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The Franconian Dictionary (WBF)


Cultural Asset Dialect: Research, Safeguard and Share

The archived material of the Franconian Dictionary includes questionnaires completed in handwriting or with typewriters, index cards written by reference persons from phonetic protocols of personal interviews and from handwritten manuscripts of local dictionaries. The collection represents an immaterial cultural asset to be preserved without fail.  It is part of a regional heritage just like monuments and museums.

In 2012 a major part of this inventory was digitalised by scanning, namely all 600.000 questionnaires and some as well as about 700.000 of 1,2 million index cards. Most of all this measure was taken to backup the documents threatened by the ravages of time.

Publishing the Online Version

The online dictionary in the making is supposed to replace the tedious and lengthy research inside the editorial office’s archive. It will also make the usage examples available to the scientific as well as the non-scientific public. To achieve this, all dialect usage examples are being recorded, categorized and incorporated into a single database. The online publishing will take place step by step, parallel to the ongoing data recording, complementing and expanding the online dictionary in accordance with the recording and editing process. While this process is still going on, first assessments can be made considering comprehensive aspects. The resulting data already serve colleagues at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg as a reliable base for scientific research work in various fields.

Dialect Maps

Map 1 is mainly based on the analysis of questionnaire number 2, sent out in 1960. Question number 31 „What do you call sliced and fried potato dumplings? On the one hand investigates the names of the very potato dumplings and on the other hand it examines their further processing.

In addition to the alphabetically arranged keyword articles modern dialect dictionaries also include maps on pronunciation as well as maps addressing the synonymy of complete lexical fields. The Franconian Dictionary offers a number of maps, illustrating clearly the interrelations and developments.

The two maps shown here demonstrate, how a further analysis might look.

Map 2 shows the results of the analysis of sheet 2, question 21, as well as sheet 22, question 17. The question investigates the names for the nail or the pin preventing the wagon wheel from coming off the wheel axle.

In the future, an interface to SprachGIS, a charting software supplied by our partner REDE, regionalsprache.de, a project of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz, will make it possible for the user, to create maps from the material on his or her own.