LexText: Cultural Heritage in Words and Sources

We research the rich linguistic heritage of the Nordic countries as it manifests itself in a multitude of different source types. We take an interdisciplinary approach and operate at the intersection of lexicography, corpus linguistics and scholarly editing, with clear influences from dialectology, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, onomastics, runology and language technology.

We combine qualitative, philological studies of the sources with the more quantitative approaches of corpus linguistics and language technology. The analyses of linguistic data also take into account physical, textual and socio-cultural aspects related to the origins of the sources and the history of their transformation and reception.

We focus on understanding and explaining linguistic variation within the Nordic dialect continuum, including developments in concepts and conceptual spheres. Among other things, we aim to contribute new insights into lexicographic theory and practice, the relationship between norm, variation and language development in time and space, the relationship between writing and speech, factors of particular relevance to semantic and conceptual developments of words, regional and chronological differences in word formation, digital scholarly editing, and the dissemination and exploitation of digital and physical collections.

We are working towards the creation of a comprehensive Nordic lexical-textual resource consisting of:

  1. a meta-dictionary bringing together existing Nordic historical dictionaries, dialect dictionaries and a number of specific databases on place and personal names as well as runic resources
  2. a comprehensive, annotated corpus of a large number of Nordic medieval texts, selected post-medieval texts and various dialect resources (written records, dialect texts and sound recordings)


Lexicographic theory and practice

The group’s overall commitment to the Ømålsordbogen, Jysk Ordbog, Bornholmsk Ordbogordnet.dk, Lexicon Poeticum  and the Dictionary of Old Norse Prose with their respective collections of material provides us with a unique opportunity for diachronic and synchronic studies in Danish/Nordic written and spoken language. We are interested, among other things, in how to link the resources more intelligently, for example on the basis of conceptual fields. 

Norm, variation and language development in time and space

We study regionally and chronologically conditioned linguistic variation at both the form and content levels, whether manifested at the level of phonology, morphology, word-formation (including in names), syntax and/or semantics. We are interested, among other things, in the relationship between writing and speaking, as well as standardization processes and their relation to social and cultural processes.

Words, things and society

We uncover factors of particular relevance to the semantic and conceptual development of words, including language contact and foreign influence in different linguistic varieties, and the relationship between concept, word and things (Wörter & Sachen). To understand this relationship, we must relate it to the social conditions of a given time.

Digital scholarly editing

We develop and exploit research infrastructures that, among other things, facilitate the elucidation of lexical-textual relationships, including the relationship between genre/style and lexicon, and between foreign sources and their Nordic counterparts, with a particular focus on new word formation and cultural influence in the Middle Ages.


We are working on a content and technical update of the runic database Danske Runeindskrifter. Our focus is on the optimal representation of linguistic data at different levels of text representation and on the most appropriate use of the runic corpus in the preparation of actual dictionaries of Ancient Nordic, Runic and Medieval Danish respectively. We are also concerned with the exploitation of new forms of dissemination and teaching.


We publish the series Danmarks Stednavne (the place-names in about ⅔ of Denmark have been published) in parallel with the development of the database with the same title. We are working to make the digitised records of the Name Research Archive more accessible to a wider audience. In collaboration with Ordnet.dk, we are further developing the Dansk Navneleksikon (2021), and we are working on linking further lexical onomastic resources with other dictionaries.

Research infrastructure and dissemination

Much of our research is based on NorS’ unique physical and digital collections, and we are developing innovative research infrastructures and linguistic tools to make these collections more accessible to researchers and other interested parties. One way we do this is by integrating various external resources in the form of a shared meta-dictionary with related digitised resources.




Head of research group



Name Title Phone E-mail
Battista, Simonetta Dictionary Editor +4535335729 E-mail
Eggert, Birgit Associate Professor +4535328563 E-mail
Ellyton, Pernille Benedicte Weng PhD Fellow +4535324972 E-mail
Gudiksen, Asgerd Associate Professor +4535328506 E-mail
Helgadottir, Thorbjørg Dictionary Editor +4535328490 E-mail
Hovmark, Henrik Associate Professor +4535328497 E-mail
Jakobsen, Johnny Grandjean Gøgsig Associate Professor +4535328722 E-mail
Kjeldsen, Alex Speed Associate Professor +4553600121 E-mail
Lindholm, Johnny F. Dictionary Editor +4535331108 E-mail
Nielsen, Michael Lerche Associate Professor +4535328566 E-mail
Olesen, Rikke Steenholt Associate Professor +4535328564 E-mail
Sigurdardottir, Aldis Dictionary Editor +4535335745 E-mail
Verri, Giovanni PhD Fellow +4535328050 E-mail
Wills, Tarrin Jon Senior Researcher +4535334072 E-mail


  • Jongejan, Bart, Software developer
  • Olander, Thomas, Associate professor - The promotion programme
  • Olsen, Sussi, Academic Staff FU
  • Pedersen, Bolette Sandford, Professor, Deputy head of department
  • Poulsen, Simon, PhD scholar
  • Rasmussen (Olsen), Birgit Anette, Professor


  • Arboe, Torben, Dictionary Editor, Jysk Ordbog, Aarhus University
  • Bøegh, Kristoffer Friis, Dictionary Editor, Jysk Ordbog, Aarhus University
  • Hansen, Inger Schoonderbeek, Associate Professor, dictionary editor, Jysk Ordbog, leader of Peter Skautrup Centret for Jysk Dialektforskning, School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University
  • Møller, Mette-Marie Svendsen, Dictionary Editor, Jysk Ordbog, Aarhus University
  • Troelsgård, Thomas, Senior Editor, Det Danske Sprog- og Litteraturselskab
  • Nathalie Hau Sørensen, Assistant Editor, Det Danske Sprog- og Litteraturselskab