The Significance of Studying Syntax and Pragmatics in The Interpretation of English Ambiguous Sentences

Amani Ali Alerwi, Fadwa Alturki


This study shed light on the role of syntax and pragmatics in interpreting ambiguous sentences. The purpose of this research was to examine to what extent syntax and pragmatics help foreign language learners interpret the deep meaning of English ambiguous sentences. This study was designed to cover two groups (control and experimental). The control group was sophomore students who have not registered yet in either pragmatics or syntax. For the experimental group, the participants were senior students who had taken the two courses: syntax and pragmatics which was the treatment of this study. Both groups were majoring in applied linguistics. A quantitative approach was used in order to collect the data. The research tool was a diagnostic test. The result of this study showed a noticeable effect of taking pragmatics and syntax courses on the interpretation of ambiguous sentences. This result indicated that the students who took syntax and pragmatics courses performed better in interpreting the ambiguous sentences. The data and the finding of this study were collected and analysed to hopefully help future students from different majors such as law, and other students in the legal field in resolving the ambiguity of the sentences.


pragmatics, syntax, ambiguous sentences

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