for a university assignment I have to typeset this kind of diagrams (from Jackendoff's Conceptual Semantics framework). I'm not that familiar with LaTeX's handling of matrixes, tikz and so on, so I wondered whether any of you has an idea about how I can draw these in a smart way :) Thank you!

enter image description here

So far, I've tried with the avm package - something like this:



    \[ {mat} {\rm -b,+i} \cr
         pl \[ {} \[ {}
                {\rm +b,-i} \cr
            \] \]

But I can't manage to put the labels inside the brackets, as in the picture. Moreover, there are a whole lot of placement and spacing issues.

  • 1
    I added in the question the solution I've gone for so far. Hope it helps :) – Giovanni Roversi May 17 '16 at 20:37
  • avm package does not appear to be in my TeXlive 2015. Does it really redefine \[ ? – Thruston May 17 '16 at 21:02
  • No, I had to download it and import it via \input avm.sty. And yes, it redefines \[ inside its own environment, apparently – Giovanni Roversi May 17 '16 at 21:12
  • Where did you get avm.sty from? Normally, I'd check CTAN first but it is down. – cfr May 17 '16 at 21:30
  • Yep, I got it from CTAN (right before it went down apparently, how lucky). The doc is here (nlp.stanford.edu/manning/tex/avm-doc.pdf), but it doesn't really help me... – Giovanni Roversi May 17 '16 at 21:41

I can't help but feel that there should be a better package somewhere if this is a standard notation. This is most inelegant - not to say hackish.

Note that I've switched to LaTeX font commands. \bf, \rm etc. should not be used in LaTeX as they were made obsolete by 2e a couple of decades ago. (I think the documentation uses them because it is intended to be usable with other formats - not just LaTeX.)

cfr-lm is loaded to get the italic small-caps Latin Modern.

\newcommand*\labelme[1]{\rlap{\hskip .5em #1}}
  \[{\labelme{mat}} {\upshape -b,+i} \\
     & pl \[{}
              {\upshape +b,-i} \\
              teapot \\[1em]
       \] \\

AVM, hacked

  • It's not elegant, it's hackish, and it works perfectly! :) Thank you very much. – Giovanni Roversi May 18 '16 at 7:57

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