Consider the sentence:
John used to work for the newspaper that you are reading."
Newspaper has several well-known senses. The two that occur here are the sense of the newspaper, as a company:
John used to work for the newspaper
and the newspaper as the physical object:
the newspaper that you are reading.
It should be readily apparent that John never worked for that ink-on-died-wood-pulp in front of you. It should also be clear that you are not reading a company. In the first sentence though, the word takes both senses at the same time.
@Nigelj provided another example:
I was going to dust but there wasn't any
Here, dust is first used as a verb, then as a noun. So not only a different word sense, but even a different part of speech.
I am looking for a name for this occurrence, so I can look it up in a reference book / textbook. It is of interest to me as it is a case that is often neglected by computational word sense disambiguation systems.
Terms that I have already considered, and that are not (to my knowledge) correct for describing this:
- polyseme / homonym : a word holding multiple senses at the same time can of-course only occur with words that have multiple senses in the first place. But not all uses of words with multiple senses exhibit the behavior.
- Syntactic ambiguity/amphiboly/amphibology: this sentence is un-ambigious. It only has one interpretation.
- Antanaclasis: the word newspaper is only used once, but with two meanings.
- Pun: pun's generally rely on two different interpretations of the word, separately to give the sentence two possible meanings. Not at the same same time to give the sentence 1 meaning (also they tend to be funny) -