Language represents man's fundamental instrument of communication and medium of cognition. Not only does it reflect and constitute man's social reality, but it also defines his cultural identity. In Austria, dialects and vernacular can be seen as the actual mothertongue and are the most frequently spoken language varieties in every day life. Dialects conserve traditional opinions and mentalities and at the same time reflect the continual societal changes. The Dictionary of Bavarian Dialects in Austria (WBO) (gathering of information since 1911, in publication since 1963) represents the lexicographical benchmark of (old) Austrian dialects. The basis for the dictionary is the Database of Bavarian Dialects in Austria (DBO) ( 5 mio. data entries), which is the product of 15 years of continual research in the field of electronic processing of heterogeneous dialect data for lexicographical means. In the framework of project dbo@ema we will form trans- and interdisciplinary cooperations in order to create a web based information network of at least 13 000 example entries of the DBO and the most important documentation databases (about 13 000 entries) including localization information with a wide variety of benefits and applications which will be made accessible to the the broad public and scientific community as well. An essential task lies in developing a web based database which makes it possible to store heterogeneous dialect data. Beside the graphemic access to DBO (f. e. interactive lemma list) and the interactive data input option we plan to construct an innovative visual access structure by way of an interactive digital map. Our project aims are innovative and application-oriented and their realization makes use of inter- and intradisciplinary research methods in the field of lexicography. The accessibility of lexicographical source-data by means of an interactive, geo-referential map is a novel enterprise and accommodates the aerial conception of the WBO as well as the many geographic queries addressed at the dictionary-endeavor. The intended digitalization of lexicographical data will broaden the user circle and enhance the quality of research. The realization of our project aims will create a basis for further collaboration with national and international partners (e.g. cross-linking different maps of linguistic and non-linguistic information, linking up with the WBO and non Austrian dialect dictionaries). It will also accommodate the demands to make scientific work transparent and publicly accessible. The web based interfaces will make the dictionaries sources accessible for exactly that population stratum, which started collecting and providing data about hundred years ago.
This project is funded by: