This sentence is supposed to be ambiguous. However I cannot see the ambiguity.

"We heard Mr. Vaughn’s voice on the loudspeaker"

My interpretation is:


Mr. Vaughn's voice: DO

On the loudspreaker: ADV.ADJUNT

  • 1
    Please add the source. Is 'the supposer' Geoffrey Pullum, or Homer Simpson? // The classic example is 'We saw the man with the binoculars'. Commented Mar 7, 2020 at 14:30

2 Answers 2


It's not ambiguous. I suppose you could go way out in left field and claim that you heard the voice while you were sitting on the loudspeaker, but that would be a stretch beyond ridiculous.


“We heard Mr. Vaughn over the megaphone”

“Mr. Vaughn’s voice” seems verbose, unless his voice is what’s in question, and not his message.

“Was Mr. Vaughn crying? We heard his voice...”

His voice can’t be “on” a loud speaker. A loud speaker could be any speaker that is loud, and could be any kind of speaker.

I see a lot of ambiguity.

  • OP is not asking about a voice on a loud speaker but a voice on a loudspeaker, they're very different. Commented Mar 7, 2020 at 19:59
  • "(Some sound) on the loudspeaker" is a well-established idiom, one with no ambiguity.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 7, 2020 at 20:15

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