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On Fri, 8 Jun 2018, John Jason Jordan wrote:

On Fri, 8 Jun 2018 15:59:48 -0400 (EDT)
Felmon Davis <> dijo:

On Fri, 8 Jun 2018, John Jason Jordan wrote:

Linguists frequently need to write glosses. Here are a couple
examples using Spanish as the source language and English as the
language that the author is writing in:

Todos     iremos       a   la                     playa.  to  beach
'We will all go to the beach.'

Juan no     sabía                    qué    hacer.
John neg.  what  do.inf
'John didn't know what to do.'

(Note that there are rules for how the gloss abbreviations are
supposed to be abbreviated and used, and for the sake of simplicity
in the above examples I did not always follow them rigorously.)

Glosses are typically three lines, as in the above examples.

If the utterance in the source language and its gloss are too long for
one line in the paper you are writing you can just make the utterance
two glosses, that would look just like my two examples above.

The only way I know to get this right is to use tabs, but the tab
spacings have to be changed for each gloss. If you have a lot of
glosses in your paper tabs will quickly become a serious pain.

would it be possible to use tables? borderless. allow enough columns for a typical gloss? the last row would 'merge' the columns.

I thought of tables (which I otherwise use a lot), but tables would be
more work than constantly changing tab settings.

Part of the problem with tab settings is knowing exactly where the tab
needs to be. I remember a very long time ago in WordPerfect? that the
exact position of the cursor on the line was displayed in the status
bar, or by hovering over it with the mouse. (Or maybe that was in
InDesign or Scribus.) If I could get this information, maybe it could be
used in a script that would place a tab stop at that position.

it occurs to me I may not fully understand your goal. please clarify:

(1) you want the relevant elements of text and gloss in the first two lines to be spaced to spaced so that they line up in the same 'column' and you want the columns to have the same spacing?

(2) the 3rd line would span the whole field (all the 'columns').

but if you use tabs, lines 1 and 2 do not line up.

do I grasp the problem?


Felmon Davis

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