Database Contents

TLS offers the functions of a traditional dictionary, full-text database, synonym dictionary etc. But by combining multiple levels of analysis in one overarching structure which is accessible from any possible angle (technically achieved by means of a relational database), the types of questions that can be asked and for which answers can be obtained go far beyond those possible with traditional resources on the history of the Chinese language, whether printed or digital.

TLS exists in two versions, a multi-user FileMaker database used by the TLS collaborators and a webpublished database derived from this.

The aims of this web version of TLS are:
1) To make the full contents of the database available for searches, but with no possibility of adding or modifying contents.
2) To provide full retrieval options for all types of information in the database. Technically speaking, this means to allow specific searches in any of the many database fields, and to allow any combination of such searches, even if many of the search options are probably seldom used. The philosophy behind this is that the editors and database designers, each with their necessarily limited area of expertise, can neither foresee all of the questions with which users might approach TLS, nor all possible ingenious uses to which the database might be put.