Polysemy and Sense Extension in Bilingual Lexicography

Page 663-673
Author Janet DeCesaris
Title Polysemy and Sense Extension in Bilingual Lexicography
Abstract Polysemy often poses problems for the dictionary representation of word meaning, because the discrimination of senses is seldom clear-cut. In the past twenty years, corpus linguists, notably Kilgarriff (1997) and Hanks (2000), have argued that the concepts of “word sense” and “word meaning” are problematic to the extent that they invite a “checklist” view of meaning that is not borne out by corpus evidence, although precisely that “checklist” view is encouraged by dictionary representation in that dictionaries describe meaning as discrete items in lists (Fontanelle 2016). The challenges associated with representing polysemy are particularly acute for bilingual dictionaries, because patterns of polysemy associated with cross-linguistic equivalents display differing degrees of what has been called “overlapping polysemy” (Alsina & DeCesaris 2002; Boas 2009). This paper considers the treatment in bilingual dictionaries of two small sets of words in English and their equivalents in Spanish, French and Italian which display varying degrees of overlapping polysemy. We suggest ways of incorporating sense extension and partial parallelisms into bilingual dictionary entries, specifically by subdividing senses according to the semantic types as found in corpora.
Keywords bilingual lexicography, overlapping polysemy, sense extension
author={Janet DeCesaris},
title={Polysemy and Sense Extension in Bilingual Lexicography},
booktitle={Proceedings of the XVIII EURALEX International Congress: Lexicography in Global Contexts},
address={Ljubljana, Slovenia},
editor={Jaka Čibej, Vojko Gorjanc, Iztok Kosem, Simon Krek},
publisher={Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts},
isbn={978-961-06-0097-8}, }