The Beginnings of Practical Synonymy
This chapter argues that practical synonymy as a part of interpretative lexicography was used in hard-word and general dictionaries which appeared from the 17th century onwards. They are one trail leading to the publication of Roget's Thesaurus. The role played by synonymy in their procedures of semanticising is defined and illustrated. The first peak of this development can be found in Samuel Johnson's dictionary of the English language (1755). Its elaborate theory of ‘reciprocity’ is considered, with a reference to those Lockean ideas which preceded the dictionary and are the groundwork of Johnson's lexicographical practice. This means dealing with John Locke as a semanticist rather than as a philosopher.
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