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Disambiguation of the Word Turn

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Term paper

Disambiguation of the word turn

For this term paper I chose to write disambiguation rules for the word turn. The reason why I chose turn is because of the two syntactic representations: as a verb and as a noun. And at the same time it has the same forms as a noun and as a verb in the Present Simple Tense (with exception of the 3rd person sg.)

The phrasal verb turn is a transitive one and it takes a direct object (e.g. They turned my offer down), or it can appear without a direct object (e.g. The question turns on its point).

In order to disambiguate the two forms I chose the CCAE and British National Corpus and to collect a list of examples. Here I used examples where were included adverbs before turn (e.g. simply, then), determiners (e.g. to, in), modals (e.g. can, need, will, have), prepositions (e.g. in, of) and linking verbs (e.g. is/are, do). After determiners it appears as a verb, or as a phrasal verb after adverbs (for e.g. the rate of turn, e.g. you simply turn up) and if a determiner is located after it is a verb it will also appear as a verb (e.g. it was his turn to reach the phone).

If turn is preceded by an adverb than turn will be a verb,

If Adv turn > Adv V

E.g. (1) Unless you are spending a long time somewhere I suggest you simply turn up at a crag and scrounge a look at someone else's.

(2) Never turn him down! (here turn appears as a transitive verb)

(3) You then turn over 2 A and C to get the third position and 3 then turn over A and B to end the right 4 way up.

Sometimes the meaning of turn can be clarified by the prepositions that precede turn, in that case turn will be a noun.

If Prep (-in) turn > Prep (-in) N

(1) This in turn, of course, would allow the restoration of Kuwait's legitimate government.

(2) The U.N. resolution and that will in turn help us solve the hostage issue.

When there is no determiner in the very context than there is another rule that refers to modals. They can be in affirmative and negative form that is preceding turn in the context of the sentence. Here are some examples:

If Modal Pos/Modal Neg > Modal Pos/Modal Neg V

E.g. (1) Many would not turn to a sound, nor would they smile or babble when spoken to.

(2) If we can totally suppress the air defenses, then we can turn to strategic bombing to

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