The “Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Althochdeutschen (EAW)” examines the entire Old High German vocabulary of about 750 to 1150 CE. The vocabulary of Old High German is the richest among the Old Germanic, because it reflects almost all areas of social life. The EAW closes a serious gap in the corpus of scientific aids for German and Indo-European scholars by developing a research instrument on the etymology of Old High German, which builds on the current state of research and knowledge and evaluates it.
Since the meanings of a word entered into a term give information about the degree of empirical knowledge of the environment by the speech carriers, particular importance is attached to the indication of the respective motif of the term. New approaches to dictionary work are also being pursued by incorporating the historical syntax.
The EAW also proves to be an indispensable working tool for those who deal with the etymology of the New High German language, because a reliable analysis of the oldest forms is a prerequisite for understanding the New High German words. In addition, a high proportion of Old High German vocabulary does not continue in high language, but lives on exclusively in dialects and place names. The lexemes are easily found via a word index that is added to each EAW volume. In Etymologica for New High German, these words are not taken into account.