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Word for linguistics

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Phonetics - Phonology - Syntax - Examples - PDF

Linguistics classes usually do not require typed homework, but it’s always appreciated by graders, and often simplifies making changes later on. The short story is that you can manage all intro homework if you:

But if you’re an advanced student or a comparison shopper like me, keep reading and you will find better options.


fontsinputother links


These two rows of IPA characters should match up.
IPA characters used in English
ʃʒ ɹɾ ʧʤ θð ɡŋ ʔ ʍ   æɛɪɑʊ ʌɔɒɜ   tʰ aː ṇ ˌσσˈσσ d̚ ɔ˞

Fonts. The first step is to download a Unicode font with the IPA characters. Some fonts supplied with Windows, Mac or Office are supposed to work, but I’ve heard of glitches. So I recommend one of the following free fonts (view samples).

Input. You also need a way to type IPA. Any of the following will work.

Other useful links:



Feature matrices using box drawing symbols

Feature matrices can be copied and pasted from my quick template. You don’t really need the instructions below unless you want to get fancy.



Trees require the right tools. It’s also a good idea to make test sketches before drawing them for real, whether on paper or on the computer.

glossesnumbering (basicadvanced)


Glossed numbered example

Glosses like (1) above are crucial in syntax and morphology. They are best copied and pasted from my quick template (requires Doulos SIL) but the guide below explains additional functionality.

Numbering. Linguistic examples are usually cross-referenced like this: (1), (2, 4), (3a), (5–7). The first kind (1) is easy to get.

Advanced numbering. There is no single best method of getting cross-references like (2, 4), (3a) or (5–7). Basically, the more accurate you want to be, the harder you’ll have to work.

PDF files

Creating PDF files. If you are planning to email your linguistics work to anyone at all, the only truly safe way is PDF, because it preserves fonts and layout which can be crucial to understanding an analysis. Besides, Word documents can transmit viruses. There are many ways to convert them safely to PDF.

Embedding fonts in PDF. Even after you install a PDF printer as described above, Windows’ default settings prevent proper font embedding, defeating the whole purpose of PDF. Fortunately it’s an easy fix.

Hyperlinks and bookmarks in PDF. Word can generate quite a lot of useful hyperlinks automatically: cross-references, citations (depending on your bibliography management tool), even a table of contents. There are free modifications to Word which can preserve these hyperlinks; as a bonus, they also create bookmarks corresponding to headings.