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I need to refer to a paper by the Czech mathematician Daniel Král' in a document and in the bibliography, and I'm slightly confused about the correct way to typeset the accented letter l'.

It appears that the apostrophe-like accent attached to the letter l is in fact not an apostrophe but a caron that is typeset differently from the usual "inverted hat" shape that appears over a letter. From the same Wikipedia article, in the subsection Writing and printing carons:

In printed Czech and Slovak text, the caron combined with certain letters (lower-case ť, ď, ľ, and upper-case Ľ) is reduced to a small stroke.

And, later on in the same subsection:

Although the stroke looks similar to an apostrophe, there is a significant difference in kerning. Using an apostrophe in place of a caron looks very unprofessional ...

When I try to typeset the caron the usual way as \v{l} this produces the "inverted hat" shape over the letter l, so I guess that all carons are typeset in a uniform manner by \v. Is there any way to properly typeset the caron on this letter (and the other few exceptions mentioned in the Wikipedia article)?

For completeness, I am using AMSRefs with BibTeX to insert my references. I have not loaded either of the inputenc or fontenc packages, because I have not found the need for them yet (and I am not quite familiar with how to use them correctly), but I am open to any type of solution.

1 Answer 1

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It seems you are using the legacy OT1 encoding

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}

%\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\begin{document}

[\v{l}]
\end{document}

You should almost always use T1 encoding for any latin script documents

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\begin{document}

[\v{l}]
\end{document}

OT1 is a the original TeX 7bit encoding that has no accented characters, so \v{...} always places a standard v accent over the base, but other accents such as \' for acute similarly use a constructed accent so correct hyphenation of any words with accented letters will be impossible.

That said, it would be possible to declare this composite even for OT1 encoding

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}

\DeclareTextCompositeCommand{\v}{OT1}{l}{%
    l\kern-.1em\raisebox{1.5ex}{,}}
%\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\begin{document}

[\v{l}]
\end{document}

In your question you typed the name with l<apostophe> but if you use the l caron character U+013e (as used in your wikipeda link for example) then you can type the character directly rather than use \v{l}, getting the same results as above. For completeness here is the result in luatex.

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

Daniel Kráľ

\end{document}
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  • And if a publisher allows fontspec, that’s even better.
    – Davislor
    Feb 13, 2021 at 16:59
  • 1
    @Davislor well yes but where's the tex fun in having it just work automatically. Feb 13, 2021 at 17:01
  • 1
    @Davislor luatex example added :-) Feb 13, 2021 at 17:09

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