Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry Digital Archive User Guide: Questionnaire

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


Below, you can find an outline for the Table of Contents for the questionnaire, which was ordered by topic.

For further guidance on using the questionnaire, see Using the Questionnaire.

The full LCAAJ questionnaire consists of 3581 questions and subquestions divided across 247 pages. In fact, it consists of two separate parts. The first part, the longer Stabilized Master Questionnaire (SMQ), was administered to individuals from areas where Yiddish continued to function as a fully living language. It was also called the "Eastern" questionnaire, since the bulk of the informants came from the eastern parts of Europe. The SMQ is found on  pages 1-221.  The West Yiddish (WY) questionnaire was administered to informants where Yiddish survived largely in the form of various special dialect features and is found on pages 222-247.

Each questionnaire contains questions unique to the specific conditions each of the two regions, but a group of questions are asked in the same or nearly the same way in both questionnaires, so that comparisons could be drawn between the two regions.

Each question has a unique number. In the SMQ, these are six digits long, the first two representing the page of the questionnaire (including leading zeroes for one- and two-digit numbers) and next two the number of the question on that page (once again with leading zeroes, if necessary), and the final the number of any subquestion (with a "0" when it is not a subquestion). Thus, for example, "002010" indicates question 1 on page 2, and "002011" indicates subquestion 1 of question 1 on page 2.

In the WY questionnaire, the question numbers are nine digits long.  This is because the linked questions found on particular pages in the WY had the same full question number as their counterparts in the SMQ.  The first three digits represent the actual page number in WY.  If the question does not have an equivalent in the SMQ, then the next three numbers repeat the page number, followed by the question number. If the question is in the SMQ as well, then the last six numbers represent the linked page, question and subquestion number in the SMQ.  Thus, for example, "235235006" indicates question 6 on page 235, whereas  235113090 indicates question 113090 on page 235, with 113090 being the same as the number of the related question in the SMQ.

The columns in the questionnaire  indicate, in order: (A) the questionnaire (SMAQ or WY)  to which they belong, (B) the question number, (C) the question in Yiddish (or sometimes English, German, and Hebrew, depending on how the question was asked), (D) a transliteration of the Yiddish questions (courtesy of EYDES), when the question was asked in Yiddish, (E) the ethnographic table of contents section under which this question falls, (F) the numbers of linguistic topics covered, and (G) the numbers of related questions in the corresponding questionnaire (SMQ or WY).

Users can identify questions of potential interest in three ways:

  1. Browsing the questionnaire.  That browsing can be aided by using the (largely) ethnographic subject headings applied to successive sections of the questionnaire:

The headings are listed in a column the Questionnaire Spreadsheet.  The headings have been assigned to us as well, to the related questions in the West Yiddish questionnaire.

  1. Searching for individual words in the text of the questionnaire.
  1. Searching to identify questions identified with specific linguistic topic numbers. Almost all of the questions were formulated to address one or another linguistic problem, each with an identifying number (e.g., 058 neutralization in post-tonic nonfinal open syllable; 059 vocalism of reflexive pronouns; 672 metathesis; 870 regional differences in religious vocabulary; 985 anecdotes, puns, humoristic formations).  Those numbers are included in in the questionnaire, so a search will retrieve the all relevant questions. A classified list of topics (arranged in numeric order) and an alphabetical index to the same.  

Topical Table of Contents

Each section of the questionnaire was divided into topics, listed below. 

דאָס שטעטל און דער אַרום (The Village and Environs)      001

גוף, מומים, אד״גל (The Body, Defects, etc.)                  011

הלבשה, נייען, אד״גל (Dress, Sewing, etc.)                    037

הױז, מעבל, אד״גל (House, Furniture, etc.)                    055

ראַמען און װאַשן (Cleaning and Washing)                       077

לאָמפּ (Lamp)                                                            081

אױװן (Oven)                                                              083

געװעקסן (Flora)                                                         087

מאָלצײַטן, קיך (Meals, Kitchen)                                    103

זייגער, צאָלן (Clock, Numerals)                                    114

מאכלים (Foods)                                                        120

בעלי-חײם (Animals)                                                   139

קרובֿים און קינדער (Relatives and Children)                     156

חתונה (Marriage)                                                       175

טױט (Death)                                                             179

שבת און װאָכנטעג: שול (Sabbath and Week; Synagogue) 185

יום-טובֿים (Festivals)                                                   189

פּרנסות (Earning a Living)                                            202

װעטער (Weather)                                                       215

די מענטשלעכע טבֿע (Human Nature)                             218

בײגונג פון אַדיעקטיװ— פֿאַר מע״ייִ (Adjective Inflection—for Western Yiddish) 221

אַנקעטעס פֿאַר מערבֿ-ייִדיש THE WESTERN YIDDISH QUESTIONNAIRES

די מערבֿ-אַנקעטע (The Western Questionnaire (WQ) ) 222

דעד עטנאָגראַפֿישער צוגאָב (The Ethnographic Supplement (ES) ) 238