polysemy is an aspect of semantic ambiguity that concerns the multiplicity of word meanings. for a commonplace example, consider the meaning of the adjective good in the following sentences:
1.we had a good time yesterday.
2.bring me a good banana.
3.that ticket is good for travel on any flight.
4.it’s a good ten miles to the next gas station.
in each case, good carries a different meaning:
1.pleasurable, enjoyable, or satisfying.
2.suitable for an intended purpose.
3.generally valid and acceptable.
4.emphatically full or complete.
notice the range of meanings available for interpretation of good in these few sentences. as of this writing, google returns about 5.3 billion pages (out of 30 trillion total) that mention good. these and many more senses of good are distributed in that data.
polysemy is an everyday fact of ordinary language usage, and humans blithely interpret correct results without conscious effort. however, polysemy is largely impervious to any generalized natural language processing technology.
ewan diko paalam yan e.