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A study of ambiguity using INTEX

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The resolution of lexical ambiguity presents a problem for researchers in machine translation. Since many words are multiply ambiguous, and it is frequently the case that each of their senses has a different translation into another language, the question of the proper resolution of the translation of an ambiguous word would seem to be central to the construction of a program of machine translation.

However, the study undertaken here of the occurrences of three ambiguous words in current text (the newspaper Le Monde, 1992) shows that up to 80% of the occurrences of these words are in collocations (idioms) or frozen expressions that have an unambiguous translation into English. This indicates that the problem of word ambiguity may in fact be largely exaggerated, and will present a real difficulty in only a small percentage of the occurrences of such words.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/li.22.09sal

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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