Scientific Workshop: Digitization, Networking, Reuse - Tasks and Potentials of Low German Dialect Lexicography


30.11.2023 bis 01.12.2023


University of Rostock
Albert-Einstein-Straße 22
18059 Rostock

Start of the event is 9.30 a.m.

No fees will be charged for participation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and meals.

Requests for further information should be sent to the following address:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Bieberstedt
University of Rostock
Institute for German Studies
Kröpeliner Str. 57
18055 Rostock
andreas.bieberstedt [at] (andreas[dot]bieberstedt[at]uni-rostock[dot]de)




Dr. Thomas Burch
From 30.11. to 01.12 2023 a scientific workshop will take place at the University of Rostock on questions of digitization, networking and reuse of large-scale dialect dictionaries, especially Low German. We would like to invite you to participate in this event.

The workshop is aimed at colleagues from the fields of lexicography, regional language research, Low German philology, corpus linguistics, digital humanities, ethnography, data processing, and computer science, but also from related disciplines that are concerned in a broader sense with the digitization, networking, analysis, and presentation of lexicographic and similar linguistic corpora, or in whose area of responsibility current or completed dictionary projects lie.

The workshop is part of the DFG project "Wossidlo-Teuchert online". Publication of the Mecklenburg dictionary in the Trier dictionary network and corpus-based bidirectional linking with the digital research environment "WossiDiA". On the one hand, it is intended as a scientific exchange of experience. Secondly, it is intended to explore possibilities, needs and cooperation scenarios with regard to the digitization and networking of further (Low German) dialect dictionaries. Thirdly, innovative access to the linguistically relevant material available in the dictionary and archive will be discussed.

Ultimately, the workshop is intended to bring together potential cooperation partners as well as consultants for a future digital network of large-scale dictionaries of Low German and neighboring language areas, the realization of which is currently being driven forward by the universities of Rostock and Trier. Such a network would for the first time provide an overview of the Low German vocabulary in its diatopic differentiation. At the same time, for the first time, one of the three major dialect areas of German (Low German, Middle German, Upper German) would be lexically documented and presented in its entirety in digital form. In the sense of modern language contact and multilingualism research, however, such a network should not be limited to the Low German dialect area or the Low German vocabulary, but should also focus on linguistic transitional spaces and contact zones. The Trier dictionary network offers excellent conditions for such scenarios.

Thematic focus and questions
The workshop pursues three thematic focuses:

1. procedures and possibilities for the digitization of dialect dictionaries and their corpora. 

  • Status description: Which completed and ongoing projects for the digitization of (Low German) dialect dictionaries and their archives / corpora exist? On which structural and data-technical basis are analog and digital dictionaries and their archives as well as current digitization projects built?
  • Demand contouring: Which dictionaries or dictionary archives plan or desire digitization and in what form? Which (organizational, legal, data-technical) prerequisites for this exist, are being created or need to be clarified? Which forms of cooperation are necessary and desired for the realization of potential digitization projects?

2. Networking scenarios

  • between dictionaries
    • How can digital isolated solutions be avoided through standardization in terms of work and data technology? (Keywords connectivity and sustainability)
    • What does a potential networking scenario of large-scale dialect dictionaries of Low German and adjacent language areas look like in the context of the Trier dictionary network? Which experiences of other networks can be used as a basis?
  • between dictionary and corpus (dictionary archive, literary sources, etc.)
    • How can dictionaries and their respective corpora be expanded into linguistic and cultural studies information systems or research environments through digital networking? What needs or wishes exist, what prerequisites are available or need to be created (especially with regard to Low German dialect dictionaries), what experiences can be drawn on, what cooperation scenarios are conceivable?
  • between dictionary and other forms of presentation (atlases, word maps, research environments, etc.)
    • Which networking possibilities and scenarios between the digital dictionary and other forms of presentation and research environments are conceivable and meaningful? How can connectivity with other ongoing or planned digital projects (in the sense of data exchange or data networking) be established? What experience can be drawn on in this regard?

3. Possibilities of using dictionaries and archives as linguistic corpora.

  • To what extent do dictionaries and their archives represent a data corpus that also allows linguistic analyses and can function as linguistic information systems?
  • What linguistic potentials (Stöckle 2021, p. 37) do dictionary archives offer, and what are their limits? Which evaluation scenarios are conceivable and productive? What experiences exist in this regard?
  • Which content-related, structural, and methodological challenges are associated with the linguistic analysis of these corpora?
  • Which collection and evaluation procedures (data mining) are available, can be adopted or need to be developed? Which experiences in this field can be made productive from other disciplines?


he workshop takes place as a two-day attendance event at the University of Rostock. The analog form of the event is due to its workshop character. The workshop is primarily intended as a discussion platform to enable an exchange of experiences and to illuminate potential cooperation opportunities, networking scenarios and synergy effects. If required, however, participants can be connected digitally at certain stages of the event. The workshop will open with a presentation on digitization and networking scenarios from Rostock's perspective. Keynote speeches on the status and perspectives of the participants' own dictionary and digitization projects as well as on the thematic focal points outlined above are desirable. These leading questions will be discussed in moderated discussion rounds. The workshop will conclude with a final discussion that will ideally outline a scenario and a roadmap for a digital network of large-scale dictionaries of Low German and neighboring language areas. Such a scenario should at the same time provide for connection possibilities to further platforms and forms of presentation.


On the part of the University of Rostock, the organizers of the workshop are the Chair of Low German Language and Literature, the Wossidlo Research Unit for European Ethnology/Volkskunde at the Institute of German Studies, the Chair of Database and Information Systems, and the University Library. On the part of the University of Trier, the competence center -Trier Center for Digital Humanities is responsible for the event. The common framework is the DFG project "Wossidlo-Teuchert online", which is currently being carried out cooperatively by colleagues from Rostock and Trier.

Keywords: Dissemination and Community Building in the DH