Words may have multiple interpretations . For instance , the word table can refer to a piece of furniture or to a page listing the chapters of a book as in table of contents . Generally , native speakers do not perceive this as a problem , because the context provides enough clues as to what is meant . For non - native speakers and students of dead languages , however , the existence of multiple interpretations sometimes does raise problems . This suggests that the context is not the only clue native speakers use to interpret words . In this dissertation , it is studied what types of context Dutch speakers need to interpret the poly - interpretable word ergens â somewhere / anywhere â , modal particle . The results of this investigation were used to find out more about the Ancient Greek form ÏÎ¿Ï
â somewhere , anywhere â , modal particle . This thesis shows that the study of contextual cues that allow native speakers to interpret their language provides insights that may be used in the study of dead languages . The modal interpretations of ergens and ÏÎ¿Ï
turned out to be quite different , but the context of both words clearly showed recurring ( albeit different ) patterns . Knowledge of the common interpretation of words in specific contexts seems crucial for their interpretation , suggesting that it is not words themselves that carry meaning , but words - in - context .