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Thesaurus linguae Latinae (TLL)


Questions on the printed Thesaurus and the online version

How can I use the Thesaurus?

The Thesaurus is published in print continuously and can be used in research libraries and university institutes. The state of the publication and the latest issues can be verified here.There is also an open access version which can be used online (access here).The publishing house De Gruyter has developed a fulltext database of the Thesaurus which is accessible in licensing libraries. In case of discrepancies the printed version is authoritative. The printed and digital fulltext versions of the Thesaurus are distributed by De Gruyter. Technical questions concerning the fulltext database should be addressed to the same.

How do I find changes to the method of citation?

Over the years of writing the Thesaurus a few of the abbreviations for authors and works have changed. Changes up to 1990 are shown in the second edition of the Index librorum; later changes can be found  as PDF under Index: addenda. In our on-line version newly available texts have been and will continue to be incorporated, as will changes in any of the abbreviations used in citing works.

In what order are authors and works cited in the Thesaurus?

The order is in principle chronological, with slight divergences where a strict chronological order cannot reasonably be maintained; among other things works of the same author, and sometimes groups of works are kept together (e.g. the speeches of Cicero). You can find an overview (till Quintilianus) under Ordo.

How should I cite a Thesaurus article or a section of an article?

There is no single correct way to cite the TLL (also abbreviated ThLL and ThlL) because citing practices differ widely according to bibliographic formats, linguistic conventions, and scholarly needs. The most important information is typically: the volume number, volume section number (if it exists), column number, and line number.

According to the conventions used within the TLL itself, the volume is written as a Roman numeral, and the rest are written as arabic numerals, separated where necessary by commas. For example, ‘vol. IX 1, 79, 18’ refers to the beginning of the article nascor at volume IX section 1, column 79, line 18.

In Anglophone publications it has become conventional to use the abbreviation TLL; often Roman numerals are avoided and a period is used in place of a comma. So the same citation might appear as: ‘TLL’ (or simply ‘TLL s.v. nascor’). A range of lines is typically easier to locate than a reference to a precise section: e.g. ‘–104.15’ is usually preferable to ‘caput alterum II.A.1.a.α’.  We also recommend citing the author of the article where possible, which can be found at the end of each article (or after the end of a sequence of articles, when the same author is responsible for all of them). For example, ‘TLL–114.3 (Ramminger, 2011)’.

The precise publication date of each fascicle (and thus of each article) appears every 16 columns printed on the bottom of the right page, at least since volume III in 1906; it can also be found by looking up the date of the relevant fascicle in this list of publications. However, for most purposes the year of the relevant volume or of the entire TLL is sufficient (1900–).

The surnames of the authors of articles are found at the end of each article or batch typo3/of articles, their first names either in the introduction to each volume or on the inside cover of a fascicle or, in a continually revised list, here.

In a works cited list loosely following the Chicago Manual of Style, the TLL might appear as follows:

Thesaurus linguae Latinae. 1900–. Berlin (formerly Leipzig): De Gruyter (formerly Teubner).

It is better not to cite any author for the work as a whole; like academic journals and many other reference works, every volume was produced by a different set of editors (since 1949 the project has been administered by the International Commission for the Thesaurus linguae Latinae). The TLL Open Access can be cited as a printed book since there is no difference in content.

Questions on the unpublished material

Can I get information from a Thesaurus article which is being prepared for publication?

If they are ready, we are happy to send you a copy of the relevant sections. If an article is in preparation, its author can give you information. It is important to limit the question as far as possible; references to corresponding passages in Forcellini, OLD etc. can be useful. Often it helps us to learn what researches you have already completed.

Can I get information from the unpublished material in the Thesaurus archive?

We are happy to answer your questions. But there are limits. The question must be one which we can answer with our material within a reasonable time. Enquiries of the type, 'Is there anywhere in res …?' can normally not be answered – even if we should like to know the answer ourselves.

What kind of questions can be easily answered?

Questions about the existence of a lemma ('Does repetisiosus occur?') or about the presence of a lemma in particular author ('Have you any instances of saginaculum in inscriptions?'). Here we are happy to give you the relevant passages from our material.

What questions have little hope of an answer?

Questions about particular meanings are hard to answer ('Does res occur in the sense of 'causa' ?). Here too the basic rule applies that we will sooner be able to find answers with rarer words than with common ones (for caus(s)a = 'res' see vol. III 700, 62 sqq.). Since our material is NOT semantically arranged, extensive semantic or syntactic researches are unfortunately not possible.

Bei welchen Fragen sind die Erfolgschancen gering?

Fragen nach spezifischen Bedeutungen sind schwer zu beantworten („Gibt es res in der Bedeutung ‚causa’?”). Auch hier gilt der Grundsatz, dass wir bei kleinen Materialien (= selteneren Wörtern) eher versuchen können, eine Antwort zu finden, als bei häufiger vorkommenden (zum umgekehrten Phänomen, causa = ‚res’, vgl. übrigens vol. III 700, 62 sqq.). Da unser Material semantisch NICHT vorbereitet ist, sind umfangreiche semantische oder syntaktische Recherchen leider zeitlich nicht zu bewältigen.

Can I look at the material myself?

Researchers of every subject are always welcome as visitors. Please contact us before your visit (e-mail to Dr. Manfred Flieger, tll(at)thesaurus.badw.de)