Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry Digital Archive User Guide: Transcription Key

This is a guide to using the Digital Archive to the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry (

Transcription Key

As noted above, all letters in the transcriptions are capitalized.  They are listed below with their IPA equivalent or description, with vowels and the diacritics used with them first, and then consonants and the vowels used with them.


A             a
E             e
I               i
O             o
U             u
3              ә
1              ɽ
6              ʌ


.              length
..             extra length
94           especially short
95           syllable division
,              stress
,,             extra or primary stress
+             nasalization
4              lowering
5              raising
7              backing
8              fronting


B              b
C              c
D              d
F               f
G              g
H              h
J               j
K              k
L               l
L5             slightly fricative l
M              m
N               n
P               p
R               r
S               s
T               t
V              v
W             w
X              x
Z               z
95             glottal stop


.                 length
,                 syllabicity
+                (with C, S, Z) hushing
+                (with B, D, F, G, K, P, T, V) nasal release
-                 preceding sound weak or indistinct
2                (with B, D, G, J, L, M, N, R, V, W, Z) unvoicing
2                (with C, F, H, K, P, S, T, X) voicing, but fortis
2-               degree of (un)voicing not clear
7                retraction, velarization
C7,S7,Z7    semi-hushing sibilants in Northeastern Yiddish
8                 palatalization
S78 etc.      palatalized, semi-hushing