The writing system is sort of kind of an abugida. It's written left-to-right, with spaces between the words. There are letters representing consonants, which take different forms depending on whether the consonant is at the beginning or end of the syllable (the letter is mirrored left-to-right to indicate that it's at the end of the syllable). Diacritics are used for /j/ and /w/, and colors are used to represent the vowels; these are described below.
When a word is derived from another word or words, sound changes are not usually represented in the writing, except deletion of significant parts of the word. There are also some other irregularities, which are shown in the lexicon.
The letters, in alphabetical order:
|No consonant||, ||,||, ||,||yau|
Each syllable has either one initial letter, one final letter, or both. The "no consonant" letters are used in some circumstances described below. The forms (initial without a loop) and (final without a loop) can only be used at the beginning resp. end of a stressed syllable or of a word.
If a word contains both stressed and unstressed syllables, then the stressed syllable is underlined. In cursive, this underline connects to the letters in the unstressed syllables, which are written slightly lower than the stressed syllables.
A word's color depends on the vowel of its stressed syllable. Diphthongs are treated as sequences of a vowel and a glide, so, for instance, a word containing /ai/ would be colored red, and would contain the diacritic for /j/.
|Vowel||Normal color||Other colors that can be used||Example|
|/a/||Red||Orange, magenta, pink, brown|| hwánt "circle"|
|/i/||Green||Light or dark green, yellow|| kuník "cliff"|
|/u/||Blue||Cyan|| húli "big"|
|No stressed syllable||Black||Gray, white|| lenk "beside"|
Words representing colors may be written in the color they represent, e.g., híleng may be written as (purple) instead of (green). In poetry, semi-stressed function words may be written in black.
The sound /j/ is represented by a short vertical line below a consonant symbol, and the sound /w/ is represented by a small circle above a consonant symbol. When these are before the vowel in a syllable, they're placed on the initial letter; when these are after the vowel in a syllable (part of a diphthong), they're placed on the final letter. If there is no other initial/final consonant to put them on, an initial or final (respectively) no-consonant letter is used. (If the initial or final form can't be used due to where the letter is in the word, the loop form is used instead.)
Unstressed /i/ and /u/ are represented as if they were /əj/ and /əw/, respectively (that is, and ). The sounds /lʲ/ and /lʷ/ are represented by the letter for /l/ with the diacritic for /j/ or /w/ respectively.
If a syllable doesn't have any consonants, including glides, then a no-consonant letter is used, chosen by where the letter is in the word. If it's at the beginning of the word or of the stressed syllable, the form (initial) is used; at the end of the word (when it contains more than one letter), (final); otherwise, (loop).
The prefix un- 'not, opposite' has its own dedicated character, a blue forward slash (). When this prefix is used, the rest of the letters in the word are written in black and not underlined. In cursive, a line continues from the top of the slash over the rest of the characters in the word, like a square root symbol.
Type some text using the romanization described in the phonology section, including hyphens for syllable separators, to see what it looks like in the Lwaitel script. (If you can't type í or ú, just double the letter.) (Combinations of letters that can't be represented in the writing system won't show up. This will assume that the word is spelled phonetically and does not derive from another word. Use / for the un- prefix.)
Lwaitel can be written entirely with the phonetic system described above. However, it is often written with logographs. Only some words have logographs; the rest must be written in the phonetic system, as well as affixes.
|.||separates sentences (not used at the ends of paragraphs); used regardless of the type of sentence and regardless of any other punctuation (e.g., emotion indicators don't replace it)|
|,||comma; indicates an intentional pause in speech; used at the end of a dependent clause that does not end a sentence, and between noun phrases (or between a verb phrase and a noun phrase) when the second phrase doesn't start with a demonstrative|
|(, )||encloses subclauses, quotations, complex noun phrases, and mathematical (sub)expressions, when the author feels that it's helpful for clarity; does not include the preposition, conjunction, or particle (hem, mu, hwel) that starts the phrase; if this is used, a comma is not used in the same place|
|,,||indicates pausing or hesitation|
|-||indicates omitted parts of a quotation, or that the speaker was interrupted|
|X||indicates that the sentence is not intended to be taken seriously, for instance, jokes and sarcasm. Placed discreetly in the corner of satirical works and fictional works that could easily be mistaken for nonfiction. Red is sarcasm and satire, black is other non-serious or fictional things. Can be placed at the beginning or end of a sentence, often at the end.|
|☺||if red, indicates excitement; if green, indicates laughter; if blue, indicates calmness; if black, indicates generic happiness. Placed at the beginning of the sentence or clause.|
|☹||if red, indicates anger; if green, indicates sadness; if blue, indicates boredom; if black, indicates generic unhappiness. Placed at the beginning of the sentence or clause.|
|`~`~||indicates uncertainty; placed under the uncertain part; blue indicates that the speaker is asking for confirmation [TODO the underline is too high here]|
|||indicates emphasis; red indicates the introduction of a new word, character, or concept|
Foreign words are often written in their original writing system, with the native Lwait transliteration above them in smaller text, e.g. English. Speakers of Lwaitel also tend to try to pronounce foreign words as in their original language, rather than fitting everything into Lwaitel's phonology.
Names of places outside Lwait are generally considered foreign words, whereas places inside Lwait aren't (even if they're named after some other language). Similarly, names of people who were named in Lwait are considered non-foreign, and names of other people are considered foreign unless the name derives from Lwaitel. Other words are considered foreign if they entered the language recently or aren't used that much.
Originally, the writing system worked a bit differently. Differences from the current system:
Type some text here to see what it looks like in both systems (numbers and punctuation not supported, syllable breaks required):