Database Structure

To fully unlock the potential of the TLS database, a basic understanding its structure is required.

Image: Structure of the Thesaurus Linguae Sericae database     (click to enlarge)

Files and fields

Technically speaking, the database information is organised in tables and fields (although "tables" and "fields" are pieces of technical database terminology, it will be convenient to use these terms here). The database is organised in 15 main tables, and each table has a varying number of fields. Thus, the 15 tables are the basic segments of TLS. Each table contains all the information relevant for one of the 14 basic analytical categories (see below for the Sources file, which does not represent an analytical category). Each file is organized into a varying number of fields. Each field contains a specific type of information relevant for the basic analytic category represented by the particular file.

On the left, you see a schematic representation of the database structure, with the major relationships between the different tables marked. Each tables has been marked with information derived from the table in question in a sample record related to the opening of Lunyu.