Launched on May 25, 2013, the Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic is a project that oversees the compilation of a historical lexicon of the Arabic language over the course of its development during the last two millennia. During their fourth meeting, held on December 10-11, 2014 in Doha, the Academic Board of the Dictionary project convened to review the work of the project committees tasked with determining the most suitable editions of the works to be included in the first stage of the bibliography of Arab intellectual production, extending from 400 years prior to the Prophet Muhammad’s hijrah until the year 200AH.  The committees also specifically worked on identifying when these works were composed and the dates of the authors’ or poets’ deaths.

Preparation of the dictionary’s bibliography is based on rigorous documentation and selection of the best critical editions of Arabic texts, to allow the construction of a reliable textual corpus that will enable the consolidation of a history of Arabic words and usages. In addition to determining which editions to include in the bibliography of the first historical period, the recent meeting also served to approve the rules of procedure regulating the project’s operations.  A wealth of lexical material was also reviewed, detailed from experimentation with processing selected lexical entries. Following from this, work will focus upon forming specialist committees on etymology, and on inscriptions and papyri. A guide to standards for processing etymological evidence is also anticipated