Sense is a notion used in various linguistic disciplines to analyze the meanings of words, phrases, sentences, and texts. From a psychological perspective, senses can be conceived as mental fingers that point to entities via their individuating properties. For instance, the sense of the noun dog describes a type of animal, whether they be beagles, German shepherds, or other species. English speakers who can successfully use this word in conversation tacitly know that its sense individuates animals that act as pets, have four legs, bark, and so on. The notion of sense is interwoven with those of reference, denotation, and connotation, as aspects of the meanings of words, and plays a role in the study of various communication disorders. This entry presents key notions ...

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