Jadavpur University has taken up a gigantic task to develop World’s 1st Bangla Historical Dictionary. The mammoth task of indexing the evolution of every Bangla word will be done in the online historical dictionary of Jadavpur University named ‘Shabdakalpa’. The attempt to set up such historical dictionary is first of its kind in any Indian Language. The Computer-Aided dictionary is being developed in a similar line of Pre-Computer age Oxford Dictionary.
The people who are researching or working on Bangla language, literature and culture will be able to access the dictionary for free once it is developed. The people associated with the project have claimed that it will come to a huge help of researchers and Ph.D. scholars who are researching on the language.
Mr. Sukanta Chaudhury, Professor Jadavpur said that being a highly inflectional language, a single Bengali word can be used in many forms. The aim of the online historical Bengali dictionary ‘Shabdakalpa’ is to index the words as per the first occurrence, its development and transmission over the years.
The people who are associated with the project said that this is the idea of Prof Sukanta Chaudhuri and ‘Shabdakalpa,’ once developed will be considered as his brain-child.
Prof Parthasarathi Bhowmik of Comparative Literature Department of JU said this is a unique project among all the Indian Languages as it will have the first occurrence of each world. This will help to assess the usage of each world according to the periodical social context. He added that this will help to know that usage of which word became popular in which era and whether or not it remained in use.
The software has been developed to filter out words from sentences and arrange them according to the dates of the first occurrence. Prof Chaudhuri pointed out that any word whether formal, slang or colloquial, will be recorded in the software automatically and will be segregated to periods of most-popular usage.
Prof Chaudhuri assured that the project framework and the software will be ready by March 2020. However, the actual application of the software and making the dictionary will involve human expertise and extensive work. The first glimpse of the historical dictionary named ‘Shabdakalpa’ is scheduled to be released by the end of 2020.
Eminent educationist Pabitra Sarkar informed that once the dictionary is developed it will benefit everyone pursuing higher studies in any stream in Bengali.
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