Norwegian version of this page

Thesaurus Linguae Sericae (TLS)

TLS is the first synonym dictionary of classical Chinese in any western language.

About the project

TLS has following features:

  • focuses on the history of distinctive semantic nuances of words studied
  • aiming to be systematically linked to archaeological illustration of whatever can be illustrated from excavated evidence
  • organises the Chinese vocabulary in taxonomic ("is a kind of") and mereonomic ("is part of") hierarchies thus showing up whole conceptual schemes or cognitive systems
  • registers a range of lexical relations like antonym, converse, epithet etc.
  • incorporates detailed syntactic analysis of over 600 distinct kinds of syntactic usage
  • enables us to make a systematic study of such basic phenomena as the natural history of abstract nouns or of reflexivity of psychological verbs in China
  • will record the history of rhetorical devices in texts and will thus enable us to study such intellectually crucial things as the natural history of irony in China
  • includes the first dictionary of 290 mathematical term.


TLS is developing a corpus-based historical and comparative encyclopaedia of Chinese conceptual schemes, implemented as an interactive database
Synonymordbok Linguae Sericae (TLS).


Tags: China, Chinese
Published May 6, 2010 1:32 PM - Last modified Feb. 25, 2021 11:18 AM


Project manager/editor:
Christoph Harbsmeier




  • Christoph Harbsmeier
  • Christoph Anderl
  • Jiang Shaoyu
  • David Keightley
  • Michael Puett
  • Carine Defoort
  • Ken-ichi Takashima
  • Lu Jianming
  • David Sehnal
  • Shen Yang
  • Zhu Qingzhi
  • Alfredo Cadonna
  • Huang Jingui
  • Jakub Marsalek
  • Pan Wuyun
  • William Baxter
  • Wolfgang Behr
  • Françoise Bottéro
  • Karine Chemla
  • Michel Teboul
  • Michael Nylan
  • Stephen West
  • Andrew Plaks
  • Martin Kern
  • Ulrich Lau
  • Axel Schüssler
  • Dame Jessica Rawson
  • Ulrich Unger
  • Qiu Xigui
  • Edward L. Shaughnessy
  • Victor Mair
  • Lothar von Falkenhausen
  • Elena Valussi
  • He Chirui
  • Jens Østergaard Pedersen
  • Gavin Larowe
  • Pang Pu
  • Li Ling
  • Alain Peyraube
  • Yu Jing
Detailed list of participants