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A now somewhat ambiguous term. Formerly it referred to regionally distinguishable variants of language use, i.e “regionalects,” but in the course of the 20th century and after, many scholars, particularly in the UK, have taken into account that regionalects have more and more been superimposed by social language variants (“sociolects”).

EDD Guide

A short guide of EDD Online, intended for users’ quick information, is added in the interface on top.

EDD Online

an interface allowing sophisticated searches in the EDD, not only for headwords, but also for various formal, semantic, pragmatic or other categories. The project work was started officially in 2006 and ended with the fourth version in 2022. The database is stored on a server of the University of Innsbruck.

EDD: English Dialect Dictionary

the most comprehensive dialect dictionary of the English language ever published, covers the dialects of the UK and most of the English-speaking countries of the world from 1700 to 1905.

EDD Online Innsbruck crew and external helpers

Alexander Onysko; Andrea Krapf; Anna-Maria Waldner; Christian Peer; Christian Stenico; Christof Praxmarer; Daniela Jänsch; Emil Chamson; Hans-Werner Bartz; Jingning Tao; Joachim Masser; Joseph Wang; Manfred Markus; Martin Köll; Mirjam Hagen; Raphael Unterweger; Regina Seiwald; Reinhard Heuberger; Robert Spindler; Stefan Giuliani; Thomas Burch; Werner Wegstein


EDD Online provides eight “filters”: dialect areas, parts of speech, phonetics, etymology, usage labels, sources, morphemics, and time spans. Most of them have sub-filters. Thus, dialect areas divides into county, region, and nation; sources offers two selective lists (of dialectal and literary sources); in etymology users can search for either a language or an etymological string; and in time spans either time spans proper or specific years (also truncated) can be selected.


stands for Fonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung ('Austrian Science Fund‘): Austria’s central institution for supporting research: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/FWF_%E2%80%93_Der_Wissenschaftsfonds.


is the transition of one mode of the presentation of data to another. The term stems from computer jargon. From the philologist’s point of view, the interface of EDD Online is a platform of information on linguistic aspects of dialects.

Items counted

The items counted in EDD Online after a query refer to the string a user is looking for. The number of entries involved is often smaller because an entry may contain the query item repeatedly. When dialectal areas are counted (in the column 2 or 3 counted mode), the different ways of Wright’s referring to an area are normalised and summed up. Wright’s typically marked references to sources by numbers, such as Cor.1, are counted as references to the areas concerned so that the Cornwall source just mentioned is listed under Cor. This method is based on the understanding that an item was the more established in the 18th and 19th centuries the more Wright could find sources for its evidence.

Last-result searches

The button last result allows for piggy-back queries, i.e. the results of a first query are used (type * in the search box) for a second query. This tool helps outwit the interface system – search combinations that were excluded in the first query can be aimed at in the second round.


In the sorting box (available in the white field above the search findings), the default option original result can be replaced by alternative sorting options, such as column 2 counted, which is the column usually reserved for the dialect abbreviations. Any list of dialect areas as quantified by this sorting option can be transferred to a map, either of the UK or of the world, depending on which areas are concerned by a query. The choropleth (i.e. multi-colour) presentation of the spatial distribution of a query item is triggered by a click on the keywords subsumed under quantify: absolute or relative; for the latter, there are three degrees of quantification. The cursor when moved into the map triggers a zoom with the share involved, e.g. the per mille figure. The other figures added refer to the occurrence of an item in the given area and to the overall references to that area in the whole dictionary.

Markus, Manfred

1941-. The initiator and director of the Innsbruck project EDD Online, which was carried out in four phases from 2006 to 2022.

Mühlberger, Dr. Günther

head of the Innsbruck team of DEA, the institutionalized centre for Digitalisierung und Elektronische Archivierung of the University of Innsbruck. This centre automatically scanned the EDD for the project EDD Online in 2006/07.


These are the main categories that users can search for. There are two simple parameters (headwords and full text) and eight advanced parameters, which include four sub-types of lexemes (derivations, compounds, combinatios, and phrases) as well as definitions, citations, comments, and variants.


This button above the list of search findings allows for the re-arrangement of the findings a-z seen from the strings’ ends. This tool may be helpful in studies of morphemes (e.g. -ing and its variant -in) as well as of end-rhymes.


Wright, in his Bibliography, lists more than two thousand printed sources and hundreds of “correspondents”, who sent informative bits and pieces. EDD Online refers to the latter group as “unprinted”. Overall, there are four types of sources listed separately: dialectal (selection); literary (selection); dial. + lit. (complete); and unprinted. The unedited names and titles of the complete list come in the original form of Wright’s (often inconsistent) abbreviations. The selective lists, which are much shorter and focus on frequently used sources (>200), come in edited short versions of the books concerned.

Wright, Elizabeth Mary

1863-1958. Joseph Wright’s wife and linguist/folklorist in her own right. Helped Joseph Wright edit the EDD and published the book Rustic Speech and Folklore in 1923: London:  Oxford University Press, as well as The Life of Joseph Wright. 2 vols. London: Oxford University Press (1932). She also co-authored some of Joseph Wright’s primers and grammars of Old and Middle English. Cf.


Wright, Joseph

1850-1930. The compiler of the EDD (1898-1905), grew up in poverty near Bradford, England, spent 6 years as a disciple of Prof. Kurt Osthoff at the University of Heidelberg and a year at the University of Leipzig. He later had various teaching jobs in England and finally became Professor of Comparative Philology at the U of Oxford. Further details in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Wright_(linguist)

EDD Online was made possible by the support of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) since 2011: TRP 00116-G20; ORD 89-VO; PUD 24-G. It was also supported by the University of Innsbruck.
cc_miniManfred Markus 2011-. Innsbruck/Austria, English Department, Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck.