[XeTeX] parallel lines for multiple text versions

maxwell maxwell at umiacs.umd.edu
Thu Oct 7 22:49:34 CEST 2010

On Thu, 7 Oct 2010 14:03:57 -0500, "McCollum, Adam"
<acmccollum101 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Many thanks for the recommendations. I've been looking at Covington and
> will also take a look at gb4e too. I actually changed Covington to allow
> more than 3 lines to be lined up, but I'm not sure how it will do with
> Ethiopic script (this is actually the first time I've done anything with
> Ethiopic in LaTeX).

FYI, we've used the Covington macros with two Arabic script languages:
Pashto (which uses more or less the standard Naskh version of the Arabic
script) and Urdu (which uses the Nasta'liq script, much more difficult to
typeset).  Since these are written right-to-left, we do the Arabic script
in a line by itself at the top of the interlinear, then repeat the
utterance in a left-to-right roman script on the next line.  The roman
script line is what the gloss line is aligned off of.  We've had no problem
with this.  Since Ge'ez is written left-to-right, this is something you
probably don't need to deal with.  But by the same token, we haven't dealt
with the case of exotic scripts in the aligned lines.

BTW, the Covington macros deal nicely with lines that are too long to fit
on the page--both unaligned lines, and aligned lines.  If I'm reading the
documentation of some of these other packages right, this is not something
they do.  So with the other packages, if a line is too long to fit, you
have to manually break it.  Maybe someone can confirm that I'm not
mis-reading the documentation.

We slightly modified the covington.sty file, e.g. removing the italic font
command.  Perhaps more importantly, we added a "strut" so as to add extra
vertical space between successive pairs of interlinear lines--i.e. in the
situation where the macro has split a long line.  This seems to me at least
to make such interlinears easier to read.  We've tested this for two-line
interlinears (that is, two aligned lines--not counting the free translation
or the Arabic script line); we've implemented this for three line
interlinears, but haven't really tested it.

   Mike Maxwell

More information about the XeTeX mailing list