to it. Furthermore, Rodman and Fromkin

(1983:129) also state that a word, a phrase, or a sentence is ambiguous if it can be

understood or interpreted in more than one way. From the quotations above we can

simply conclude that an ambiguity occurs when a word, a phrase, or a sentence has more

than one meaning.

The above explanation encourages the writer to conduct a research about the

ambiguity, specifically structural ambiguity. The writer will focus on investigating the

problem “in what way some structures can be structural ambiguities”. The data are taken