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Thesaurus Linguae Sericae (TLS)

TLS is the first synonym dictionary of classical Chinese in any Western language. TLS focusses on the history of the distinctive semantic nuances of the vocabulary of classical Chinese.TLS allows systematic comparison of Chinese concepts with non-Chinese concepts within the same semantic field or Synonym Group. 

Resource type: Text

Time period: pre-imperial China to early imperial China (ca. -600–ca. 1000)
Languages: Chinese, English


How can this resource be used in teaching, studying and research?  

TLS is the only web dictionary on Old Chinese, and it therefore is of great value to a student learning early forms of Chinese or studying the roots of modern Chinese.

Since TLS is the first dictionary to explore the vocabulary of Old Chinese from a conceptual point of view, it is of great use when teaching or doing research on the subject of Chinese ways of thinking. 

TLS explores the conceptual schemes of pre-Buddhist Chinese on the basis of  a corpus of translated texts that are interlinked with an analytic dictionary. Text and dictionary are constantly held up against one another, enabling us to refine our understanding both the texts and the Chinese systems of meaning.

TLS associates Chinese concepts with concepts from the European antiquity, aiming to make the Chinese evidence comparable to that of other cultures.

TLS seeks to provide a detailed description of the semantic relations that obtain among Chinese words, first and foremost synonymy, attempting to state as explicitly as possible the semantic nuances that distinguish words close in meaning.

TLS organises the Chinese vocabulary in taxonomic and mereonomic hierarchies, thus exploring the topology of the Chinese mental space.

TLS incorporates detailed syntactic analysis, thus enabling the systematic study of phenomena such as the history of abstract nouns in China.

TLS records the history of rhetorical devices in texts, making it possible to study crucial matters such as the history of irony in China.    

Highlights from this resource

The synonym group "study" with lexical nuances, hierarchies, syntactic analysis, lexical relations, and source references to standard works on Western historical semantics.
A paragraph of text, with translation and notes, with links to lexical and syntatic analysis of words in it, as well as lexeme relations and rhetorical devices evidenced in it.
A rhetorical device, its place in relation to other rhetorical devices, texts in which the rhetorical devices is evidenced, and references to the literature on rhetorical devices.