eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society cover
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society
Emakeele Seltsis sündinud sõnaraamat; pp. 277–287
PDF | 10.3176/esa65.12

Mari Kendla

A dictionary born of the Mother Tongue Society

The year 2019 saw the publication of Fascicle 30 of the Estonian Dialect Dictionary. This meant the completion of Volume 6 and the first half of the lexicographic monument. The dictionary is a unique achievement, covering all Estonian dialects. Each entry word is presented together with its phonetic, morphological and semantic characteristics as well as example sentences. Altogether, the material represents 117 historical parishes. 
The Estonian Dialect Dictionary has a long history. The idea of compiling one was first aired in the circles of the Estonian Literary Society. In 1913 Johannes Aavik published an appeal with instructions for collecting Estonian dialect words, but the attempt was nipped in the bud by the imminent war. In 1920 the Mother Tongue Society was established. Its main mission was collection of dialect material with a view to a comprehensive dictionary of vernacular Estonian. Since 1921, according to an agreement between the Estonian Literary Society and the Mother Tongue Society, all responsibility for collecting and publishing dialect material has been the responsibility of the Mother Tongue Society. Thus, the effort of compiling the comprehensive dialect dictionary has been going on for nearly a century, while its practical execution started at the Mother Tongue Society.
In 1947 the compilation of the dialect dictionary became one of the tasks of the newly founded Institute of Language and Literature (since 1993 the Institute of the Estonian Language).  After decades of material collection, alphabetical compilation of a summary card index, development and formulation of the compilation principles for the dictionary, and creating software for layout and printing, the long-awaited Fascicle One saw light in 1994.
The fascicle currently under preparation (osatlema-pari) carries the number 31. The part of the dictionary completed so far contains about 62,000 entry words, annually supplemented by another 2,000. The recently published online version means a remarkable expansion in access and usage of the dictionary. 


Aavik, Johannes 1913. Üleskutse ja juhatus Eesti murdesõnade kogumiseks. – Eesti Kirjandus 4−5, 168−182.

Ahven, Eeva 2007. Pilk paberpeeglisse. Keele ja Kirjanduse Instituudi kroonika 1947−1993. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus.

Ariste, Paul 1939. Rahvakeele sõnaraamatust. – Eesti Keel 5, 121−128.

Kask, Arnold 1929. 1928. aasta murdekogumise aruanne. – Eesti Keel 1−2, 53−54.

Kask, Arnold 1940. Ülevaade AES-i kahekümneaastasest tegevusest. – Eesti Keel 1−2, 34−49.

Kask, Arnold 1948. Eesti rahvakeele-sõnaraamatu koostamise printsiibid ja teose üldilme. Eesti NSV Teaduste Akadeemia. Teaduslik sessioon 23.–29. aprillini 1947, Ühiskonnateaduste Osakonna istungid. Tartu: Teaduslik Kirjandus, 151–169.

Must, Mari 1975. Uut ja puudu olevat „Eesti murrete sõnaraamatus“. – Emakeele Seltsi aastaraamat 19−20. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 109−127.

Mäger, Mart 1966. Eesti murrete sõnaraamat. Ajalugu, koostamisprintsiibid, väljavaated (järg). – Keel ja Kirjandus 11, 663−669.

Neetar, Helmi 1998. Kõne „Eesti murrete sõnaraamatu“ esitlemisel. – Emakeele Seltsi aastaraamat 35−42. Tartu, 182−185.

Saareste, Andrus 1922. Murdesugemete kogumine 1922. a. – Eesti Keel 2, 151−156.

Saareste, Andrus 1939. Mida pakuvad meile AES-i murdekogud? – Eesti Keel 5, 105−113.

Trinkman, E. 1929. Erakorraline peakoosolek 13. okt. 1929. − Eesti Keel 5−6, 124−127.

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