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date: 23 January 2020

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.

Keywords: thesaurus, historical thesaurus, synonym dictionary, semantics, historical lexicography, world views

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