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  1. #1
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    Default ambiguous meanings of a bass button holder?

    Hi, everyone!!! ^.^

    I need your help!!!
    1. what are the two meanings of 'a brass button holder'?

    2. " of 'the king of England's people'?

    Thanks in advance.
    Spoon

  2. #2
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    Default Re: ambiguous meanings of a bass button holder?

    First, what are your thoughts?
    I've used those examples on assignments.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ambiguous meanings of a bass button holder?

    O.k. These are my thoughts.


    (1) a. a person who holds a brass button
    b. a button holder which is brass

    => I don't know what 'a button holder' is. Does this Noun Phrase indicate a thing, not a person?

    (2)a. people of the king who is(or lives) in England
    b. the king of people who live in England


    Am I right or wrong? plz correct my answers, Casiopea!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: ambiguous meanings of a bass button holder?

    A brass button holder
    (1) b. a button holder which is brass

    The adjective brass modifies the noun phrase button holder:

    a brass [button holder] (the button holder is brass)

    A button holder is something that holds buttons. For example, click on these links:

    eBay: Vintage Button holder and Green Plastic Case! (item 230104800828 end time Mar-21-07 17:34:37 PDT)

    and here.

    Now, what other word could brass modify?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ambiguous meanings of a bass button holder?

    Thanks a lot.

    I have wanted to know what a button holder is.

    Because I'm studying Syntax with Radford's Transformational Grammar, I need to discuss the ambiguity of the phrase.

    I think I can describe the ambituity by focusing on the meanings of 'holder'.

    I can draw two structures as these!

    a [brass button] holder-> a person

    a brass [button holder] ->as a tool

    Thanks again.
    Have a nice day!
    Here Korea, it's already mid-night!
    Spoon

  6. #6
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    Default Re: ambiguous meanings of a bass button holder?

    You're welcome, Spoon.

    Note! The noun holder doesn't refer to a person, although you could argue that. People aren't usually described as button holders. You might want to reconsider your answer here, a [brass button] holder -> a person who holds brass buttons. But that's not the answer you should get. There is another one. The adjective brass can modify two things:

    [1] brass button holder <the buttons are brass, not the holder>
    [2] brass button holder <the holder is brass and it holds different kinds of buttons: plastic, wood, metal, etc.>

    Here's another example:

    The Spanish English teacher
    The Spanish teacher <a person who teaches Spanish>
    The Spanish teacher <a Spanish person who teaches, say, English>



    The following is cited at http://www.bartleby.com/68/27/327.html:
    On paper a Spanish teacher may be “a teacher of Spanish” or “a Spanish person who teaches,” but stress in speech usually clears up any ambiguity: stress on Spanish makes Spanish teacher a compound, meaning “a teacher of Spanish”; stress on teacher makes Spanish teacher “a Spanish person who is a teacher.”

  7. #7
    keitin is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: ambiguous meanings of a bass button holder?

    i also have the same question about the of in the NP "the king of Egland's people".

    one structure is the king [of England' people] (the Egland's people's king)
    but i cannot wonder another possible meaning and structure

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