An Historical and Comparative Encyclopaedia of Chinese Conceptual Schemes
General Editor: Christoph Harbsmeier 何莫邪; Associate Editor: Jiang Shaoyu 蔣紹愚
The Lexeme Entry Attributions constitute a core area in TLS. It is here that the user may find exactly what meanings and syntactic features are attributed to what words in which passages in which texts.
Whenever a passage admits of more than one syntactic or semantic construal TLS is free to make two different Lexeme Entry Attributions for one and the same word. Syntactic as well as semantic ambiguities are common in classical Chinese, and on occasion we find it useful in TLS to record two competing readings of one and the same passage. At the time I am writing these lines, 103 586 such attributions are included in TLS. Each report a philological judgement that a certain Lexeme Entry is instantiated in a certain line of a text.
The Lexeme Entry Attributions are subcategorised and searchable from a large number of angles. For example, one may look, in these attributions, for all psychological reflexive verbs, or one may look for all abstract nouns meaning "the concept of" and so on. It is in the Lexeme Entry Attributions that the system of TLS connects with the source texts.
Inevitably, these attributions reflect the limited special interests of the compilers of TLS. Indistinguishable for the contemporary user, these attributions include those made many, many years ago, when this project had nothing like its present ambitions and analytical scope.
Thus, in order to homogenise this extensive corpus of observation, produced over more than twenty years, one would need to proof-read all of them from an up-to date perspective.
TLS makes this kind of work not only convenient but also rewarding, partly because one can choose to revise focussed sets of comparable examples which raise theoretically interesting problems.