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I watch out for a resource that provides me with vocabulary for comparatively 'abstract' concepts, which means words from areas such as:

  • emotional/inner states
  • communication
  • personal relationships
  • temporal and causal relationships
  • hierarchical relationships

I hope you get a picture of what I mean. Most vocabulary books provide vocabulary for material objects, but I have not found something comparable for this class of words.

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closed as off topic by FumbleFingers, coleopterist, simchona Dec 24 '12 at 4:04

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The Psychiatric Mental Status Examination by Paula T. Trzepacz contains a rich vocabulary subdivided by argument. – user19148 Dec 23 '12 at 23:34
Such questions are considered off-topic on this site. Marking as such. FWIW, you might be able to find this information in a good thesaurus such as Roget's. – coleopterist Dec 24 '12 at 3:39
@Carlo_R. Your comment at first gave me a start, without the italicizing of the book title! – Kris Dec 24 '12 at 4:30

That's because these topics are fields of studies in themselves, not sub-divisions of English. You need to look for books dealing individually with such subjects; hopefully, some of the better ones will contain glossaries of the subject-specific language involved in each area. Be warned though that different textbooks / schools of thought tend to use technical terms in slightly (or grossly) different ways. Once you have identified a technical term you wish to examine further, you are best googling to find articles hopefully detailing different usages.

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I agree with Mr. Ashworth. Your bullet points indicate separate fields, or disciplines, of study.

I'm often amazed at how bereft Americans' vocabularies are when it comes to emotional and inner states. Yes, we can generally list a half-dozen or so emotions, such as anger, jealousy, rage, love,
and a few others, but what about the more -nuanced emotions such as resentment, envy (which is NOT the same as jealousy!), disdain or superciliousness, lust, depression, anxiety, feeling conflicted, cognitive dissonance --well, I'm sure you get my point. We're not that adept at pinpointing and explaining these complex feeling states.

Researching only the theory of cognitive dissonance will immerse you into a vast number of studies, monographs and books. Leon Festinger is to blame as being one of the first--if not THE first--theoretician to address this fascinating subject.

The study of communication is rife with concepts and theories related to emotions.
It just depends on what aspect of communication you happen to be studying.

To give just one example, if you are interested in the affective component of communication, you almost have to study nonverbal communication, the affective component of which contains 90 percent of emotions' meaning.

Think of the myriad of feeling states that are communicated with gestures, facial expressions, and pitch/volume/speed/ tone/timbre/pronunciation/articulation and more. It boggles the mind!

The same notion pertains to the study of personal relationships, as well as temporal and causal relationships. Pick an aspect and research it in texts that contain glossaries (as was suggested by Mr. Ashworth).

One final thought about hierarchy. Try googling the following words: Kenneth Burke, definition of man, hierarchy.
Burke was fascinated by the concept of hierarchy, and his definition of man includes the phrase "goaded by a spirit of hierarchy."

I hope you find this helpful.

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