I'm creating an article on Ancient Greek pronunciation with IPA transcription in TeXworks. Ancient Greek distinguishes voiceless unaspirated, aspirated, and voiced stops, and I would like to transcribe the voiceless unaspirated stops uniquely using the IPA modifier letter ˭ (U+02ED: http://unicodelookup.com/#˭): for instance, [t˭] for a voiceless unaspirated dental stop contrasting with the aspirated and voiced stops [tʰ] and [d].

I'm using the packages inputenc to allow the use of UTF8 characters and tipa to input IPA symbols, but tipa does not include documentation for the character and has no command to insert it. When I enter the character straight into the text, I get this response in the log:

! Package inputenc Error: Unicode char \u8:˭ not set up for use with LaTeX.

Is there another way to insert this character? I'm not that knowledgable about LaTeX and the encoding of characters, so my apologies if my question is badly phrased or there's an obvious solution. (I think tipa needs to be updated to include this character, though this is not the place to suggest that.)

  • 4
    A much easier way to do this would be to use XeLaTeX and an appropriate font such as Doulos SIL. Then you would not use TIPA at all. – Alan Munn Jan 19 '15 at 20:12

Here is a basic approach that compiles with pdflatex. Since this Unicode glyph is not available through the tipa fonts or in the default, you can create it yourself. You might wish to do it differently than in the example (perhaps a smaller size or a different symbol).

The newunicodechar package allows you to make a Unicode character into a control sequence that calls a LaTeX command; in this case you can call the command you defined. It's up to you whether to use the Unicode symbol in your input or just use this command.


\newcommand{\vuds}{\textsuperscript{$=$}} % voiceless unaspirated dental stop
\newunicodechar{˭}{\vuds} % U+02ED


[\textlhookt] % tipa commands just for comparison
[t˭]          % Unicode char as command
[t\vuds]      % The command directly


Or, use XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX and just use the Unicode directly with a font that includes that glyph.

enter image description here

A possibly different definition could be

\newcommand{\vuds}{% voiceless unaspirated dental stop

and the result would be

enter image description here

  • I took the liberty of proposing a different definition for \vuds that could be preferable (the symbol is narrower). – egreg Jan 19 '15 at 21:23
  • This solution is the simplest for me to adopt. @LaRiFaRi, @JasonZentz: It sounds like using LuaTeX or XeLaTeX would make things much easier in some ways, but I will have to devote some time to learning how to use the new systems before I can use your solutions. @egreg, thanks for the definition with a narrowed form, since simply using \super = creates a character that is a little too wide, and therefore to me unsatisfactory. – cyclaminist Jan 20 '15 at 22:33
  • @cyclaminist I would advise not to change engines just for a few characters if you can get them in another way like this. If this situation comes up a lot, or there is a whole Open-Type font you need to use, then yes, look at XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX. If you do, keep in mind you can still use many of the old LaTeX font and symbol packages. – musarithmia Jan 20 '15 at 23:02
  • @cyclaminist If this answered your question, it's appropriate to tick the check mark to indicate that you accept the answer. – musarithmia Jan 21 '15 at 22:33
  • @AndrewCashner: Thanks for the pointer; I'm new to StackExchange and wasn't aware that I needed to do that. – cyclaminist Jan 22 '15 at 23:37

For completeness, here is a unicode solution:

% arara: lualatex



enter image description here


I would recommend using XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX with a Unicode font that has the [⁼] symbol. In the example below, I chose Gentium Plus because its Greek alphabet matches its Latin/IPA symbols nicely. The easiest way to input IPA symbols is to use a keyboard layout, which are available for all platforms (see my answer to Accessing IPA characters when using Charis SIL). For example, using SIL's MSKLC IPA keyboard layout, the [⁼] symbol is entered by typing ^ and then =. Keeping your .tex input in Unicode (rather than using LaTeX macros for special symbols) is especially useful if you will be copying and pasting text to or from other applications.

\setmainfont{Gentium Plus}

tʰ t⁼ d % using SIL's MSKLC IPA keyboard layout, I typed t^h t^= d

θ τ δ % using Microsoft's Greek keyboard layout, I typed u t d

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.