Since 2004, with the support of the Latvian Science Council, the project on the Historical Dictionary of Early Latvian (16-18th c.) (HDEL) is being carried out, on the basis of The Corpus of Early Written Latvian (CEWL) data. The HDEL is intended to be a full type dictionary, which is formed using both printed texts and hand-written texts. The creators of the dictionary will attempt to secure the interactive connection of entries with the CEWL data.
At present, the working group has processed almost 500 entries: 300 appellatives and 173 proper nouns. At the same time instructions for preparing entries are being written, where special attention is given to how the entry word is chosen, how variants are presented, how meanings are explained and to questions concerning etymology, as well as how proper nouns are processed. In the instructions, the experiences of other historical dictionaries are noted, as well as possible solutions and what decisions have been made concerning a specific question.
At the end of 2006, the construction of electronic entries was discussed, and the XML technology schema was designed. This is periodically renewed and updated, taking into account theoretical base changes. The participants of the work group have rewritten 50 entries from the .doc format into the new schema, and at the same time have found inconsequentialities in the way the entries were originally determined. At present, attempts are being made to find and test programmes with which entries can be electronically keyed in the future.
That what has been achieved up to now can be called as the formation of routines for the HDEL. The basic instructions have been formed and preliminary work has been done. The work to follow is enormous and with a long time perspective, which has been shown by the history of dictionary writing. The next period has its specific assignments:
1. to continue with the completion of the CEWL, which at the same time is also an independent project
2. the improve and make more precise the instructions for forming dictionary entries
3. to continue the work on new entries, to review and make more precise the existing entries
4. to continue working on the electronic version of the dictionary
5. to widen cooperation with similar historical and electronic dictionary projects.
Riga: LU Latviešu valodas institūts , 2008. 74-89 p.