4

I am using the expex package with numerous examples which break into two or more lines due to the length of either \gla or \glb contents. The normal and cascading options for glhangstyle work without issue.

However, I sometimes find the examples text-heavy and difficult to follow visually. I was considering the possibility of including a symbol or arrow at the beginning of each line which is a hanging indent. After playing around with \xpatchcmd, I have determined that I am not familiar enough with expex to figure it out - if it is even possible.

I have no MWE, but am including an image from the expex documentation followed by one that I touched up to show an example of what I am hoping to accomplish. This example includes an arrow, but I am hoping that I could include basically anything there, such as a symbol. Assuming this is possible, I think it should be available for both normal and cascading options...possibly even none?

Current cascading appearance: enter image description here

MWE for cascading example excerpt from expex-demo.tex:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{expex}


\begin{document}

\ex[glhangstyle=cascade]
\let\\=\textsc
\begingl
\gla
Hom\^{a}o sa \v{c}\^{o} p\^{o} tha  \~{n}u nao ng\u{a} hmua. \~{N}u
dj\u{a} g\u{a}, \~{n}u dj\u{a} \v{c}\u{o}ng \~{n}u, laih gui r\^{e}o
\~{n}u. Todang bboi r\^{o}k jolan \~{n}u nao hma, \~{n}u bb\^{o}h sa
droi mr\u{a} d\u{o} bboi gah, a, hruh \~{n}u.//
\glb
\\{exist} one \\{clf} person old \\{3s} go do field \\{3s} hold
machete \\{3s} hold hoe \\{3s} and carry.on.back back.basket \\{3s}
while at along trail \\{3s} go field \\{3s} see one \\{clf} peacock
stay at \\{drct} -- nest \\{3s}//
\glft
`There was an old person who went to work in the field. He took
along his machete, he took along his hoe, and he carried his
basket on his back. While he was on his way to the farm, he saw a
peacock beside its nest.'//
\endgl
\xe

\end{document}

Trying to do with arrows: enter image description here

4
  • 2
    You should add an example. Don't let the people who want to help you spent their time to write the needed test document. Dec 21 '17 at 22:19
  • Ok, I copied the example from expex-demo.tex.
    – whatisit
    Dec 22 '17 at 5:45
  • @whatisit Doesn't cascading feature preclude the need for arrows?
    – AML
    Apr 18 '18 at 17:12
  • I don't see any reason the two options must be mutually exclusive. Even with the cascading, I have difficulty focusing on the the next line down. The arrow does the work for your eyes and helps focus them.
    – whatisit
    Apr 22 '18 at 17:03
1

Here is a solution that was inspired by this post with some minor changes. I posted here a question about automating this.

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{expex}

\usepackage{tikz}
\usepackage{xparse}

% https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/231044/121944
\newcommand\Tikzmark[2]{%
  \tikz[remember picture]\node[inner sep=0pt,outer sep=0pt] (#1) {#2};%
}

\NewDocumentCommand\DrawArrow{O{}mmmmO{3}}{
\tikz[remember picture,overlay]
  \draw[->,line width=0.5pt,shorten >= 2pt,shorten <= 2pt,#1] 
    (#2) -- ++(0,-#6\ht\strutbox) coordinate (aux) -- node[#4] {#5} (#3|-aux);
}
%

\begin{document}

\ex[glhangstyle=cascade]
\let\\=\textsc
\begingl
\gla
Hom\^{a}o sa \v{c}\^{o} p\^{o} tha  \~{n}u nao ng\u{a} hmua. \~{N}u
dj\u{a} g\u{a}, \~{n}u dj\u{a} \v{c}\u{o}ng \~{n}u, laih gui r\^{e}o
\~{n}u. Todang bboi r\^{o}k jolan \~{n}u nao hma, \~{n}u bb\^{o}h sa
droi mr\u{a} d\u{o} bboi gah, a, hruh \~{n}u.//
\glb
\\{\Tikzmark{starta}exist} one \\{clf} person old \\{3s} go do field \\{3s} hold
machete \\{3s} \Tikzmark{enda}hold hoe \\{3s} and carry.on.back back.basket \\{3s}
while at along trail \\{3s} go field \\{3s} see one \\{clf} peacock
stay at \\{drct} -- nest \\{3s} //
\glft
`There was an old person who went to work in the field. He took
along his machete, he took along his hoe, and he carried his
basket on his back. While he was on his way to the farm, he saw a
peacock beside its nest.'//
\endgl
\xe

\DrawArrow{starta}{enda}{}{}

\ex[glhangstyle=cascade]
\let\\=\textsc
\begingl
\gla
Hom\^{a}o sa \v{c}\^{o} p\^{o} tha  \~{n}u nao ng\u{a} hmua. \~{N}u
dj\u{a} g\u{a}, \~{n}u dj\u{a} \v{c}\u{o}ng \~{n}u, laih gui r\^{e}o
\~{n}u. Todang bboi r\^{o}k jolan \~{n}u nao hma, \~{n}u bb\^{o}h sa
droi mr\u{a} d\u{o} bboi gah, a, hruh \~{n}u.//
\glb
\\{exist} one \\{clf} person old \\{3s} go do field \\{3s} hold
machete \\{3s} \Tikzmark{starta}hold hoe \\{3s} and carry.on.back back.basket \\{3s}
while at along \Tikzmark{enda}trail \\{3s} go field \\{3s} see one \\{clf} peacock
stay at \\{drct} -- nest \\{3s} //
\glft
`There was an old person who went to work in the field. He took
along his machete, he took along his hoe, and he carried his
basket on his back. While he was on his way to the farm, he saw a
peacock beside its nest.'//
\endgl
\xe

\DrawArrow{starta}{enda}{}{}

\ex[glhangstyle=cascade]
\let\\=\textsc
\begingl
\gla
Hom\^{a}o sa \v{c}\^{o} p\^{o} tha  \~{n}u nao ng\u{a} hmua. \~{N}u
dj\u{a} g\u{a}, \~{n}u dj\u{a} \v{c}\u{o}ng \~{n}u, laih gui r\^{e}o
\~{n}u. Todang bboi r\^{o}k jolan \~{n}u nao hma, \~{n}u bb\^{o}h sa
droi mr\u{a} d\u{o} bboi gah, a, hruh \~{n}u.//
\glb
\\{\Tikzmark{starta}exist} one \\{clf} person old \\{3s} go do field \\{3s} hold
machete \\{3s} \Tikzmark{enda}h\Tikzmark{startb}old hoe \\{3s} and carry.on.back back.basket \\{3s}
while at along \Tikzmark{endb}trail \\{3s} go field \\{3s} see one \\{clf} peacock
stay at \\{drct} -- nest \\{3s} //
\glft
`There was an old person who went to work in the field. He took
along his machete, he took along his hoe, and he carried his
basket on his back. While he was on his way to the farm, he saw a
peacock beside its nest.'//
\endgl
\xe

\DrawArrow{starta}{enda}{}{}
\DrawArrow{startb}{endb}{}{}

\end{document}

enter image description here

2
  • Is it possible for you to edit this and include a version where the arrow points to the top line (not the interlinear gloss), as asked in the original question? Your version is a bonus, so keep it.
    – whatisit
    Apr 22 '18 at 17:07
  • Regarding the implementation, this obviously works... However, this is not a feasible answer for more than a handful of ExPex examples - for one thing, you need to compile it once first to determine where the line breaks are, not to mention manually inserting the end/start commands surrounding the letter (not the word). I will mark this as an answer until an automated way is determined.
    – whatisit
    Apr 22 '18 at 17:11
1

The answer to this question helped provide a starting point for this answer, which does not require any additional packages (except for expex). I did include mathabx because it conveniently has an angled arrow. The answer below, however, can take any text or symbol.

This also needed the \tlap which I found in this answer to an unrelated question.

\documentclass{memoir}

\usepackage[mathb]{mathabx}

\usepackage{expex}
% Define spacing and example number format for (all) ExPex examples
\lingset{exnotype=chapter.arabic,%
        glhangstyle=cascade,
        glhangindent=2em}%

\newcommand{\tlap}[1]{\vbox to 0pt{\vss\hbox{#1}}}%

\newcommand{\insertcascadeexpexsymbol}[2]{%
    \let\tmpdima\relax%
    \newlength\tmpdima%
    \tmpdima=1.5em%
    \newcount\tmpcnta%
    \tmpcnta=\numexpr#1-1\relax%
    \newcount\tmpcntc%
    \tmpcntc=\numexpr#1-2\relax%
    \newcount\tmpcntb%
    \tmpcntb=0%

    \let\indentdiminitial\relax%
    \newlength\indentdiminitial%
    \indentdiminitial=-0.8em%
    \let\indentdimincrement\relax%
    \newlength\indentdimincrement%
    \indentdimincrement=2.0em%

    \let\tmpdiminitial\relax%
    \newlength\tmpdiminitial%
    \tmpdiminitial=5.475em%
    \let\tmpdimincrement\relax%
    \newlength\tmpdimincrement%
    \tmpdimincrement=2.475em%

    \let\tmpdimeachlineinitial\relax%
    \newlength\tmpdimeachlineinitial%
    \tmpdimeachlineinitial=1.475em%
    \let\tmpdimeachlineincrement\relax%
    \newlength\tmpdimeachlineincrement%
    \tmpdimeachlineincrement=0.035em%

    \let\dimverticalfix\relax%
    \newlength\dimverticalfix%
    \dimverticalfix=-\dimexpr\tmpdiminitial+\tmpcntc\tmpdimincrement\relax%

    \let\dimverticaleachlinefix\relax%
    \newlength\dimverticaleachlinefix%
    \dimverticaleachlinefix=\dimexpr\tmpdimeachlineinitial-\tmpcntc\tmpdimeachlineincrement\relax%
    \tlap{\vspace*{\dimverticalfix}%
        \rlap{\vbox{\loop\ifnum\tmpcntb < \tmpcnta%
    \advance\tmpcntb by 1%
    \hspace*{\dimexpr\indentdiminitial+\tmpcntb\indentdimincrement\relax}{#2}\vspace*{\dimverticaleachlinefix}\newline%
  \repeat}}}}%

\begin{document}

\let\\=\textsc

\ex
   \begingl
      \gla
      Hom\^{a}o sa \v{c}\^{o} p\^{o} tha  \~{n}u nao ng\u{a} hmua. \~{N}u dj\u{a} g\u{a}, \~{n}u dj\u{a} \v{c}\u{o}ng \~{n}u, laih gui r\^{e}o \~{n}u. Todang bboi r\^{o}k jolan \~{n}u nao hma, \~{n}u bb\^{o}h sa droi mr\u{a} d\u{o} bboi gah, a, hruh \~{n}u. //\insertcascadeexpexsymbol{4}{$\drsh$}
      \glb
      \\{exist} one \\{clf} person old \\{3s} go do field \\{3s} hold machete \\{3s} hold hoe \\{3s} and carry.on.back back.basket \\{3s} while at along trail \\{3s} go field \\{3s} see one \\{clf} peacock stay at \\{drct} -- nest \\{3s} //
      \glft
      `There was an old person who went to work in the field. He took along his machete, he took along his hoe, and he carried his basket on his back. While he was on his way to the farm, he saw a peacock beside its nest.' //
   \endgl
\xe

\end{document}

Example of compiled answer for arrows before hanging indents in expex

If you replace \hspace*{\dimexpr\indentdiminitial+\tmpcntb\indentdimincrement\relax} with \hspace*{1em}, for example, you can make the symbols move down vertically but not following the cascading indents:

Example of compiled answer for arrows dropping vertically before hanging indents in expex

And if you prefer to use expex with normal for glhangstyle, it is not a problem:

Example of compiled answer for arrows before normal hanging indents in expex

By calling the \insertcascadeexpexsymbol command immediately after the // of the \gla line which contains a \tlap and an \rlap which contains a \vbox, you can get the arrows overlapping the examples.

This answer is far from perfect, but it does accomplish a rough approximation of the arrows and works for 2-line examples up to at least 6-line examples, based on my testing.

The first argument for \insertcascadeexpexsymbol is the number of lines (which can be determined after compiling the example once.

The second argument for \insertcascadeexpexsymbol is the symbol or text that you want to insert. I used \drsh which is a math symbol defined in mathabx package.

Some explanation for those interested:

Inside \insertcascadeexpexsymbol there is a lot of messing around with vertical positions. I couldn't figure any better way, but maybe a more savvy TeX user might know how to improve this. The basic problem that I found was that the line inter/intra-line spacing seemed to change slightly depending on the total number of lines in \gla and \glab. I attempt to just use \newlines but it ran into the same problem. All of the calculations are simply to try and equalize the positions of the symbol/text for 2-line, 3-line, 4-line, etc. examples.

There are also a bunch of hard-coded lengths used. I was hoping to use variables from expex, but couldn't figure out how to reference them outside of expex without getting undefined errors. For example, rather than hard-coding the hanging indent value inside the command, I would have preferred to have it be relative to the hanging indent used in expex - either the default one or the one defined in \lingset. I expect that being able to access these variables would help, at least in part, to improve this command, possibly including the vertical calculation shenanigans that I used.

1

My previous answer worked, but did not work very well. For example, if you change aboveglbskip and aboveglcskip values then all the hardcoded calculations would need to be tweaked very carefully. There were a lot of details which may help someone in the future, which is why I'm posting the new answer instead of editing the old one.

Improved Answer

I patched two commands within expex to allow a vbox to overlap the interlinear gloss lines. There is a difference in behavior between a single gloss line (i.e. only \gla) and using multiple gloss lines (e.g. \gla and \glb, or \gla and \glb and \glc).

CAVEAT: This does not work for nlevel glosses.

Comments are included for most lines. So, see MWE for comments on the explanation for why/what is happening.

\documentclass[a4paper,12pt,final]{memoir}

\usepackage{xpatch}

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% (begin) ExPex update to allow arrows
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\makeatletter
\@ifclassloaded{memoir}{\let\tt\texttt}{}%This is required, because expex uses \tt, which memoir does not allow
\makeatother
% Include ExPex for having sentences with glossing and translation
\usepackage{expex}

\makeatletter
% Create an additional \gl@maxhtlast (to complement existing \gl@maxdplast)
%% --inside \glw@updatelists
\newdimen\gl@maxhtlast
\xpatchcmd{\glw@updatelists}
    {\global\gl@maxdplast=\glw@maxdp}
    {\global\gl@maxhtlast=\glw@maxht
    \global\gl@maxdplast=\glw@maxdp}
    {}{}%

% Add a new box to overlay arrows (or whatever) to the left side of the top interlinear gloss line
%% --inside \glw@printilg@a
\xpatchcmd{\glw@printilg@a}
    {\glw@printilg@b \par }
    {\glw@printilg@b \par %

    % DO NOTHING, IF NO GLARROW WAS SPECIFIED BY USER
    \ifx\ling@glarrow\empty%
        %do nothing
    % OTHERWISE, USER DID SPECIFY A GLARROW
    \else%
        % Create new dimension for above skips (e.g. aboveglaskip, aboveglbskip, aboveglcskip etc.)
        \newdimen\dim@aboveskip%
        % Give a default value of 0pt
        \global\dim@aboveskip=0pt%
        % Create a new counter for the number if interlinear gloss lines
        \newcount\numglwlines%
        % Give a default value of 0
        \global\numglwlines=0%

        %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
        %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
        %% Loop through one GLWORD
        %%% Calculate the abovegl<N>skip total (into \dim@aboveskip)
        %%% and Count number of gloss lines (into \numglwlines)
        %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

        % DON'T MODIFY EXISTING TOKENS, LISTS, OR OPERATORS (TO BE SAFE)
        % INSTEAD, USE A TEMPORARY VERSION WITH THE SAME VALUE
        \let\temp@currentitem\@currentitem%
        \let\countlineslist\mainlist%
        \let\gl@lop@temp\gl@lop%

        % Get the first GLWORD from token list
        % and use it to to count the interlinear gloss lines
        \gl@lop@temp\countlineslist\to\temp@currentitem\relax%
        % If the item is \empty, ignore.  Otherwise, count the lines
        \ifx\temp@currentitem\empty%
        \else%
            % DON'T MODIFY EXISTING TOKENS, LISTS, OR OPERATORS (TO BE SAFE)
            % INSTEAD, USE A TEMPORARY VERSION WITH THE SAME VALUE
            \let\temp@aboveskip\@aboveskip%
            \let\tempaboveskiplist\aboveskiplist%
            \let\gltoks@next@temp\gltoks@next%
            \let\gl@lopTL@temp\gl@lopTL%

            % GLWORD is not \empty, therefore it contains at least one line
            % Add one to \numglwlines counter
            \global\advance\numglwlines by 1%
            % Set value to TRUE to loop through GLWORD lines
            \gl@loopmoretrue%
            \loop\ifgl@loopmore%
                % Get the `aboveskip' value for current gloss line
                \gl@lop\tempaboveskiplist\to\temp@aboveskip%
                % If value is 0pt, do nothing
                \ifdim\temp@aboveskip=0pt%
                    %do nothing
                % Otherwise, above skip value is set to something
                \else%
                    % Store current \dim@aboveskip value into temporary value
                    \let\dim@aboveskip@temp\dim@aboveskip%
                    % Add current `above skip' value to existing sum of `above skip' values
                    \global\dim@aboveskip=\dimexpr\dim@aboveskip@temp+\temp@aboveskip\relax%
                \fi%
                % Get the next token (i.e. line) of the GLWORD
                \gl@lopTL\temp@currentitem\to\gltoks@next@temp%
                % If token (line) is \empty, we are finished looping
                \ifx\temp@currentitem\empty%
                    \gl@loopmorefalse%
                % Otherwise, increment the number of lines, and continue looping
                \else
                    \global\advance\numglwlines by 1%
                \fi%
            \repeat%
            % Set to FALSE as a precaution
            \gl@loopmorefalse%
            % Free up memory of temporary items
            \let\temp@aboveskip\relax%
            \let\tempaboveskiplist\relax%
            \let\gltoks@next@temp\relax%
            \let\gl@lopTL@temp\relax%
        \fi%
        % Free up memory of temporary items
        \let\temp@currentitem\relax%
        \let\countlineslist\relax%
        \let\gl@lop@temp\relax%
        %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
        %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

        % Countdown of wrapped lines in the interlinear glosses `paragraph' to zero
        %% used for looping until we reach the final line
        \newcount\ep@countdown@ilg@para@lines%
        \ep@countdown@ilg@para@lines=\prevgraf%
        % Number of wrapped lines in the interlinear glosses `paragraph'
        \newcount\ep@num@ilg@para@lines%
        \ep@num@ilg@para@lines=\prevgraf%
        % Count the number of lines processed so far
        \newcount\ep@num@lines%
        \ep@num@lines=0%

        % Create a \vbox to overlay on top of the interlinear glosses
        \setbox0\vbox
        {%
            \ifnum\numglwlines=1%only gla exists
                %do nothing
            \else%
                % If at least 2 paragraph lines, the initialize the vertical skip
                %% (note: the first line does not contain an arrow, so only other lines are `processed')
                \ifnum\ep@num@ilg@para@lines>1%
                    %Shift upwards, the amount of space between each interlinear line
                    %e.g. between \gla and \glb, between \glb and \glc, etc.
                    %these spaces are defined by variables: aboveglbskip, aboveglcskip, aboveglftskip, etc.
                    \vskip -\dimexpr\dim@aboveskip*(\ep@num@ilg@para@lines-1)\relax%
                    %Shift upwards, the amount of \gl@maxhtlast (height, not depth, of each glword)
                    \vskip -\dimexpr\gl@maxhtlast*\numglwlines*(\ep@num@ilg@para@lines-1)\relax%
                    %Shift upwards, the amount of \gl@maxdplast (depth, not height, of each glword)
                    \vskip -\dimexpr\gl@maxdplast*\numglwlines*(\ep@num@ilg@para@lines-1)\relax%
                    %Shift upwards, the amount of \lingextraglskip (interlinear skips)
                    \vskip -\dimexpr\lingextraglskip*(\ep@num@ilg@para@lines-2)\relax%
                \fi%
            \fi%

            % For some reason, the paragraph glue values
            % need be used in \vskip
            % IS THIS ALWAYS TRUE??  ONLY SOMETIMES??
            \vskip -\the\gluestretch\parskip%
            \vskip -\the\glueshrink\parskip%

            %Loop through the paragraph lines
            \loop%
                \ifnum\ep@countdown@ilg@para@lines=\ep@num@ilg@para@lines%
                    %do nothing
                \else%
                    \ling@everygla%
                    \newdimen\ep@dim@arrow@indent%
                    \ep@dim@arrow@indent=0pt%
                    % If hangstyle is `normal' then use a consistent horizontal offset
                    \ifnum\ep@glhangstyle=1%
                        % Use the standard hanging indent
                        \ep@dim@arrow@indent=\dimexpr\ling@glhangindent\relax%
                    \fi%
                    % If hangstyle is `cascade' then use a cascading horizontal offset
                    \ifnum\ep@glhangstyle=2%
                        % Set offset to the hanging indent amount multiplied by the current line number
                        \ep@dim@arrow@indent=\dimexpr(\ling@glhangindent*\ep@num@lines)\relax%
                    \fi%
                    % Create \hbox to contain the arrow and indent offset
                    \hbox{%
                        % Create horizontal indentation
                        \hspace*{\ep@dim@arrow@indent}%
                        % Create the arrow
                        \raisebox{-\ling@aboveglarrowskip}[\height][0pt]{\llap{\ling@glarrow}}%
                        % Use a \vrule to make sure the line height is consistent
                        \vrule height\dimexpr\gl@maxhtlast\relax depth\dimexpr\gl@maxdplast\relax width 0pt%
                    }%

                    % Add `above skips' for one horizontal line of GLWORDS
                    \vskip \dim@aboveskip%
                    % Add remaining heights for one horizontal line of GLWORDS
                    \vskip \dimexpr(\gl@maxdplast)*\numexpr\numglwlines-1\relax\relax%
                    % Add remaining depths for one horizontal line of GLWORDS
                    \vskip \dimexpr(\gl@maxhtlast)*\numexpr\numglwlines-1\relax\relax%
                    % Add extraglskip vertical skip, if necessary
                    \ifnum\numglwlines=1%only gla exists, no \lingextraglskip is used in this case
                        %do nothing
                    \else%
                        % If there are 3 or more wrapped lines, then also add
                        % vertical skip defined by extraglskip (\lingextraglskip)
                        \ifnum\ep@countdown@ilg@para@lines>1%
                            \vskip \lingextraglskip%
                        \fi%
                    \fi%
                \fi%
                % Line countdown to zero (by increments of 1)
                \advance\ep@countdown@ilg@para@lines -1%
                % Processed line counter (by increments of 1)
                \advance\ep@num@lines 1%
                % If countdown has not reached zero yet, keep looping
                \ifnum\ep@countdown@ilg@para@lines>0%
                    \repeat%
            }%

            %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
            %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
            % Display the vbox content
            %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
            % If only one line, GLWORDS function similar to a regular paragraph
            %% therefore, use a \raisebox to overlap the arrows
            \ifnum\numglwlines=1
                \raisebox{\dimexpr(\gl@maxhtlast+\gl@maxdplast)*(\ep@num@ilg@para@lines-1)\relax}[\height][0pt]{\box0}%
            % Otherwise, display the box normally (because overlapping is already possible)
            \else%
                \box0%
            \fi%
            %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

        \fi%
    }
    {}{}%

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%% DEFINE TWO NEW KEYS FOR USE WITHIN \lingset{}
%%% glarrow -> an arrow symbol (but could be any symbol or text)
%%% aboveglarrowskip -> vertical space above the arrow (similar to aboveglbskip and aboveglcskip)
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\define@lingkey{glarrow}{\def\ling@glarrow{#1}}%
\lingset{glarrow=}%
\define@lingkey{aboveglarrowskip}{\def\ling@aboveglarrowskip{#1}}%
\lingset{aboveglarrowskip=0pt}%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

\makeatother

\lingset{numoffset=\leftmargin,%
        textoffset=0.75em,%
        extraglskip=!1.1ex,%
        glspace=!0.01em,%
        belowglpreambleskip=!0ex,%
        aboveglbskip=-0.9ex,%
        aboveglcskip=-0.9ex,%
        aboveglftskip=-0.1ex,%
        exnotype=chapter.arabic,%
        aboveglarrowskip=0pt,%DEFAULT
        glarrow=\tiny$\hookrightarrow$,%DEFAULT IS glarrow= (i.e. empty)
        glhangstyle=cascade,%
        glhangindent=2em}%



\begin{document}

\let\\=\textsc
\ex
   \begingl
      \gla
      Hom\^{a}o sa \v{c}\^{o} p\^{o} tha  \~{n}u nao ng\u{a} hmua. \~{N}u dj\u{a} g\u{a}, \~{n}u dj\u{a} \v{c}\u{o}ng \~{n}u, laih gui r\^{e}o \~{n}u. Todang bboi r\^{o}k jolan \~{n}u nao hma, \~{n}u bb\^{o}h sa droi mr\u{a} d\u{o} bboi gah, a, hruh \~{n}u. //
      \glb
      \\{exist} one \\{clf} person old \\{3s} go do field \\{3s} hold machete \\{3s} hold hoe \\{3s} and carry.on.back back.basket \\{3s} while at along trail \\{3s} go field \\{3s} see one \\{clf} peacock stay at \\{drct} -- nest \\{3s} //
      \glft
      `There was an old person who went to work in the field. He took along his machete, he took along his hoe, and he carried his basket on his back. While he was on his way to the farm, he saw a peacock beside its nest.' //
   \endgl
\xe

\end{document}

Which results in:

$\hookrightarrow$ cascading

Also works with normal hanging style. Changing \lingset{glhangstyle=cascade} to \lingset{glhangstyle=normal} results in:

$\hookrightarrow$ normal

If you want the arrow (in this case), to point at the middle of the text instead of the baseline, you can use aboveglarrowskip to tweak the position. Changing \lingset{aboveglarrowskip=0pt} (the default) to \lingset{aboveglarrowskip=-2pt} results in:

$\hookrightarrow$ cascading -2pt $\hookrightarrow$ normal -2pt

You can choose to use other arrow symbols from other packages. For example, \usepackage[mathb]{mathabx} and \lingset{glarrow=\tiny$\drsh$}

$\drsh$ cascading $\drsh$ normal

Or, you can use \usepackage{fdsymbol} and \lingset{glarrow=\tiny$\Rdsh$}

$\Rdsh$ cascading $\Rdsh$ normal

If you want to use something other than an arrow, that's also fine. For example, \lingset{glarrow=\tiny{--test--}}

--test-- cascading --test-- normal

You can add some spacing, for example, \lingset{glarrow={--test--\hspace*{5pt}}}

--test--+hspace cascading --test--+hspace normal

Really, this patch is quite flexible. For example, you can throw in a TikZ arrow that is really big. But because the height will be too large, you can surround it in \raisebox with zero height, using:

\usepackage{tikz}

\newcommand{\myarrow}[1][]{%
  \begin{tikzpicture}[#1]%
    \draw (0,2.7ex) -- (0,0) -- (0.75em,0);
    \draw (0.55em,0.2em) -- (0.75em,0) -- (0.55em,-0.2em);
  \end{tikzpicture}%
}


\lingset{numoffset=\leftmargin,%
        textoffset=0.75em,%
        extraglskip=!1.1ex,%
        glspace=!0.01em,%
        belowglpreambleskip=!0ex,%
        aboveglbskip=-0.9ex,%
        aboveglcskip=-0.9ex,%
        aboveglftskip=-0.1ex,%
        exnotype=chapter.arabic,%
        glarrow={\raisebox{0pt}[0pt][0pt]{\myarrow[scale=1.35,draw=red]}},%
        glhangstyle=cascade,%
        glhangindent=2em}%

tikz arrow inside \raisebox cascading

and glhangstyle=normal

tikz arrow inside \raisebox normal

It is also great because you can use it universally via \lingset{} or specify it for only individual \ex\xe or \pex\xe examples. You only need to be using the standard glossing (not nlevel) and specify the symbol/text you want and a vertical skip (if desired).

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