- Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
- The Oxford Handbook of Lexicography
- List of Abbreviations
- List of Contributors
- Dictionaries for General Users: History and Development; Current Issues
- Learners’ Dictionaries: History and Development; Current Issues
- Bilingual Dictionaries: History and Development; Current Issues
- Constructing a Corpus
- Interrogating a Corpus
- Explaining Meaning in Learners’ Dictionaries
- Explaining Meaning in Bilingual Dictionaries
- Historical Dictionaries: History and Development; Current Issues
- Quotation Evidence and Definitions
- Using Historical Corpora and Historical Text Databases
- Grammatical Analysis and Grammatical Change
- Etymology, Word History, and the Grouping and Division of Material in Historical Dictionaries
- Place-name Dictionaries
- Personal and Surname Dictionaries
- Pronouncing Dictionaries
- Spelling Dictionaries
- Slang Dictionaries
- Etymological Dictionaries
- Dictionaries of Dead Languages
- Diachronic and Synchronic Thesauruses
- Regional and Dialect Dictionaries
- Scientific and Technical Dictionaries; Coverage of Scientific and Technical Terms in General Dictionaries
- The Treatment of Multi-word Units in Lexicography
- Lexicography and Theories of Lexical Semantics
- Meaning Relations in Dictionaries: Hyponymy, Meronymy, Synonymy, Antonymy, and Contrast
- Identification of Homonyms in Different Types of Dictionaries
- The Representation of Pronunciation in General Dictionaries
- Labelling and Metalanguage
- The Exploitation of Dictionary Data and Metadata
- Illustrations in Dictionaries; Encyclopaedic and Cultural Information in Dictionaries
- Making Decisions about Inclusion and Exclusion
- Description and Prescription in Dictionaries
- The Practicalities of Dictionary Production; Planning and Managing Dictionary Projects; Training of Lexicographers
- The Demands of Users and the Publishing World: Printed or Online, Free or Paid For?
- National Dictionaries and Cultural Identity: Insights from Austrian, German, and Canadian English
- A Chronology of Major Events in the History of Lexicography
- Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
Abstract and Keywords
The semantically-arranged thesaurus is the oldest recorded form of lexicography, and such works combine facts about the language with facts about the world in which the language is used. This article outlines the principles behind thesauruses, focusing mainly on Roget’s Thesaurus and more modern works such as the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, and describes their internal structure, major types, history, and uses. In particular, it discusses and illustrates the evolution, major functions, and advantages of these thesauruses, with reference to both their overall structuring frameworks and their future potentials.
Marc Alexander is Senior Lecturer in English language at the University of Glasgow. His work primarily focuses on cognitive and corpus stylistics, digital humanities, and the semantic development of the English language. He is the current director of the Historical Thesaurus of English, and of the STELLA Digital Humanities lab at Glasgow.
Christian Kay is Honorary Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. She was formerly director of the Historical Thesaurus of English, and was one of the editors of the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (OUP 2009). She has written widely on historical semantics and lexicography. She founded the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech (SCOTS), and was Convener of the Board of Scottish Language Dictionaries from 2002 to 2012.
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