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I am writing a paper about the phonetics of the Sgaw Karen language. Because of this, I need to include both Sgaw Karen text and IPA characters.

To display IPA characters, it seems that I need to use the tipa package.

Sgaw Karen orthography is technically included in Unicode, but very few fonts seem to support it. After extensive searching, it seems like my best solution is to use fontspec and the Padauk font.

A MWE of what I am trying to do looks like this:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\usepackage[tone]{tipa}
\newfontfamily\karen{Padauk Book}

\begin{document}

{\karen န}

\textipa{\textsubbridge{t}}

\tone{33}ma

\end{document}

When I try to render this in XeLaTeX, the output displays the Karen text, but the IPA diacritic does not appear, nor does the tone letter.

From perusing other questions on StackExchange (e.g. Using TIPA with fontspec, More problems with TIPA and Fontspec, Revisiting TIPA and Fontspec) I realize that tipa and fontspec often get in each other's way, but none of the answers provided in those posts seemed to resolve the problem for me.

I am open to any solution that lets me display Sgaw Karen and IPA text, even if it involves abandoning either or both of these packages or the Padauk font.

3

Unless you have a large amount of IPA already coded with tipa macros, I would recommend using Unicode input for the IPA as well as the Sgaw Karen (rather than trying to incorporate tipa). See this question for reasons why this would make sense and for links to information about how to type IPA symbols directly into your TeX editor.

This example uses the free font Charis SIL, but any other Unicode font with the symbols you need could be loaded. I compiled it with XeLaTeX, but LuaLaTeX would work too.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\setmainfont{Charis SIL}
\newfontfamily\karen{Padauk Book}

\begin{document}

{\karen န}

t̪

ma˦

\end{document}

enter image description here

  • Thanks for this answer! I wasn't excited to abandon TIPA, but it looks like the extra effort of directly inputting IPA text might be the best idea in the long run. I don't care for Charis SIL as body text, so I slightly modified your suggestion by creating a new {\ipa } font family for IPA text. But overall, your answer helped me solve my problem. Thanks again! – krs Mar 19 '16 at 23:52

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