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When I use the \twoacc command it sometimes puts unwanted space before and after a phonetic symbol. This happens with, for example, with [p\twoacc[\r|\tr{\textturnr}]p]. The correct spacing occurs when I type [p\tr{\textturnr}p]. How do I get rid of the unwanted spacing?

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    Welcome to TeX.SX! Please add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}. – jub0bs Aug 4 '13 at 13:43
  • The tipa package has extensive methods for placing accents (see section 3.2.6 of the documentation). You can probably achieve what you want this way without using the covington \towacc macro. (I have no idea what the \tr macro is.) – Alan Munn Aug 4 '13 at 14:21
  • Thanks for that. I'll look at the tipa documentation. \tr is my personal \newcommand for \textraising. Should have mentioned that. I think that the spacing problem only arises with commands like \textrurnr, \textg, but not with ordinary symbols like [a], [p], [m], etc. – Malachy McKenna Aug 4 '13 at 15:52
  • @MalachyMcKenna What symbol are you actually after? You can't use \r without an argument, which is part of the problem with the first example. (But a real document is needed to solve this properly.) If you just want a circle over a turned r, then \r{\textturnr} will do the trick. – Alan Munn Aug 4 '13 at 16:12
  • I want a circle over a turned r and the 'raising' diacritic (created by \textraising) underneath the turned r. This symbolizes a voiceless post-alveolar fricative, like the -r- in the word `try'. This sound is described in John Laver, Principles of Phonetics, Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics, 1994, p. 251. Actually your remark about \r not having an argument in my original attempt is key to solving the problem. I get the correct spacing if I type \textraising{\r{\textturnr}}. Problem solved. It was just a matter of getting \textraising and \r in the right order. Thanks again. – Malachy McKenna Aug 4 '13 at 16:55
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The problem arises because you are misusing both the \twoacc command and the \r command. \twoacc is for putting two accents on top of each other, and the symbol you want has one underneath and one on top, so \twoacc isn't needed. Also, the \r command takes an argument and puts the ring on top of that argument, so in your example p\twoacc[\r|\tr{\textturnr}]p you can't use just \r as the first argument of \twoacc anyway.

The solution (as you found out) is to simply use \textraising and \r together:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{tipa}
\usepackage{covington}
\newcommand\tr{\textraising}
\begin{document}

[p\tr{\r{\textturnr}}p]

\end{document}

output of code

If you have future questions, you really should include a minimal working document like the one above. Not only did you have macros defined by two different packages, you also had a personal macro. With an example the problem would probably have been solved much more quickly.

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