Re: on the meaning of 'word sense'

> As far as I understand the goals of lexicography, the clear intention
> is that the senses be distinct.

See Penny Stock, "Polysemy" for a paper where a lexicographer argues
that this just isn't viable (detailed case study of the word
"culture"), also Patrick Hanks (on "climb") and Dirk Geeraerts (on the
Dutch word "vers" (= English "fresh")).

In general, yes: lexicographers try to set down non-overlapping
senses.  But it is one goal among many, and not an overriding one
(unlike(?) in library science).  The overriding goal is to tell the
truth (in a way that is comprehensible and consistent).  If the
structure of the meaning(s) of the word means you cannot present
non-overlapping senses, then you don't.

Adam Kilgarriff



    AUTHOR = "Penelope F. Stock",
    TITLE = "Polysemy",
    BOOKTITLE = "Proc.\ Exeter Lexicography Conference",
    YEAR = "1983",
    Pages = "131--140"
    EDITOR = "B. Rudzka",
    BOOKTITLE ="Topics in Cognitive Grammar",
    PUBLISHER = "John Benjamins",
    YEAR = "1987",
    BOOKYEAR = "1987",
    ADDRESS = "Amsterdam",
    AUTHOR = "Dirk Geeraerts",
    TITLE = "Cognitive Semantics and the History of Lexical Semantics"
    author = "Patrick Hanks",
    title = "Linguistic Norms and Pragmatic Exploitations or, Why
		  Lexicographers Need Prototype Theory, and Vice Versa",
    booktitle = "Papers in Computational Lexicography: {COMPLEX} '94",
    year = "1994",
    editor="Ferenc Kiefer and Gabor Kiss and Julia Pajzs",
    pages = "89--113",
    address = "Budapest"

(Sad to say the lexicography literature is less well-ordered or
accessible than the CL one).

 - and for the full treatment:

    author = "Adam Kilgarriff",
    title = "Polysemy",
    school = "University of Sussex",
    year = "1992",
    address = "CSRP 261, School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences"