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The below is an article about the various use of cow's feces.

There are two "it"s and I'm not sure what the latter "it" represents.
Former "it" evidently stands for "cow dung."
But the latter seems quite puzzling.
In one way it seems like "the paste," and in the other, it just seems wrong.
Can you give me an answer?
(Is there any chance the sentence is somewhat ambiguous?)

Cow dung has one other major function. Mixed with water and made into a paste, it is used as a household flooring material. Smeared over a dirt floor and left to harden into a smooth surface, it keeps the dust down and can be swept clean with a broom.
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Hi,
The below is an article about the various use of cow's ***.

There are two "it"s and I'm not sure what the latter "it" represents.
Former "it" evidently stands for "cow dung."
But the latter seems quite puzzling. When I read it, I saw it as clearly also referring to 'cow dung'.
It wasn't until I read your suggestion about 'paste' that I even considered that possibility. I suppose you could try to argue that way, but that's not my interpretation.

In one way it seems like "the paste," and in the other, it just seems wrong.
Can you give me an answer?
(Is there any chance the sentence is somewhat ambiguous?)

Cow dung has one other major function. Mixed with water and made into a paste, it is used as a household flooring material. Smeared over a dirt floor and left to harden into a smooth surface, it keeps the dust down and can be swept clean with a broom.

Clive
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Stenka25Is there any chance the sentence is somewhat ambiguous?
Yes. It's syntactically ambiguous, but the semantics resolves the ambiguity. That is, from the point of view of meaning, it makes no difference whether you think of "it" as 'the paste made from cow dung' or 'the cow dung made into a paste'. They are simply two ways of putting words together to refer to the very same substance.

Mixed with water and made into a paste, it [=the cow dung] is used as a household flooring material. Smeared over a dirt floor and left to harden into a smooth surface, it [= the paste formed by mixing cow dung with water / the cow dung mixed with water to make a paste] keeps the dust down and can be swept clean with a broom.

CJ
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Comments  
Thanks, CalifJim.

Thanks, Clive.

You are great helpers.
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