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Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo

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How many buffaloes can you fit in a sentence? Eight? How about 40? The sentence Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo is a staple of introductory linguistics classes because it’s a great illustration of polysemy, in which one word can have several different meanings and parts of speech. In this case, example, buffalo can be a noun, a verb, an adjective, and a proper noun. It makes more sense to think of it this way: “Buffalo-originating bison that other Buffalo bison intimidate, themselves bully Buffalo bison.” This is part of a complete episode.

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