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I am working on a linguistic topic and need to be able to describe phones with aspiration. As described in wikipedias article on Aspirated consonants there is a UTF8 character for the diacritic of aspiration, ʰ. But in latex it only appears as a question mark and it cannot be escaped with a slash. How do you write it?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

I see three "correct" ways of doing this.

Using pdfLaTeX

tipa, which is the standard package for IPA symbols, provides one solution for normal text mode and one to be used in the tipa macro/environment (even though they both work in the surroundings they're not intended for as well):

Sometimes the input method is displayed in the form of Input1: xxx, Input2: yyy. In such cases Input1 indicates the one used in the normal text environment and Input2, the one used in the IPA environment.

The entry for superscript h looks like this:

Input1: p\textsuperscript{h} Input2: p\super h

(both quotes from the tipa manual)


% Either use the following setup for the Latin Modern fonts, or simply use the following line:

\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} % encoding of your .tex source file
\usepackage{lmodern} % Latin Modern font, basically an improved Version of Computer Modern
\usepackage[T3,T1]{fontenc} % font encoding in the pdf output

\usepackage[noenc]{tipa} % noenc because we've already used fontenc

% This is based on Alan Munn's excellent advice for tipa and lmodern
% http://tex.stackexchange.com/a/37087/4012


[k\textsuperscript{h}]% (For normal text mode)

\textipa{[k\super h]}% (For the \textipa macro)



Using XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX

You can also stay away from tipa altogether and input the Unicode glyphs directly. This suggests compilation with XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX. Since Computer Modern / Latin Modern don't have the Unicode glyph ⟨ʰ⟩, you need to use a font that does, e.g. Linux Libertine or Junicode.

% compile with xelatex or lualatex

%   \setmainfont{Junicode}





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The correct way to do this is to use the package tipa and use the \super function to write the superscript h.



     The aspirated phone [k\super h]


The resulting pdf

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Why not just use k\textsuperscript{h} without tipa? – Werner Nov 15 '12 at 5:03
@Werner Both are "correct" in their specific cases, see my answer. – doncherry Nov 15 '12 at 5:39
So, according to the tipa manual, this solution is not correct, but it works nonetheless. – doncherry Nov 15 '12 at 6:03

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