Translation:Do you see the man who is going to the park?
I guess something like " Widzisz człowieka idąc do parku?" would mean: "do you see a man while going to the park?"
Is there a good website/source that explains these imięsłów, I'm having trouble to find any by just googling
This one actually seemed very natural to me and I would say the same in English:
Do you see the person going to the park?
This sentence can both mean :
Widzisz człowieka idąc do parku (Do you see the man when you walk to the park)
Widzisz człowieka idącego do parku (Do you see the man who is walking to the park)
Ah, that must be what Miĥal was referring to, I was thinking of something unrelated (logical issues). Do you see the person going to the park? means the second one. If it said, Do you see the person while going to the park? it would mean the first one. I guess the former might mean the latter but it would have be clear contextually but it still seems unnatural to me.
Firstly, thanks for the links you gave us, and engaging in an interesting discussion. As far as ambiguity is concerned you are right and Randall is wrong. But I find your assumption of probability is false, and see no way that logic can replace how a language is actually used. Randall's choice was also my first choice, as a native speaker from London. Easily! In other words, just because a sentence is ambiguous doesn't mean that both meanings have a 50-50 likelihood of being the primary one to be understood. In a related sense I also very much share Randall's feelings about elitism in language. Just saying.
It isn't ambiguous. It has a clear meaning. Logically most language is ambiguous or even contradictory, but language and people aren't really logical, so it isn't surprising. For example, "Nie chcę nic" would logically mean that I want something, but actually means I don't want anything. For some reason, some people take an absurd prescriptivist approach to all English, as if there is only one correct form of English. They claim the vast majority of people use the language wrong and that only their small, elite group is correct. To me, that is not only wrong, but it is elitist and offensive. It reminds me of this great video, which anyone interested in linguistics would probably really enjoy.
It has two possible meanings and both are equally probable without any context.
Well, this would be equivalent to "entering the park", and thus would need a different verb (well, participle): "Widzisz człowieka wchodzącego do parku?"
How do we know that człowieka is not a female? I thought the word meant human and that mężczyzna meant man.
True, "człowiek" generally is the species known as "human". But if used about one specific person, it means exactly the same as "man". If I heard this sentence, I wouldn't even think about a woman.
So what would be the equivalent of człowiek for a woman? Or is there no such word. Just curious.
Well, although of course "kobieta jest człowiekiem" (a woman is a human), there isn't a second word that could be use to substitute it. Unless we're going in the direction of "pani", which is something between "woman" and "lady", but then of course there's "pan" on the male side.