Lexical Ambiguity


Lexical ambiguity arises when a single word has various senses and may refer to different things. (Kroeger, 2018, p. 81) In other words, a given word may have more than one meaning which may interfere with a speaker’s intended interpretation.


In Skwxwu7mesh, skwáyel can be interpreted as day, blue, sky, the next day and may create ambiguity for a speaker’s audience depending on its surrounding structures/words. (Squamish Nation Education Department, 2011)


Kroeger, P. R. (2018). Analyzing meaning: An introduction to semantics and pragmatics. Language Science Press.

Squamish Nation Education Department. (2011). Skwxwú7mesh sníchim-xwelíten sníchim skexwts: Squamish-English dictionary. University of Washington Press & Squamish Nation Education Department. SFU Student Access.*