Here's the format I think you should include. I think we should start with the ideal and tone it down to something we can practically do.
1. Dialectal Variance: Same word in Bohairic, Sahidic, Fayummic, Akmimic, etc. We may need an article discussing new singla (how Coptologist now list all the dialects. There's about 20 dialects).
2. Tense: Start with Noun, then adjective, then verb, then other.
2a. If noun, simply state meaning and a note if it is a Greek loan word. For example, ma;ytyc - GL (Greek loan word) pupil, disciple If verb, need 4 forms: infinitive, prominal, preprominal, and qualitative. For example, mici Inf. mec- or mac- Pro. mac= PPro. moci Q. If adjectives, pronouns, preposition or other: simply list word and meaning.
2b. Idioms: Certain nouns, and verbs have additional meaning if you add a preposition. For example, ma;oui - poison. refhima;oui - thrower of poison. St. Shenouda Archimandrite Coptic Society's dictionary and Fr. Kyrillos Makar's dictionary are good references. The same is true for Claudias Labib's dictionary in Arabic. If it is a verb, we'll have to list all, even if it becomes a noun. For example, ma] - hit the mark. We need to also list ]ma] - V. agree, enjoy, attain. ]ma] - N. pleasure. ref]ma] - N. masc. Obedient person. at]ma] - Adj. Disagreeing. metat]ma] - N. fem. unacceptableness.
2c. Example sentences. I think this should be optional. Crum included it for every word but he also included many, many examples from different manuscripts. It would take decades to include this into Coptionary. If you do include an example, include a translation. I've noticed some words currently in Coptionary have examples from the Bible. It would be nice to include the entire reference in English too.
3. Linked words. Think of this as a misspelled section. However, there is no such thing as misspelled. This section is more for Bohairic variances. For example, mmeine vs. mmyini. However, I don't like the title Bohairic variances because the variant form can be the Sahidic variant. But some words have multiple variances, that are more than dialectal variances.
4. For verbs and prepositions, I think we should have a conjugation table. For example
nem Then list all the conjugations in 3 columns: 1 for person, 1 for Coptic text, 1 for English meaning. So the first row would be: 1st pers sg. nemyi. with me. The next row would be 2nd per sg. font=CS Avva Shenouda]nemyaf[/font]. with you. Etc. This is easy for prepositions. It is a lot harder for verbs. Given Coptic has 40+ verb tenses (about 15 are used often), it makes sense for us to list the verb tenses we should include. We also have to standardize the name of each tense. I'll work on this.
Of course, this is a lot of work. It would take years to complete, especially if we tabulate conjugations. However, we can start with popular words and increase from there. By inputing popular words first, we can basically form a dictionary/lexicon that will allow people to find most words in our church services, especially the psalmody. Then we can move on to more specialized word lists.
Any thoughts. Thanks.