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How to interpret ambiguous phrases like "John knows the father of Sam and Leon" with no context?

The ambiguity lies in that you're attempting to interpret the written representation of a segment of a spoken conversation stripped of context, nuance, and inflection. A normal speaker would slur over ...
digimunk's user avatar
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How to interpret ambiguous phrases like "John knows the father of Sam and Leon" with no context?

As you surmise, the phrase "the father of Sam and Leon" can mean either "the father of both Sam and Leon" or "Sam's father and Leon"; but in general, we prefer "X's ...
ruakh's user avatar
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Is the statement “I listen to music on my phone” about the location of the music files or about the device that is used to listen to the music?

Yes, they listen to music that is either stored on the phone, or streamed through the phone. The actual technology isn't specified by the English, since the technology keeps changing. Perhaps in the ...
James K's user avatar
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Is the statement “I listen to music on my phone” about the location of the music files or about the device that is used to listen to the music?

They could mean both or either. But The first inclination would be to assume that the phone is being used as a speaker. Storage may or may not be on the phone. If they had said "I listen to ...
Rohit Gupta's user avatar

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