This book "supplies a vocabulary of English words and idiomatic phrases 'arranged … according to the ideas which they express'. The thesaurus, continually expanded and updated, has always remained in print, but this reissued first edition shows the impressive breadth of Roget's own knowledge and interests."
This book systematically applies the so-called principle of compositionality to substantive composition and investigates whether this semantic principle can be judged a sufficient basis for the understanding of unknown terms. The central question concerns how far the meaning of a substantive composite with two nominal elements can be ‘calculated’ from the meaning of its constituents. Using various empirical studies, the author shows that the principle of compositionality must be reformulated.