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What is the role of the single quote sign in transliterations? I have the following example:

Malkat Sh'va in Modern Hebrew
(From Wikipedia Queen of Sheba Article)

What is the ' sign called in this context? And what does it do?

I have already browsed the internet, but couldn't find an explanation. I have even looked into ISO 259-3, but got only confused.

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closed as off topic by JSBձոգչ, RegDwigнt Nov 9 '12 at 19:09

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I'm not posting an answer since I don't know the terminology, but it indicates a break in pronunciation. Shva has one syllable, Sh'va has two. – Sparr Nov 9 '12 at 18:20
I imagine it's just called an apostrophe, same as the one there in it's. Probably performs much the same role, except that in my example we all know it's standing in for the specific sequence "space plus letter 'i'". In Sh'va the erudite scholars would probably say it's impossible to identify exactly what "letter/sound" is missing (maybe it's something even less obtrusive than a schwa, that can't meaningfully be represented at all). – FumbleFingers Nov 9 '12 at 18:25
If you are looking for a rule to apply to transliterations of all language into English, then you are destined to fail. What is true in Hebrew may not be true in Arabic or Japanese (the latter being an isochronous language in which the ' indicates an unvoiced, or in some cases muted, syllable that takes the same amount of time as any other syllable). – Robusto Nov 9 '12 at 18:51
I love this question, but unfortunately it looks like a question about Hebrew, and not English. – JSBձոգչ Nov 9 '12 at 18:56
Robusto is quite on the mark here. For some languages, ' indicates palatalization. For others, it indicates a glottal stop. For Hebrew I'm being told in our chat it is neither, likely just a schwa. Japanese has been covered above. So your original question was too broad. And if we limit it to one language, it becomes off-topic as JSBangs has pointed out. For Hebrew in particular, you might wish to visit our sister site Mi Yodeya and ask in their chat. At any rate, the sign itself is just an apostrophe. – RegDwigнt Nov 9 '12 at 18:56