LINGUIST List 14.3113

Fri Nov 14 2003

Books: Lexicography, English: H�llen

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  1. tom.perridge, A History of Roget's Thesaurus: Hullen

Message 1: A History of Roget's Thesaurus: Hullen

Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 06:46:50 -0500 (EST)
From: tom.perridge <>
Subject: A History of Roget's Thesaurus: Hullen

Title: A History of Roget's Thesaurus
Subtitle: Origins, Development, and Design

Publication Year: 2003

Publisher: Oxford University Press,

Book URL: 

Author: Werner H�llen, Professor Emeritus, University of
	Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Hardback: ISBN: 0199254729, Pages: 352, Price: GBP 375.00


In 1852 Peter Mark Roget eclipsed a rich tradition of topically based
dictionaries with the publication of his 'Thesaurus of English Words
and Phras es, Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the
Expression of Ideas'. Based on intuition as much as on specific
linguistic principles, Roget's book has been a bestseller ever since
and is one of the most widely-used reference works ever published. In
this book Werner H�llen gives the first history of its genesis and
publication, and investigates the principles of its structural design.

The author opens with an account of Roget's life and his background in
natural science. He then charts the parallel histories of dictionaries
of synonyms and concepts within the general context of
lexicography. Synonymy, he argues, is a necessary feature of languages
without which communication would be impossible. He traces its theory
and practice from Plato to the emergence of French and English synonym
dictionaries in the seventeenth century. Roget's was the first such
book to be arranged by topic and the first to encompass the semantic
network of the entire language. The author examines the manner and
method of its compilation, the practical outcomes of the traditions on
which it was based, and the ways in which the 'Thesaurus' reflects and
reveals Roget's beliefs and background.

'A History of Roget's Thesaurus' will interest students and scholars
of linguistics, semantics, and lexicography, as well as anyone wishing
to know more about a great literary achievement and an astonishing
publishing phenomenon.

Lingfield(s): Lexicography 

Subject Language(s): English (Language Code: ENG)

Written In: English (Language Code: English)

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