See the example from Hayes 1995 (Metrical Stress Theory): Syllable weight and stress analysis

I don't need to exactly replicate his notation, but I'd like a way in Sharelatex (preferably using the standard compiler) to make a similarly compact and readable one-line analysis of syllable weight and stress.

His notation uses one character per syllable, with a big macron for a heavy syllable, a big breve for a light one, and grave and acute accents for primary and secondary stress. Any other notation that's generally readable would do as well, but I don't want to break all my existing Sharelatex document by changing compiler if possible. Hopefully there's a notation and a package that's in common usage.

If I must change compiler, please tell me what packages I'd have to remove and add to my document.

  • Does the metrix package give the sort of output you want? – Thérèse Jun 8 '16 at 2:43
  • Thanks, Therese. I just looked at metrix (new to me) and it's awesome and well-suited, except for the lack of accents on top of the long/short markers. It does have the ability to redefine an 'arrow' character above the markers, so theoretically it could be used with the 'arrow' redefined as an acute accent for most of my work. – Steve Rapaport Jun 8 '16 at 16:21

It looks like nobody really cares much about this question, but I have a reasonable answer I worked out over the last few hours, so here it is: It doesn't really use tipa at all, but it's included here because I'm using it for consistency of the look of the example font.



Samples with macro :
\item {unstressed light /\UL/}
\item {stressed light /\SL/}
\item {unstressed heavy /\UH/}
\item {stressed heavy /\SH/}

A moraic trochee is either
/\SL \UL/ or /\SH/

From the example: /\UL \SL \UL/    \emph{at\'{o}mi}
  • Overall, this is a nice solution, but the write-up needs some work to match community standards. If you edit this answer with these fixes, I'd be happy to upvote. – Jason Zentz Jun 8 '16 at 15:21
  • (1) Comments like "It looks like nobody really cares much about this question" are out of line, especially so soon after the question was posted/migrated here. There were no tags on the original version of the question. Some users like me only come to the site when we get email alerts about the tags we've subscribed to (I only saw this after other users added tags), and others use tags to highlight and filter the front page, so tagging carefully is important if you want a fast response. I recommend using the linguistics tag where appropriate. – Jason Zentz Jun 8 '16 at 15:21
  • (2) Generally your code should compile as is, or at the very least shouldn't contain a mixture of preamble and main body code without demarcation. Your example is missing \documentclass{article}, \begin{document}, and \end{document}. Even adding those wasn't sufficient to make the example compile, though, because \smile only works in math mode. You can wrap it in \ensuremath in your commands. – Jason Zentz Jun 8 '16 at 15:21
  • (3) It's not true that the example doesn't rely on tipa because if you take out \usepackage{tipa} and the \textipa commands, the stress mark no longer appears above the \smile but appears to its left. This is why trying to make the example as minimal as possible is useful. – Jason Zentz Jun 8 '16 at 15:22
  • 1
    I will work on this answer and fix it up to community standards, now that someone cares. – Steve Rapaport Jun 8 '16 at 16:20

Try using XeLaTeX with a font that supports these Unicode characters (such as Brill):

  U+2013 EN DASH



% input Unicode characters directly
/ –̀ ⏑́ ⏑ /                           \qquad
% or via commands
/ \`\longum\ \'\brevis\ \brevis\ /  \qquad
% using \hightie because of the ascender on b
\textit{m\hightie bèːléti}          \qquad


The tipa package offers several diacritics which probably solve your problem.

  • I'm using tipa already. It's not very well-suited. The breve and macron standalone characters are too small and they don't line up well with the grave accent. A grave-accent-breve is impossible without composing it yourself, and if you do compose it from a \smile and an accent, it is way bigger than the macron. Does anyone have an example they can share that actually looks good? – Steve Rapaport Jun 5 '16 at 21:33
  • Ah okay, didn't work with TIPA diacrictics in that detail. – lemontree Jun 5 '16 at 22:38

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