Ambiguity in Eyoh Etim’S Past Echoes
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Eyoh Etim’s past echoes is a text that is filled with Syntactic ambiguity which is the phenomenon in which the same sequence of words has two or meanings due to different phrase structure analysis. Semantic ambiguity is a word that has more than one meaning. Ambiguity is one of linguistic expressions so; it is not something people should avoid it because has its importance in several fields such as humor and advertising. To catch the reader’s attention, headlines in newspapers or magazines tend use syntactic and lexical ambiguity. This paper sets out some of the linguistic ambiguities for both syntactic and lexical provided with examples for each.
Ambiguity refers to the state of having or expressing more than one possible meaning or something open to more than one possible meaning. It refers to the state in which a word or a statement, any linguistic entity, can be understood in more than one way. It is the state where it is difficult to locate a precise meaning or provide an explanation since it involves many different meanings. Ambiguity is uncleanness by virtue of having more than one meaning. With respect to interpretation, ambiguity is doubtfulness or uncertainty.
Copious Example Of Ambiguity In Eyoh Etim,S Past Echoes
In Etim’s past echoes , so many of this ambiguous words are used by the writer for example in chapter three of the text, the uses ofthe word, “He touched Etiene-Obong and the latter turned to meet his happy sad face”.(p.61) the used of the two opposite word “happy” and “sad” is ambiguous. “the evening breeze was caressing” has more than one meaning, breeze means air and it can also mean an activity that is not difficult.
Another ambiguous sentence can be seen in page (37) chapter (4) of the text thus “the clock was struck five “the sentence have two meaning, it can mean that it was 5 o’clock and it can also mean that the clock on the wall was struck 5 times. Another example is in page (30) of the text, ‘may be someone has leaked their secret to the robbers’, the word leaked has more than one meaning it can mean a crack on something or the disclosure of and important information. In page (33) Etim also used an ambiguous word, “the shooting went on for what seem an eternity” the word eternity is ambiguous because it can mean for a long time or the reminder of time after death.
Other examples of Ambiguity
Another example of ambiguity can be seen in the word “open door” it can means that the door is open and it can also mean freedom or breakthrough (chapter 4 p.33). another example of ambiguous word is in this sentence “the young thief staggered to his feet” the word “staggered” has so many meaning, it can mean an unsteady movement and it can also mean; a motor condition . another one can be seen in this word “oozing” the word has more than on meaning , it could mean for a liquid to come out slowly and it could also mean for so for a very thick and unpleasant liquid.(p.57). Etim’s past echoes is a text that is full with so many ambiguous words and sentences which has more than one meaning.
Ambiguity In Eyoh Etim’S Past Echoes
Announce (p4): With a four-litre container to announce that she was… in literally meaning announce means to tell the general public
Nerves (pg5): Theresa soon finished her washings went into the living room to relax her nerves. Here to relax her nerves means taking rest. But in literal sense nerves means stress, nervous tension, worry, anxiety.
Test (pg7) in contextual meaning, test here means temptation. But in literally meaning, test means examination, assessment, experiment, analysis, ordeal, investigation and trial.
Injection (pg9) and the bloom stick will give him injection. In contextual meaning, injection means jab, shot, inoculation, vaccination, addition, booster, insertion and introduction.
Deep-rooted (pg4) he had a deep-rooted hatred for him. Deep-rooted means strong, powerful, innate, deep-seated, inherent, entrenched, subconscious etc.
Go (pg16) it did not even occur to him that the school bell may go any moment. In contextual meaning, go means ring, but in literary meaning, go means leave, depart, set off, set out, exit walk away etc.
Shape (pg16) Awot had left home that morning in good shape. In contextual meaning, shape here means normal emotion, or good feeling. But in literary meaning shape here means form, figure, outline, silhouette, profile, contour, character and nature.
Fell (pg18) He fell in step with them. Step here means follow in contextual sense but in literary sense knock down, knock out, floor, destroy, chop, cut down etc.
Another ambiguous sentence can be seen in page (37) chapter (4) of the text thus “the clock was struck five “the sentence has two meaning, it can mean that it was 5 o’clock and it can also mean that the clock on the wall was struck 5 times
When we are not able to derive meaning or understanding from literary texts, we are alienated from them. But ambiguity can assist us in coming to terms with the meaning of literature as a unique form of verbal expression. Ambiguity is not a lack of clarity, but instead it is the element in literature that provides the space for reflectivity and interpretive creativity.
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