Werner LEMBERG scripsit:
> A nice German example is
> DER GEFANGENE FLOH
> which can either mean `the prisoner escaped' (Der Gefangene floh) or `the
> captured flee' (Der gefangene Floh)
Clever! In English we have:
BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO
which is actually unambiguously "(Buffalo buffalo) buffalo (Buffalo
buffalo)": "Buffalo" is a city in western New York State, "buffalo"
as a noun is the well-known quadruped, indifferently singular
or plural, and "buffalo" is also a colloquial verb meaning "intimidate"
or "confuse". (AFAIK, there haven't been buffalo in Buffalo for centuries.)
Even longer versions of this are (marginally) grammatical, based
on the frame "(Buffalo buffalo [that] Buffalo buffalo buffalo [,])
buffalo (Buffalo buffalo [that] Buffalo buffalo buffalo)." This
can be extended ad nauseam by adding more dependent clauses.
-- John Cowan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan email@example.com You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn. You spigotty anglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn. Clear all so! 'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)
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