How to get the equation to look in a required format?

I am still new in LaTeX - beginner. How can I have the equation to look like this (the example is shown in ms word):

Lexical level:      f o x + plural (‘+’ is a morpheme boundary)

Surface level:      f o x e s

Two-level rule:     e:+ ↔ x:x _ 0:s


The 'f' at lexical level must be align with the 'f' at the surface level. Do I have to put it in a table so that each of the characters can be aligned?

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Could you please add an image? (I know, you cannot directly add images yet, but just upload it to imgur and post the link -- the image can then be integrated once you have 10 rep) – Caramdir Nov 24 '10 at 1:23
here you goes: imgur.com/pAzfS?full – ssaee Nov 24 '10 at 1:43

An alternative would be a tabbing environment:

 \begin{tabbing}
Lexical level:\qquad \=f~\=o~\=x + plural (+' is a morpheme boundary)\\
Surface level:       \>f \>o \>x~e~s\\
\\
Two-level rule:     \>e:\textsuperscript{+} $\leftrightarrow$ x:x \_ 0:s
\end{tabbing}


\= sets a tab stop on the first line. \> moves to it on the next line and subsequent ones.

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perfect! it works and thanks :) – ssaee Dec 2 '10 at 4:26

If you want to align the 'f' on each level, a table is probably easiest:

\begin{tabular}{rl}
Lexical level:    &    f o x + plural   \\
Surface level:    &    f o x e s        \\
\end{tabular}


The basic table environment is tabular. The rl means the table has two columns, the first right-justified and the second left-justified. Then just put in your entries row-by-row, using & to skip to the next column and \\ to skip to the next row. This is probably enough for your current purposes, but when you end up wanting to make a proper table you should check out the LaTeX Wikibook.

As for the other part of your question, I'm afraid I don't have enough linguistics training to know what "e:+ ↔ x:x _ 0:s" should look like. It would be great if you could point us to an example of what you'd like to get. That being said, you can get ↔ with $\leftrightarrow$; an underscore with \_ or a longer underlined space with \rule{1cm} or \underline{\hspace{1cm}}; and ∅ (if you're looking for that instead of 0) with \emptyset or \varnothing.

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I wondering if using an inline verbatim from the listings package would help to vertically align the characters in f o x e s – Will Robertson Nov 24 '10 at 2:43
@Will It can be achieved using a monospace font – Yiannis Lazarides Nov 24 '10 at 2:57
@Will, @Yiannis: a monospace font would certainly work to vertically align the characters in f o x e s, using \verb or otherwise. This might not be great for aligning the f`s in the first place, though. It works in this case --- fortunately, "Lexical" and "Surface" have the same number of letters! --- but in general you'd have to add verbatim spaces (or worse) to get the spacing exactly right. – Ross Churchley Nov 24 '10 at 3:56
guys, i just tried using tabbing environment and it works! – ssaee Dec 2 '10 at 4:27