Skip to main content

Dictionary of Bavarian Dialects in Austria (WBÖ)

Hosting organisations
ACDH-CH - Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage and Variation und Wandel des Deutschen in Österreich (VaWaDiÖ)
Responsible persons
Alexandra N. Lenz and Philipp Stöckle

The project “Dictionary of Bavarian Dialects in Austria” is dedicated to the comprehensive documentation and lexicographic analysis of the various base and regional dialects of (historical) Austria.

The empirical basis for the research is data from the so-called ‘Hauptkatalog’ (‘main catalogue’), a collection of paper slips covering approximately 3.6 million entries with language samples and quotations that were collected in the first half of the 20th century. The language data in this collection was obtained either indirectly with the help of so-called collectors (“Sammler”) on the basis of questionnaires (“Fragebücher”) sent out by mail, or directly during field explorations (“Kundfahrten”), and was further complemented with excerpts from specialised literature. The bulk of the ‘Hauptkatalog’ has by now been digitized and is available as a database in xml-format. So far, the first five volumes of the WBÖ have been published, covering approximately 75.000 lemmata from A to Ezzes.

In December 2016, the WBÖ was relocated to the research department “Variation and Change of German in Austria” at the ACDH-CH. Its integration into the newly founded department facilitates exchange with other resident research projects such as “Austrian Dialect Cartography 1924-1956. Digitalization, Contextualization, Virtualization” (project head: Manfred Glauninger) or the SFB “German in Austria. Varation – Contact – Perception” (spokesperson: Alexandra N. Lenz), a joint project of the Universities of Vienna, Salzburg, and Graz, as well as the ÖAW.

With the help of a growing staff of researchers, the department has developed a modernized concept for the WBÖ. Besides continuing the dictionary work, which is increasingly technology-based, the web-based research and information platform “Lexical Information System Austria (LIÖ)” has been created. In addition to the WBÖ articles, the digitized data of the ‘Hauptkatalog’ as well as other material (scans of the questionnaires, research literature, etc.) are integrated into LIÖ in order to enable comprehensive research.