August 2019 Assembly


Why is Language So Ambiguous?

Language is ambiguous at every level, from homophones (“to,” “two,” and “too”) to headlines (“Children’s Stool Good For Use in Garden”). This degree of ambiguity is surprising. After all, languages have evolved for communication, and ambiguity seems to make communication inefficient and error-prone. UCSD Professor of Cognitive Science Benjamin Bergen will review the research showing that humans are in fact quite resilient in the face of ambiguous language. Comprehenders have the ability to make inferences about what someone means using context cues and knowledge about the speaker or writer, as well as their gestures and intonation. This means that although language is ambiguous, it is also adaptive in that it’s ambiguous in just the right ways to still be understood by humans.

The Bankers Hill Club features an accessible facility, including accessible parking spots and bathrooms.

Sunday Assembly San Diego is a new radically inclusive non-religious community that meets monthly to hear inspirational talks, connect for service projects, sing songs and generally celebrate life. Assemblies are free to attend, and everyone is welcome.

Free child care for ages 1.5 and up is available at every Assembly.

Stay after the assembly for coffee, snacks and to hang out with other assemblers.


August 18, 2019 at 11:00am - 12:15pm
Bankers Hill Club
Lewis Rogers

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Lewis Rogers

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  • Lewis Rogers
    rsvped 2019-07-31 22:25:06 -0700

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