Main Content

Digital Wenker Atlas (DiWA)

Due to its unique area-wide documentation of dialect data, Wenker’s historical "Sprachatlas des Deutschen Reichs" is of particular importance for the study of language change in German. A comparison of the Wenker data, which date back more than 100 years in their collection, including quite extensive more-recent data from surveys by other research institutions (e.g., from modern regional atlases) makes it possible for the first time to systematically analyze the change in spoken language over an entire century. The project Digital Wenker Atlas (DiWA), which is currently being carried out at the Research Center Deutscher Sprachatlas in Marburg, is a German Research Foundation (DFG)-funded undertaking that focuses on the publication and scientific processing of Wenker’s language atlas. The main goal of the first phase of the project (1 April 2001 through 30 September 2003) is the initial and complete publication of the 1,653 original maps from the "Sprachatlas des Deutschen Reichs". The atlas will be made available online and thus to a wide audience, both scholars and interested laypersons. With the digitization of the Wenker maps (scan resolution 600 DPI), the work is simultaneously secured at the highest quality level.