Adolf Dirr (1867–1930), born in Augsburg 155 years ago on 17 December, was a linguist and ethnologist, but above all a pioneer of research in the Caucasus. In 1909/10, during a long stay in the region lasting from 1902 to 1913, he made unique sound recordings in the territory of present-day Georgia, Dagestan and Azerbaijan.

In 2023, the Phonogrammarchiv will publish these linguistic recordings for the first time, as Series 19 of The Complete Historical Collections 1899–1950. This edition will also constitute an important contribution to the new Caucasus focus of the ÖAW.

Dirr’s 48 recordings reflect the linguistic diversity of the Caucasus in a remarkable way and, in addition to word lists, numerals, single sentences, short texts, etc., also contain proverbs – such as those spoken into the horn of the Archiv-Phonograph by an Armenian school boy in Tbilisi (Georgia) on 14 April 1910:


Eat bread and cheese and work!

Where there is wine, lie down there to sleep!

Where there is bread, stay there!

(Translation: Ulla Remmer)

The entire team of the Phonogrammarchiv wishes you a peaceful end of the year and all the best for 2023!