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Emphasis

I didn't say I killed my wife.
I didn't say I killed my wife.
I didn't say I killed my wife.
I didn't say I killed my wife.
I didn't say I killed my wife.
I didn't say I killed my wife.
I didn't say I killed my wife.

Stolen from someone else but his point is accurate: it's nifty how each of the above sentences has a different meaning.

5 Responses to "Emphasis"

  1. It'd be nifty, too, if we could encode these sort of things via grammatical structures rather than having to rely on emphasis (mainly for written works).

    Although I guess bolding it works as well. 😀

  2. there's one technique, it's called "context"

  3. Interestingly enough, ancient Greek did encode this sort of thing explicitly. "γαρ" was used after a word to indicate a stress on that word. Tonal stresses of the sort we use in English wouldn't have worked so well, since tonal stresses were used for grammatical purposes (as I understand it).

  4. Yet another reason why I chose to study Linguistics. It's just so fascinating, isn't it?

    The main reason was to see if I could learn enough about language in general to develop programs and robots that could manipulate it ala C3PO. Unfortunately, I learned that the undertaking would be extremely difficult and not something I could do in the two or three years I had left in college.

  5. Nice...


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