The Orthography tier in Phon encodes the spoken form of the utterance in the target language. Within Orthography (and all Phon tiers) words are idenfied using space. Each word may be modifed using the prefixes and suffixes defined below. Events and comments may also be defined inline.

Word Prefix

Word prefixes will appear highlighted in yellow in the Record Data view. The following word prefixes are available:
Prefix Category Example
0 word omission (omitted from word alignment) 0word
&+ incomplete &+ba
&- filler &-um
& fragment &ba

Special Form Markers

The following special form markers are available in Phon and are added to the end of a word. Special form markers will appear highlighted in green in the Record Data view.

Suffix Category Example
@a addition xxx@a
@b babbling abame@b
@c child-invented form gumma@c
@d dialect form younz@d
@e echolalia, repetition want@e more@e
@f family-specific form bunko@f
@fs filled-syllable uh@fs
@fp filled-pause xxx@fp
@g general special form gonga@g
@i interjection, interaction uhhuh@i
@k multiple letters ka@k
@l letter b@l
@n neologism broked@n
@nv no voice ha@nv
@o onomatopoeia boing@o
@p phonology consistent aga@p
@si singing lalala@si
@sl signed language apple@sl
@sas sign & speech apple@sas
@t test word wut@t
@u unibet transcription binga@u
@wp word play goobarumba@wp
@x excluded words stuff@x
@z:* user-defined code word@z:rtfd


The following list of punctuation characters are allowed: # @ % ^ & { } $ = , . ! ?. Punctuation characters are always separated from words by a space.

Special Sequences

If the word content is either xxx, yyy or www the word is considered to be 'untranscribed.' Untranscribed word should be aligned with '*' in IPA Target and IPA Actual tiers.

Inline Comments

Inline comments are enclosed within parentheses - '(' and ')' - or asterisks - '*'. Comments may include any character data. When converting to/from CHAT data, some comments may have the syntax type:comment. Comments enclosed with asterisks are considered to be 'events' which occur within the utterance.


A special type of comment is an intra-word pause. Intra-word pauses are defined by comments consisting of one to three periods indicating the perceived length of the pause. Pauses are included in word alignment and should be aligned with the complimentary pause in IPA Target and IPA Actual tiers.