The Institute for Bulgarian Language is a specialised scientific institution which carries out fundamental and applied research on diverse aspects of the Bulgarian language.
The priority research areas of the Institute for Bulgarian Language are:
The Institute for Bulgarian Language carries out research and systematical description of the grammatical and lexical structure of the Bulgarian language and works to provide codification of the written practice through reflecting the language changes to determine the national language policy. The phenomena and processes in the Bulgarian vocabulary are thoroughly examined on the basis of linguistic material from traditional lexical sources, and modern vocabulary and phraseology. The Institute carries out complex research in theoretical linguistics, comparative linguistics, theory and practice of translation and translation methodology, lexicology, terminology, theoretical lexicography, computational linguistics.
Academic Dictionaries of the Bulgarian Language
The main lexicographic project of the Institute is the multivolume Explanatory Dictionary of Bulgarian which collects, stores and describes the Bulgarian vocabulary in a chronological span of more than 200 years. The study of the norms of standard modern Bulgarian and their systematic codification, as well as the description of the functional styles and registers, are represented in the spelling dictionaries of Bulgarian and are reflected in the spelling and punctuation rules. An important research priority area of the Institute is the study and description of the Bulgarian lexical material over the centuries to the present day by compiling a wide variety of dictionaries such as: Etymological Dictionary of the Bulgarian Language, Bulgarian Dialect Dictionary, series of historical dictionaries of the Bulgarian language, terminological dictionaries, bilingual and multilingual dictionaries, etc.
These official dictionaries and reference books are of great importance for the work of public institutions and for the society. Works like the multivolume Dictionary of the Bulgarian Language, the Bulgarian Dialect Atlas, the Bulgarian Etymological Dictionary are of fundamental scientific and practical importance and are used in many research areas in the humanities, and by different educational and cultural institutions. The Institute publishes many dictionaries of national significance that reflect the lexical diversity of the Bulgarian language, document recent changes in the Bulgarian vocabulary and phraseology, and represent the linguistic parallels between Bulgarian and other languages. These dictionaries draw huge interest among wide audience thus attesting for the necessity for such knowledge in the present-day society.
Electronic language resources and tools for their processing
The work is focused on the computational processing of natural language which includes both theoretical research in grammar and vocabulary of the Bulgarian language and applied research in several key areas such as: integration of tools for language processing in a multilingual web-based system content management; advanced search and information retrieval; text preprocessing and disambiguation at different levels; tools for checking and correcting spelling and grammar. The quality and quantity of the language resources and computational tools for their processing developed at the Institute for Bulgarian language are comparable to those that are available for the major European languages, and set standards for future work.
The Institute for Bulgarian language plays an essential role in promoting the linguistic norms and improving the language culture in the society. The activities aimed at promoting the language norms are of great significance for the use of standard modern Bulgarian in all areas of public life. Highly professional expertise and consultancy services are carried out, as they support the proper functioning of a number of institutions: ministries, judiciary, businesses, community organisations, media, publishers.
Cultural and historical linguistic heritage of Bulgaria
The Institute for Bulgarian Language studies the Bulgarian historical heritage preserved in written monuments and epigraphic fragments, and carries out research in historical dialectology using comparisons between manuscripts and living dialects. Among the priority research areas of the Institute is the study of Bulgarian dialects based on rich authentic material from the entire linguistic area. Fundamental etymological research is carried out in order to determine the Slavic or foreign origin of Bulgarian words, leading to discovery of the relations between Bulgarian language and Bulgarian people and other languages and peoples. The study of the origins of Bulgarian names and vocabulary, as well as the comparative and ethnolinguistic research contribute to the study of the genesis of the Bulgarian people and their material and spiritual culture over the centuries.
Sources for the history of the Bulgarian language
Important monuments of the historical development of the Bulgarian language throughout the centuries are systematically examined and published using modern methods for promoting written heritage (facsimile and typesetting editions, digitisation, research).