Syntax trees in LibreOffice?


I am contemplating switching my wife from LaTeX to LO for her linguistic work, and the problem are syntax trees. I know about but does anybody know about some macro or something which would generate such tree from some simple text input (in principle similar to equations generated from TeX syntax)?

The ideal standard is the LaTeX package covington, but I am willing to settle even for something less. Making trees in Draw by hand seems to me however really too much work.

If your wife is fine with LaTeX and syntax trees, then please, by no means, do not switch her to LibreOffice or to anything else.

It is more complicated. So far, it is more like an investigation about possibilities of replacement LaTeX by LO.

For some tasks, LaTeX cannot be replaced. At all. Writer is quite powerful, but there are several tasks that go way beyond its capabilities, and complex layouts like the one you need is one of them. If you’re after a nicer “interaction” with LaTeX you may be interested in LyX: it offers a linguistic module that makes the use of the package covington easier.

Side note: If you’re interested in an introduction to LyX, check this free book :wink:

Of course, my wife uses LyX. It has a lot of advantages, but especially in this case, it becomes a trap. Write in LyX a presentation in beamer, where you have a tableaux on a slide with four numbered glosses. Level of indirection and obfuscation provided by LyX then becomes a problem.

Moreover, it is obvious, that just with addition of new OLE object (or something) for glosses and something for syntax trees, LO can become a way more user friendly alternative for linguists. I would never believe there could be a functional bibliography for LO, and there is now with Zotero.

Well, yes, add-ons for that would be great. There are already add-ons for LaTeX equations and LiliPond scores, for example… but developing a multi-platform add-on is not an easy task, specially when it’s so specialized: you need a developer that’s an expert not only in the coding part, but also in the linguistic part, and that’s not so easy to find. Also, I seriously doubt that the companies that sponsor LibO development would be interested in such tool (they are more about the “office stuff”), so we need to wait for a volunteer doing all the hard work alone. Not easy.