Navigation Links
MIT: The advantage of ambiguity in language
Date:1/19/2012

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Why did language evolve? While the answer might seem obvious as a way for individuals to exchange information linguists and other students of communication have debated this question for years. Many prominent linguists, including MIT's Noam Chomsky, have argued that language is, in fact, poorly designed for communication. Such a use, they say, is merely a byproduct of a system that probably evolved for other reasons perhaps for structuring our own private thoughts.

As evidence, these linguists point to the existence of ambiguity: In a system optimized for conveying information between a speaker and a listener, they argue, each word would have just one meaning, eliminating any chance of confusion or misunderstanding. Now, a group of MIT cognitive scientists has turned this idea on its head. In a new theory, they claim that ambiguity actually makes language more efficient, by allowing for the reuse of short, efficient sounds that listeners can easily disambiguate with the help of context.

"Various people have said that ambiguity is a problem for communication," says Ted Gibson, an MIT professor of cognitive science and senior author of a paper describing the research to appear in the journal Cognition. "But once we understand that context disambiguates, then ambiguity is not a problem it's something you can take advantage of, because you can reuse easy [words] in different contexts over and over again."

Lead author of the paper is Steven Piantadosi PhD '11; Harry Tily, a postdoc in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, is another co-author.

What do you 'mean'?

For a somewhat ironic example of ambiguity, consider the word "mean." It can mean, of course, to indicate or signify, but it can also refer to an intention or purpose ("I meant to go to the store"); something offensive or nasty; or the mathematical average of a set of numbers. Adding an 's' introduces even more pote
'/>"/>

Contact: Caroline McCall
cmccall5@mit.edu
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related medicine news :

1. Advantages and motivations uncertain behind use of brachytherapy for breast cancer radiotherapy
2. Tart cherry juice drinkers gain sleep advantage
3. Kids of Unhealthy, Disadvantaged Moms More Likely to Be Sickly
4. Complex choices in Medicare Advantage program may overwhelm seniors, study finds
5. Massachusetts health-care reform increased access to care, particularly among disadvantaged
6. Age, gender and social advantage affect success in quitting smoking
7. For back, neck pain, artificial disc replacement has cost, outcome advantages over fusion surgery
8. People Dropping Medicare Advantage Urged to Analyze Options
9. Colorectal cancer survival advantage in MUTYH-associated polyposis
10. New Polio Vaccine Shows Major Advantages: Study
11. Mission Critical Systems and Dress for Success Denver team up to train disadvantaged Colorado women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/26/2014)... According to the Tinnitus ... this is a comprehensive guide that consists ... all types of disorders related to ... due to Ménière's disease ,     Objective ... tinnitus ,     Inner, middle or external ...
(Date:7/26/2014)... The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has ... medication guide for AndroGel to include blood clots in the ... topical low testosterone medication, notes Wright & Schulte LLC. ... the low testosterone theapy drug, has also updated the official ... as signs of a blood clot in the leg and ...
(Date:7/26/2014)... July 26, 2014 According to the ... Vkool.com, this is a comprehensive guide that provides readers ... tattoos . This book also teaches them how to ... medical procedures in their own home for drastic results. ... Rid Tattoo Naturally" book includes step-by-step tutorials and product ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... 26, 2014 2014 Deep ... Permeation Chromatography Industry” is a professional and ... China Gel Permeation Chromatography market. The report ... Gel Permeation Chromatography definition, classification, application, and ... overview. This research covers the international market ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... (PRWEB) July 25, 2014 A federal ... judgment in two DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits ( http://www.depuypinnacle-lawsuit.com/ ... for the claims to go before a jury on ... opinion rendered on July 18th, U.S. District Judge Ed ... the two Plaintiffs’ claims may proceed to trial against ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):Health News:Tinnitus Miracle Book Review Exposes Thomas Coleman's Guide for Treating Tinnitus – Vkool.com 2Health News:FDA Updates AndroGel Risks to Include Blood Clots In Legs and Lungs as Testosterone Treatment Lawsuits Move Forward 2Health News:FDA Updates AndroGel Risks to Include Blood Clots In Legs and Lungs as Testosterone Treatment Lawsuits Move Forward 3Health News:FDA Updates AndroGel Risks to Include Blood Clots In Legs and Lungs as Testosterone Treatment Lawsuits Move Forward 4Health News:FDA Updates AndroGel Risks to Include Blood Clots In Legs and Lungs as Testosterone Treatment Lawsuits Move Forward 5Health News:"Get Rid Tattoo Naturally" Book Review Exposes Jason Carter's Tattoo Removal Guide – Vkool.com 2Health News:"Get Rid Tattoo Naturally" Book Review Exposes Jason Carter's Tattoo Removal Guide – Vkool.com 3Health News:2014 China & Global GPC Industry - Gel Permeation Chromatography Development Trends Now at DeepResearchReports.com 2Health News:2014 China & Global GPC Industry - Gel Permeation Chromatography Development Trends Now at DeepResearchReports.com 3Health News:First Federal DePuy Pinnacle Hip Lawsuits Headed for Trial, As Judge Denies Defense Motions For Dismissal, Summary Judgment, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports 2Health News:First Federal DePuy Pinnacle Hip Lawsuits Headed for Trial, As Judge Denies Defense Motions For Dismissal, Summary Judgment, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports 3Health News:First Federal DePuy Pinnacle Hip Lawsuits Headed for Trial, As Judge Denies Defense Motions For Dismissal, Summary Judgment, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports 4
... a male child on Wednesday at Holtz Children's Hospital. The ... cordis. Seven or eight babies in a million are born ... was born with his heart outside his chest. The breast ... called pericardium had not developed in him. ,The ...
... here that would thrill every gourmet. It is great reading//,that ... It is a full course meal, daubed in rich, saucy ... ,Brian Wansink is the brain behind this unique literary piece, ... and Brand Laboratory. Truly a gourmet, who enjoys every kind ...
... has concluded that monitoring fetal oxygen when a woman is ... be more healthier or decrease the chances of an avoidable ... during labor, it has been a routine practice in modern ... fetus .This is done in the current view held by ...
... found anti-clotting drug called bivalirudin (Angiomax) that beats the ... syndromes such as heart// attacks. This new blood thinner ... acute coronary syndromes. ,The Results of the ... were published in November issue of the New England ...
... concluded that there is a genetic link between SARS in ... human beings through// civet cats. The results were revealed in ... ,The research that was carried out in six civet cats, ... and Guangzhou, in cooperation with the university of Hong Kong, ...
... Nestlé has decided to pump in funds to the tune ... the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne to invest in ... power of the brain. ,The joint venture, envisaged ... children. Also research to lessen the impact of brain degenerative ...
Cached Medicine News:Health News:Naseem’s Heart Put In Its Plac 2Health News:Whet your appetite with “Mindless Eating”: A gourmet's deligh 2Health News:Whet your appetite with “Mindless Eating”: A gourmet's deligh 3Health News:Fetal Oxygen Monitors Not Helpful To Prevent Mishaps In Labor:Says Study 2Health News:New Anti-Clotting Drug Less Risky For Heart Attack Patients 2
(Date:7/25/2014)... NEW YORK , July 25, 2014  Smile ... selected to showcase their Virtual Surgery Simulator among ... 2014, which will take place in Washington, ... for the Performing Arts. "Smile Train ... BioDigital alongside the talented community of innovators in health ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB: GBLX) is pleased to announce the ... LLC, an Illinois limited liability company ... medical marijuana licenses in the state of Illinois ... 20% equity interest in LaurelCo, LLC in exchange for licenses ... well as all technology related to the machines and to ...
(Date:7/25/2014)...  Solanbridge Group Inc (OTC: SLNX) is pleased to ... Buzznbrewz.com and the Letter of Intent issued on July ... Purchase Agreement. Charles R. Shirley , ... have Mr. David Pecoraro and Buzznbrewz.com join ... private sector and developed a tremendous network of contacts ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:Smile Train and BioDigital Selected to Showcase Virtual Surgery Simulator in The Hive at TEDMED 2014 2Smile Train and BioDigital Selected to Showcase Virtual Surgery Simulator in The Hive at TEDMED 2014 3GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc. Partners with LaurelCo, LLC to Obtain Licenses to Cultivate and Dispense Medical Marijuana in Illinois 2GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc. Partners with LaurelCo, LLC to Obtain Licenses to Cultivate and Dispense Medical Marijuana in Illinois 3Solanbridge Group Inc Announces Acquisition of Buzznbrewz.com 2
... Genoptix, Inc. (Nasdaq: GXDX ), a specialized ... for the third quarter of 2009, which includes a ... primarily from strong cash collections related to prior period ... of $32.1 million for the comparable period in 2008, ...
... (Nasdaq: ROCM ) today announced operating results for its ... Company reported sales of $9,009,000 for the current quarter compared ... The Company reported a quarterly net loss of $229,000 or ... or $.03 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of ...
Cached Medicine Technology:Genoptix Reports Continued Strong Growth for the Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 2Genoptix Reports Continued Strong Growth for the Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 3Genoptix Reports Continued Strong Growth for the Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 4Genoptix Reports Continued Strong Growth for the Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 5Genoptix Reports Continued Strong Growth for the Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 6Genoptix Reports Continued Strong Growth for the Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 7Genoptix Reports Continued Strong Growth for the Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 8Genoptix Reports Continued Strong Growth for the Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 9Genoptix Reports Continued Strong Growth for the Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 10Genoptix Reports Continued Strong Growth for the Third Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009 11Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 2Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 3Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 4Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 5Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 6Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 7Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 8Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 9Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 10Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 11Rochester Medical Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results and Announces Final Medicare Approval for Reimbursement for the FEMSOFT(R) Insert 12
The Model 305 is a hand-held, portable, lightweight oximeter designed for spot checking. It has a NiCad rechargeable battery....
... expanded memory capabilities for overnight sleep screening., ... saturation and pulse rate data, and can operate ... needs:, ,1. The Model 130 can retain ... single patient, making the device ideally suited for ...
... inserting a finger into comfortable holder, ... and continuous measurement is performed., ... height. In darker surroundings, back light ... ,Light weight, compact contour and ...
... or spot check pulse oximetry ... an internal rechargeable battery. ... modes make it ideal for ... clinical environment; during emergency air ...
Medicine Products: