Midwest Script is a constructed phonetic alphabet for English
designed by Bret Norwood. It is optimized to Bret's dialect, Central
Western American English, but is conceivably compatible with other
forms of English. Midwest draws from the Latin and Runic alphabets,
and, to a lesser extent, from the Hebrew script, and is as a method for
accurately and phonetically transcribing English that aspires to
feel natural rather than academic or synthetic. Bret's primary use
for the conscript is to aid him personally in literary composition.
- The thirty-nine letters are used as phonetically as possible. Regional, idiosyncratic, and transient variant pronunciations are transcribed as accurately as possible rather than adhering to dictionary forms.
- There is an exception in two silent usages, which are intended to make the script feel more organic and balanced. The letter "ghost," which looks like a Roman 'c,' terminates adjectives normally ending in -y or -ly. The letter "thrush" (Ʒ), which is usually an alveolar tap (/ɾ/, the middle consonant of both latter and ladder in the author's dialect) is silent when terminating Latin-derived words ending in -ity.
- As implied above, glyphs are named with example words taken from the elements of natural or societal phenomena, e.g. “pine,” “birch,”, “tool,” “door,” et cetera.
- Syllabic emphasis can be marked with acute accents. This is particularly useful when transcribing metrical verse.
- You may find more information and examples in this post on Bret's blog.
Sample text in Midwest
Better pass boldly into that other world,
in the full glory of some passion,
than fade and wither dismally with age...
His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow
falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling,
like the descent of their last end,
upon the living and the dead.
notable lines from the climax of James Joyce's short story "The Dead."
Other writing systems invented by visitors to this site
If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.
If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.