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The word "krom" is well-known as being ambiguous. As I understand, there are some clues for differentiating the two:

  • "krom" of addition (in addition to, besides):
    • sentence-initial or -final
    • Normally the sentence also contains "ankaŭ" (also), "ankoraŭ" (still), or "eĉ" (even).
    • synonyms (for disambiguation): "inkluzive de"
  • "krom" of exception (except for, apart from):
    • usually sentence-final
    • The preceding statement normally contains a universal quantifier or negation.
    • synonyms (for disambiguation): "kun escepto de", "escepte de", "escept(int)e ", "ekskluzive de"

In which circumstances do genuinely ambiguous uses of "krom" occur? Can one characterize those circumstances? If my notes above are correct (and please tell me if they are not), instances of "krom" that are

  • sentence-final;
  • in a sentence without: ankaŭ, "ankoraŭ", "eĉ"; and
  • in a sentence without a universal quantifier or negation

are most likely to lead to genuinely confusing sentences.

What are some realistic (non-artificial) examples of ambiguous sentences with "krom", ideally taken or adapted from real-life writing?

I should note that one of the sources for my notes is section 12.3.6 ("Anstataŭ and krom") of the grammar on lernu!. (This grammar is itself a condensed translation of PMEG.) That is, I am aware of the discussion of this issue in PMEG, but would like a characterization of circumstances or list of realistically occurring examples in which it actually matters. In other words, as a language learner, I would like to know what cases I need to pay attention to in practice, either to avoid ambiguity in language production or to avoid misunderstanding in language comprehension.

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Eduardo Trápani already referred to a subchapter Risko de miskompreno in PMEG. That subchapter states that normally there are other words making it clear or the context otherwise makes it clear which way krom is used.

My experience is that it is actually hard, especially in speech, to avoid adding ankaŭ, ankoraŭ, eĉ or a negation and thereby making a sentence ambiguous.

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  • Thanks a lot. I see that your experience agrees with the sentiment in PMEG 2022, 12.3.6.3. Krom, "Risko de miskompreno": "Normale la kunteksto klare montras, ĉu temas pri escepta aŭ aldona krom. [...] Tiaj miskompreneblaj frazoj estas tre maloftaj[.]" Mar 1, 2023 at 9:26

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