Table of Contents

OT Tableaux Again

Hazel Jean Mitchley writes:

Thanks for your site on LaTeX for Linguists, it is very useful for a novice trying to understand aspects of LaTeX which aren't covered in lshort.

Just a note on the OT tableaux section: I have found an amazing site which automatically generates the code which one would need to create the tableaux, which one can then simply cut and paste into the .tex document. This site automatically handles issues such as shading, the 'hand' command, etc - all one has to do is fill in the input, constraints, options and where the violations occur. The site also indicates precisely which packages are required.

I thought it might be useful to have a link to this site on your OT
Tableaux page. 

The site is:

Example Numbering Again

Christos Vlachos writes: One of the packages that I would highly recommend for linguists who want a highly customizable TeX/LaTeX package for producing numbered examples is expex. It is a new package by John Frampton.

A LaTeX for Linguists installation on a usb drive

If you are using a windows machine, you might be interested in latex4lingusb: It gives you a portable set up (on a usb drive) which includes a lot of the most commonly used linguistics packages.

An interesting Site

I should add a link to: under my list of `other sites'

Interaction of cancel and qtree packages

There seems to be a conflict between qtree and cancel packages (presumably because they both play around with line drawing). (thanks to Tom Wong for this)

Interlinear Glossing

Interlinear glossing is handled in a similar way by the example numbering packages (e.g. gb4e and covington), but see also: SIL's ITF: (mostly TeX macros, but includes a LaTeX style) (thanks to Mike Maxwell for this)


In babel, one way to get a single word typeset in another language is something like this: Assume you have: \usepackage[greek,english]{babel} Then the following sentence will have one word in Greek. The name `Maria' can be rendered as {\greektext Maria}. You can use this trick with covington.sty to get glosses where: a) the first line is in greek, the second is a transliteration, the third is a word for word gloss, and then there is a translation: \renewcommand{\eachwordone}{\greektext} \glll agapaw su. agapaw su {I-am-loving} you. \glt `I love you' \glend

Books etc

Add a citation for \cite{TeXByTopic} in list of books has a very nice list of links, as well as other stuff

PracTeX Journal

The PracTeX Journal: has lots of interesting, and very accessible, stuff about using latex ingeresting and readable articles.


There is a LaTeX wikipedia page:

Pst-asr Package

The pst-asr package is based on PSTricks and is intended to be used by linguists to typeset autosegmental representations.

OT Tableaux

Nathan Sanders (Linguistics Program, Williams College) has a package for making OT tableaux: OTtablx homepage is


Two new versions of TIPA are available: (1) tipa-1.0 (2) tipa-1.1-beta tipa-1.0 is basically the same as the previous release, known as `beta0624', with a few bugs fixed. tipa-1.1-beta is a heavily modified version (now testing), which cover almost all the symbols that appear in the second version of the Phonetic Symbol Guide (1996). Additional sets of fonts are newly created. (For some reasons I need to typeset all the symbols included in this book.) Both are available at

Trees, Word Grammar

Michael Daniels describes how to handle `Word Grammar' diagrams: \input xy \xyoption{all} \SelectTips{cm}{} \CompileMatrices \def\dlt{\hbox{$\Delta$}} \def\nbl{\hbox{$\nabla$}} \def\noth{\hbox{}} \xymatrix{ &\ar@{-}@/_3pc/[ddddl]|r\ar@{-}@/_4pc/[ddd]|r\bullet&&& \ar@{{\nbl}-{\noth}}[d]\txt{Set}\cr &\ar@/^/[rrr]|{\txt{author}}\ar@{{\dlt}-{\noth}}[u]\txt{Essay by 2 st.}&&& \ar@{-}@/_3pc/[dddl]|r\ar@{-}@/^2pc/[ddd]|r\ar@/_/[ddl]|\#\ar@/^/[d]|m\bullet\cr &&&&{\bullet}\cr &\ar@{{\dlt}-{\noth}}[uu]\ar@{-}[d]|s\txt{Essay}&& \ar@{-}[d]|s{2}&\ar@{{\dlt}-*{\noth}}[u]\ar@{-}[d]|s\txt{Student}\cr \ar[r]\txt{\it an} & \ar[r]\txt{\it essay} & \ar[r]\txt{\it by} & \ar[r]\txt{\it two} & {\txt{\it students}} \cr } \bye Looks a bit like line noise, but it works. Basically, you set up a grid, and then things like [ddu] are directions (down, then down, then up). Every \ar is an arrow; @/^2pc/ means curve upwards so that the midpoint is 2 pc away from where it would have been; @{-} means just use a solid line; @{xyz} means use x as the tail, y as the stem, and z as the head. The |r means interrupt the arrow with an 'r'. The arrows with triangular bases (or heads?) are the trickiest really don't need the arrow with a nabla head: I could have reversed the direction of the arrow... Fortunately, xypic comes with an excellent manual (as does the xymatrix package itself!). The homepage is

Vowel Chart

With tipa, there is nice support for making vowel charts, see the examples in: texmf/doc/fonts/tipa/vowel.tex and its associated style file: vowel.sty Some documentation about this would be a nice addition.

More on Phonetics

Avery Andrews suggestst adding a pointer to Emma Pease's phonetic.sty to the font section, since although this a lot less comprehensive that tipa.sty, it's got proper italics instead of just a slant font, which makes it better for some purposes (such as citing Bob Dixon's Yidiny & Dyirbal stuff).


Markus Triska has written a program, Finomaton, which allows you to comfortably draw and typeset Finite State Machines (and trees). The graphs are exported to plain MetaPost code and can subsequently be used in TeX and LaTeX documents. With minimal adjustments to the exported code, the program can also be used to typeset tree structures visually. Have a look at the demonstration which includes an example of this. Finomaton is available from It requires Tcl/Tk from See also:

Editor for Windows

For the MS Windows page, David Pardue suggests the `LaTeX Editor (LEd)'. The project's webpage is:

Tricks for parsetree

Jason (from the University of Ottowa) writes: I noticed if you are still using the parsetree package that instead of replacing the parentheses with their corresponding commands so you can get parentheses in your tree you can alternatively define something in the preamble like \newcommand{\pbe}{(} \newcommand{\pen}{)} Which you can then use in your trees, and they won't be treated as special characters because you're not actually passing them through the LaTeX this will make writing trees much easier, for example: \begin{parsetree} ( .$R\rightarrow \pbe P\leftrightarrow Q\pen$. .$\lnot R$. ( .$\lnot(P\leftrightarrow Q)$. (.$\lnot P$. .Q.) (.$P$. .$\lnot Q$.) ) ) \end{parsetree} This will make a normal tree with parentheses around P <--> Q.

Phonological Rules

Alan Munn suggests the following for phonological rules: \documentclass{article} \usepackage{delarray} \newcommand{\Env}{/ \rule{2em}{.5pt}}%Defines the / _ (the `phonological environment' line \newcommand{\PhonRule}[2]{\( \ensuremath \begin{array}[c][ {c} ] #1 \end{array} \rightarrow \begin{array}[c][ {c} ] #2 \end{array} \) } \newcommand{\PhonRuleWithEnv}[3]{ \PhonRule{#1}{#2} \Env \( \begin{array}[c][ {c} ] #3 \end{array} \) }


  \begin{array}[c][ {c} ] 
  \begin{array}[c] [ {c} ] 
  \end{array}  \Env 
  \begin{array}[c] [ {c} ] 

More on Slides, and other sections needed

Some more packages that should be mentioned: for the section "Slides" there is a very nice package, "beamer", with surprising carateristics (it is better than "web" and "prosper"). It might be good to have a new section: "critical editions", useful for linguists, with information about "EDMAC" and "ledmac" packages. There is a a site ( with an on-line course to teach the use of theese packages, because it is not very easy to use them, and there you can find links to the respectives pages.

The gb4e Bug

Samson Tikitu de Jager writes: I just happened upon your LaTeX for Linguists site, very nice to have such a collected resource. I wondered if this would be an appropriate place for a little warning about gb4e.sty (apparently hasn't been under developement since 1998, so probably not much point submitting a bug report at this point...). The problem is the redefinition of ^ and _, which gives the wrong spacing if you use both at once. This becomes really visible if the first one is long, eg $e^{\mathrm{ref}}_2$. Perhaps something for a faq, or for the page on numbered examples (where gb4e is suggested, as well as covington)?

More for Windows Users

Hendrik Maryns has some comments about the page `Windows users´: - first of all: there is another editor which does fairly well, though it is not really an editor: the TeXlipse plugin for Eclipse - I really would not claim the standard approach to be Emacs, MiKTeX, GhostView. The least Windows users use Emacs, and most will produce pdfs, so that would be TeXnicCenter, MiKTeX, Acrobat Reader/Yap. Then, beamer gives a much more flexible approach to slides, with an excellent manual, very easy to get started. Furthermore, my colleagues all use the package lingmacros, also for glossed examples.

More Publishers who accept LaTeX

Claire Bowern writes: I was just browsing the LaTeX for linguists site and I have an addition to the list of publishers who accept LaTeX submissions. Benjamins will accept camera-ready copy prepared in LaTeX as long as the page dimensions correspond exactly to their style and (as the contact person told me) "as long as you know what you're doing". I mention this because their guidelines for editors for camera-ready production state that Word should be used, and I only found this out after I was complaining about how awful some aspects of typesetting were in Word.

Another Tree Drawing Package

xytree -- another powerful package for drawing trees.

Another New Journal

Christina Thiele writes: I have a new journal to add to your collection. I'm now typesetting yet another linguistics journal ;-) so perhaps the next time you update your website you could add: Linguistica Atlantica Another Canadian journal, and I landed it by word of mouth. As with CJL and CJAL, there's no explicit call out for accepting TeX/LaTeX papers but as I use it, I'm not going to turn such offerings away ;-) I don't worry if it has good or bad coding practices in it -- everything's fodder for the mill. I've also had a peek at the phonetic symbols link ... are you sure that TIPA's not part of the standard distribution these days? Or was it that it used to be but isn't now? Not sure which way that one goes ;-) I only had a quick look but ... I didn't see a link to the IPA's home site. Is it in there somewhere? If not, then that might be a good one to add. Oh ... I can't help it -- I'm an editor!! -- what if the link `Errata/Stop Press' were moved to the very top of the left side, on its own (spaces above/below)? That way, you'd be sure to actually get people's attention ;-) It's rather buried down there at the bottom, I find. And finally, thanks for the very kind words about the ling-tex list (remember the hyphen). We've been going for over 11 years now -- amazing, isn't it?! -- and the archive is indeed a treasure trove of information. Well, I've got to stop and get supper ready ;-) Thanks again for keeping this site going, Doug. I think it's really good. Indeed, if you don't mind ;-), I'll give it a plug to the editors of a set of conference proceedings I'll be doing (from Methods XII from last year).

More on QTree

Version 3.0b of qtree, the tree-drawing package, is now available for trial distribution from the following web address: The new version has a number of useful (and long-requested) features:

LyX for Linguists

In case you do not know, LyX is a `nearly WSYWG' editor for LaTeX (in fact, it really is better than WSYWG). There is now a site that helps linguists use it: LyX for Linguists:

Phonology and OT

Doug Ball writes: I don't know how much you're updating the LaTeX for Linguists page these days, but recently came across a package that could be of use to people doing OT (since I found it useful for my phonology qualifying paper, which I am just finishing up). The package is arydshln and it allows one to put in dashed lines in between constraints in tableaux instead of just solid lines. The key bit of code is that one uses the colon [:] in the tabular environment for the dashed lines instead of the vertical bar [|]. The arydshln package is available from CTAN, though it get the sty file, one has to tex an ins file. Apparently, there were issues with colortabs at one point, but the more recent revisions to this package have solved this problem (I had no problem with it myself).

Another Tree Formatter

Avery andrews writes: I've put up on my page at: a beta of a new version of my linguistics tree-formatter, using PSTricks instead of tree-dvips as the base (via a partial emulation of the latter). Seems to work, although not really battle-tested. I've put together a GUI for my trees preproprocessor, it's at One version is free-standing for Windows with an installer (rather large), the other two Python files, somewhat tested in Linux (Ubuntu with ActiveState Python 2.4.2)

OT Tableaux

Julien Eychenne writes: I wrote a little python application to help OT practitionners typeset tableaux. It is intended to be some kind of WYSIWYG editor for OT tableaux which generates LaTeX code. I put it online here : While it is not a latex package, it might be useful for latex users working in OT. Moreover, the code generated is based on the advice found on your website, adapted to create standardly formatted tableaux (if "standardly formatted" is to mean anything). All the best,

A New Introductory Book

David Pardue writes about a new introductory book on LaTeX: Griffiths, David F. and Desmond J. Higham. Learning LaTeX. Philadelphia, PA : SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics), 1997. x, 84 p. ISBN 0898713838. USD 26.00 A clear, simple and brief introduction to LaTeX 2e with humorous examples (e.g., a chronological list of "Great Moments in LaTeX History"). As a beginner, I've found it very helpful and readable. It covers a lot of ground; I'm often able to find what I need here rather than having to dive into a larger manual.

Some interesting notes on getting started: An interesting course: LaTeX for Linguists including outline instructions on set up.

Another FAQ -- NASA LaTeX guide AMS (the American Mathematical Society) maintains a FAQ

A0 Posters

The most useful site for making a0 posters in Latex seems to be

Bibliographies and Trees

Martin Reitbauer writes thanks for providing this great resource. i'm only just starting out in LaTeX and your site made things a great deal easier. there are 3 additions/updates i'd like to suggest: *`Bibliographies: you could mention tools for editing bibtex database like JabRef (available cross-platform: or gbib (linux only: *`Books/Other Reading: there's a new edition of the latex companion: *`Trees': on , there's a tool that creates xyling tree code pretty much straightforward from labeled brackets. this thing has only emerged a few weeks ago, there's a new, improved version coming up.

Some more packages

Andy Lücking writes: I'm a great fan of your web page project that collects LaTeX things useful for linguistic purposes. Now that "LaTeX of Linguists" has hepled me a lot in my own typesetting, I hope I could contribute to your page by telling you about some packages I've found and come to use on my own. There's a package called "linguex" that provides (amongst other things) numbered examples and has a nice mechnism for "lazy" crossreferencing (namely, \Next and \Last commands). It can be found on ctan (macros/latex/contrib/linguex). Also on ctan is a package for typesetting logical fomulae for formal semantics, called "gn-logic-14". It can be found at macros/latex/contrib/gene/logic Alexis Dimitriadis has written a package for typesetting DRSs, called drs.sty. So it is not necessary any more to define your own commands or to use the not so flexible drs-command from covington. drs is available on Alexis' web page: Though drs.sty is announced as merely being "almost finished", it works quite well. Meanwhile, Till Tantau has implemented a "user interface" for his pgf package, called tikz. pgf stands for "portable graphics format" and is a "drawing tool" for TeX and LaTeX. It is not as powerful as pstricks (of course), but it is portable in the sense that it works with pdflatex and vtex. tikz/pgf can be found in usual place (ctan). It's really great! For the linguistic it is attractive since it provides an easy way to draw really nice trees. And can be also used to draw automata. Details can be found in the comprehensive documentation. I forgot where I read it, but some pstricks user has complained that pstricks is not very well documented. At least for German speaking people there is help: recently Herbert Voß (one of the pstricks developers) has written and published a new book on pstricks, called PSTRICKS. Maybe this information is useful for someone.

OT Tableaux again

Pavel Iodsad writes Marc van Oostendorp on phonoloblog ( pointed out a nice little program that's called OTableau. It is available as a Win or Mac executable, or as the Python source code (which works perfectly here on Ubuntu). It is a WYSIWYG editor for OT tableaux, which knows TIPA, and is able to calculate the fatal violations, putting the relevant asterisks and shading the table accordingly. The output is LaTeX code (done with the colortab thing), or you can export to CSV. It is not perfect (thus, I found the mechanism of reranking somewhat difficult), but it is quite intuitive and good to have. The address is at

LaTeX for Linguists,
Doug Arnold,,
February 19, 2012.