The expression of semantic genealogy is composed by two different terms. In order to understand the proper meaning of the expression, we will need to explain the single terms first.
Semantics is a term used in the branch of linguistics that is concerned with the meanings of words. It can be divided even more into formal, lexical and conceptual semantics. The term of genealogy is usually regarded as the science of tracing back a line of descent from an ancestor.
If we merge these two terms together into one expression, we get a way of studying the origine of a word or an expression. The scientists (mostly linguists) are looking for the original source or context in which a specific expression came up. Along the way they discover the different variations of that expression and how it was used/expressed in different situations and times.
ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA ONLINE, Semantics, [Online],http://www.britannica.com/science/semantics (Page consulted : 07.03.2016 ; Last updated : s.d.)
ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA ONLINE, Genealogy, [Online],http://www.britannica.com/topic/genealogy (Page consulted : 07.03.2016 ; Last updated : s.d.)« Back to Glossary Index