The sentence “I never said she stole my money” can have 7 different meanings depending on which word you stress. The explicit meanings and possible explanation for why this evolved are below. The potential meanings
I never said she stole my money – the claim wasn’t made by me
I never said she stole my money – I never made the claim
I never said she stole my money – I didn’t utter the claim out loud
I never said she stole my money – possibly someone else stole the money
I never said she stole my money – it could have been a gift
I never said she stole my money – the money was someone else’s
I never said she stole my money – she possibly stole something else
If you consider that multiple words could be stressed, then we have even more meanings. As each word can be stressed or not, there could be as many as 27 = 128 possible ways to stress the sentence, each with slightly different meanings.
Why would language develop so that words are ambiguous and defined by context?
One possible explanation is fleshed out in a linguistics paper that explains the game between listener and speaker:
To understand why ambiguity makes a language more efficient rather than less so, think about the competing desires of the speaker and the listener. The speaker is interested in conveying as much as possible with the fewest possible words, while the listener is aiming to get a complete and specific understanding of what the speaker is trying to say. But as the researchers write, it is “cognitively cheaper” to have the listener infer certain things from the context than to have the speaker spend time on longer and more complicated utterances. The result is a system that skews toward ambiguity, reusing the “easiest” words. Once context is considered, it’s clear that “ambiguity is actually something you would want in the communication system,” Piantadosi says.
It seems ambiguity makes for a more efficient language to communicate between two speakers.
Here is a link to the full paper: The communicative function of ambiguity in language
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Was thinking of watching this movie for a long time....... A Romantic movie which didnt do that well at the Box office but was universally liked by all who actually saw that movie.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
On Christmas Day Im gonna spend the whole night watching the NBA Games. There are some exciting games ahead like the LA Lakers Vs Knicks, Nets Vs Celtics, Heat V OKC etc. Expecting some Individual battles like Melo V Kobe, Lebron V Durant action ahead.
Monday, December 24, 2012
Sunday, December 23, 2012
December 22, 2012, marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of legendary Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. An intuitive mathematical genius, Ramanujan's discoveries have influenced several areas of mathematics, but he is probably most famous for his contributions to number theory and infinite series, among them fascinating formulas ( pdf ) that can be used to calculate digits of pi in unusual ways. Last December Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared 2012 to be a National Mathematics Year in India in honor of Ramanujan's quasiquicentennial. Ramanujan's story is dramatic and somewhat larger than life. It is even the subject of an opera by Indian-German composer Sandeep Bhagwati, a novel and two plays . Largely self-taught, he dropped out of college, took a job as a clerk in Madras and attracted the attention of British mathematician G. H. Hardy through written correspondence in 1913. Although Ramanujan's mother believed that as a Brahmin (the highest class in the Indian caste system, which was in place at the time) he should not travel overseas, Ramanujan, aged 27, went to England in 1914 and spent the ensuing war years working with Hardy and other mathematicians at the University of Cambridge. He grew quite ill in England, and in 1919 he returned to India where he died in 1920. Since his death at age 32 mathematicians have analyzed his notebooks ( pdf ), which are full of formulas but light on justification. Most of the formulas have turned out to be correct, and researchers continue to learn from his work while trying to understand and prove them. India's mathematical heritage extends far beyond Ramanujan's time. The nation is considered home of the concept of zero. Babylonians had used a space as a placeholder (similar to the role of "0" in the number 101), but this space could not stand alone or at the end of a number. (In our number system, as in theirs, this could be problematic; imagine trying to tell the difference between the numbers 1 and 10 by context alone.) In India, however, zero was treated as a number like any other. India is also the home of our decimal numeral system. Indian government and mathematical societies pursued several projects to celebrate their year of mathematics, from enrichment programs for students and teachers to the "Mathematical Panorama Lectures" that occurred around the country. This series of 20 short lecture courses, which will continue into 2013, brings prominent mathematicians from different fields to Indian universities to deliver five or six lectures. M. S. Raghunathan, president of the Ramanujan Mathematical Society and chair of the organizing committee for the National Mathematics Year, wrote in an e-mail that he hopes the lectures will facilitate an infusion of Indian talent into fields that lack it right now. Indeed, a primary purpose of the year of mathematics is to reinvigorate mathematical education in India. In his speech announcing the event, Prime Minister Singh said that although India has produced many distinguished mathematicians, "for a country of our size, the number of competent mathematicians that we have is badly inadequate." He mentioned concerns about the rigidity of India’s academic system, which some believe might squelch rather than nurture mathematical curiosity and achievement. "A genius like Ramanujan would shine bright even in the most adverse of circumstances, but we should be geared to encourage and nurture good talent which may not be of the same caliber as that of Ramanujan," he said. Singh also mentioned the need to prevent attrition of mathematically interested people. "There is a general perception in our society that the pursuit of mathematics does not lead to attractive career opportunities," he said. "This perception must change." Lectures for undergraduates, camps for motivated youngsters and educational programs designed to acquaint teachers with new topics and pedagogical ideas have all been part of the attempt to nurture mathematical interest at all levels.
Stephen Colbert - Probably the smartest man on TV - The knowledge that this guy brings to Comedy is simply outstanding. No one can beat him at Lord of the Rings Trivia and his history knowledge
Saturday, December 01, 2012
Wat an amazing game to watch Live. Started watching from the start of the 4th Quarter.Grizzlies were up by 15 Points. In true San Anton resilience the lead came down to 5 points within three minutes with good 3 point shooting from Neal,Bonner. As always the SA Bench rescued the team from defeat.Then the Grizzlies shored up their defense and managed to hold onto the lead till the final seconds which they squandered and the game went into Overtime. Marc Gasol completely switched off in the 4th Quarter and the Overtime leading to the Grizzlies loss. San Anton is a true Veteran team, the way they came back against the Clippers in Game 4 of the Playoff is a testimony to their steely resolve.The Grizzlies seems to be getting better every year and some are actually expecting them to be the Western Conference Champions this year but Im not sure about that.This Game was a true Physical Game with a lot of contact and postups.....a true BIG MAN game. Spurs won 99-95.
Had a chance to catch up on some live NBA action this weekend. Brooklyn Nets Vs Miami Heat Started watching the game live for the last 5 minutes. Miami were up by 10 points.For the next 5 minutes the Nets never seemed like getting on a comeback.Infact they never got into the groove with a pretty good Miami defense ensuring that they missed almost all their first shots and the only points they got in the last mins were either through second chance points or in the charity stripe. One interesting fact is that the Miami style of play is drastically different from what i saw in 2012 playoffs. Almost all their shots in the last 5 Mins was almost 18-20 feet from the basket. It is their luck that they have Ray Allen in their team to take those shots. It is ok for a regular season game to take so many long shots but in the playoffs you simply cant risk it...... If Miami wants to repeat it the only way they are going to do it is through Lebron/Wade driving to the basket as always.
Just finished watching the Phi Brain Finale yesterday - a wonderful end to a psychological thriller. This is not an action series ending like i though it would but instead it just transitioned to a dramatic ending but i love it... Oops found out that there is another new season coming up no wonder they had such a low key ending but who is going to be the villain in the next season. Oh yeah of course Klondike Sama.
[WhyNot] Phi Brain - Kami no Puzzle S2 - 25_clip1 by heehaww
[WhyNot] Phi Brain - Kami no Puzzle S2 - 25_clip1 by heehaww