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."
Originally published in 1915, this book formed the first English monograph on the Swahili dialects. Detailed information is presented on variations between the many different dialects, together with an appendices section which includes the poem 'The Inkishafi', in both Swahili and an English translation. A significant aspect of the text is that it was written at a time when the newer dialect of Zanzibar was rapidly supplanting numerous older dialects; it can thus be seen as an important document of the Swahili language during a period of change. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in Swahili and the development of linguistics.