Phonological rules in LaTeX

If you wish to easily typeset SPE-like phonological rules with LaTeX, you can use a package I developed for that purpose. The package in question is phonrule. It comes with the TeX Live distribution so you shouldn’t need to install it. You can have a look at it at CTAN.

It comes with some useful macros that facilitate rule typesetting. For example, if you want to write a simple rule of [s] intervocalic voicing, you can use the \phonb command. The “b” there refers to what kind of context the rule has, and in this case the context is “both”, meaning that you specify context on both sides of the targeted sound.


The code above will give you this result:

    (1) s → z / V_V

If you don’t need context at all in your rules, you can use the \phon command. \phonc, \phonl and \phonr are used, respectively, for a simple contexts, for the specification of contexts on the left and on the right. For example:


    (2) a → ə / [–stressed]
    (3) k → t / i_
    (4) t → ts / _u

You can also typeset more complex phonological rules with features matrixes, like this one:

\phonb{\phonfeat{+stop \\ +consonant \\ +alveolar}}{[ɾ]}{
\phonfeat{+vowel \\ +stressed}}{\phonfeat{+vowel \\ +stressed}}

If you want to learn more about the package, read the documentation here.