It appears that LaTeX commands cannot be used on SE Linguistics, but they can on other SE sites. Personally, I wanted to use this feature a number of times to insert a formula and here's another question with the same problem. Expressing formulae can be useful when discussing things as simple as the number of combinations that arise from the different conditions in an experiment, or when discussing statistics questions relevant to linguistics.

Could we please allow the use of LaTeX commands? I don't think having this feature will be a problem for anyone not wanting to use it and it will help those who do.


3 Answers 3


Absolutely subscribing here!
I am surprised that this is not a feature already, I am really missing TeX support - for a wide range of uses that I consider essential in the field of linguistics:

  • Mathematical formulas.
    As someone who frequently answers questions on formal semantics, like here, here and here, I feel that answering (and asking) these questions in the current state is a mess, to an extent where it has sometimes kept me from writing answers to those questions altogether, simply because the process of setting them up is so annoying.
    While I am aware that there are tools which ease the inclusion of Unicode symbols as HTML, all of these solutions (at least the ones I am aware of) still make typing more than one line of math quite cumbersome given that every symbol has to be clicked on individually, but worse than that, many characters and necessary formatting options, like pretty much half of the inventory I needed in this linguistically originated question, aren't even available as predefined Unicode symbols at all. Not to mention the fact that the output is visually not particularly pleasing and often makes the question hard to read, as can well be seen in this post.
    Besides, I doubt that the average user is aware of the existence of such tools; it took me more than a year on SE to find out about these, while new users have repeatedly been asking for LaTeX support, because this what users are used to.
    Apart from formulas for questions on logic, MathJax would prove useful in questions involving statistics or combinatorics, which time and time again turn up this site.

  • IPA, as already discussed here and here, to frequently be used in posts like here, here, here and many posts by other users.
    At this point I am not sure whether enabling MathJax will also provide the opportunity to support other LaTeX packages, but if so, being able to use tipa would be of great help in typing IPA symbols.
    I am aware of IPA typeit which I have used so far, and some other external tools, but again, clicking is cumbersome, and users will be more comfortable writing questions and answers with the tools thy are used to (and the standard way of typesetting IPA symbols is LaTeX tipa).

  • Other, less urgent cases where I could imagine TeX support to be useful - again under the premise that support for special packages is in principal possible - include

    • tree structures, most importantly syntax trees, like here, here and here; a similar request was already made on meta here.
    • linguistic example formatting, which I could have used here, and interlinear glosses for posts like here, which are rather inconvenient to do appropriately without automatic alignment. The current solution to these use cases is to typeset them externally and then include them in the post via a screenshot - I could live with this solution for these particular cases, but if MathJax comes, then this would certainly be a nice for these less frequent use cases as well.

It won't be a problem, but we need to show that the site actually needs it.

On Physics SE, the same question has been asked and you can see it got at least 32 votes. If there is not enough support from the community, which means enough people that want it, then it's probably not gonna happen. It's the same as for Migration paths in other sites, you need to prove there is a case for it to be implemented.

If it gets enough support, it'll be added.

  • 7
    By showing support, you mean upvoting the OP's request? Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 2:31
  • 1
    Does my post explaining why I think we need this also count as "showing that we need it", or is this request basically aborted because the question got only 8 upvotes as of today? Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 12:57

A clear yes. And do not forget to include tipa support for IPA in LaTeX, I find tipa input from the keyboard very convenient (compared to searching, cutting, and pasting IPA characters from a Unicode character table).

  • Do you know IPA typeit? This is on the long run by far not as satisfying a solution as LaTeX, but at least better than googling and copy-pasting unicode characters; I like it for its many keyboard shortcuts. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 9:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .