First off, just to be clear, this is a purely historical/theoretical question. In the example I'm going to give, I think it would universally be considered clearer just to write it in 4/4, maybe with accents, but I would like to know if there is a modern or historical notation for this kind of construction.
Say that I have a piece of music in 4/4, but at one point in the piece a measure is extended by a quarter note. The following measure is shortened to compensate, so that the overall rhythm fits neatly into its 4/4 surroundings. The effect is that it sounds like the first measure has gone on for too long, so that the second one has to rush to make up for it. I am only providing a contrived example here but assume that the piece justifies this.
This is almost certainly the clearest way to notate this. Alternatively, the time signature could actually change:
This emphasizes that the 5+3 grouping is integral to the structure of the piece, but it removes the rubato-like push-and-pull feeling of the first notation.
I feel there might be some clever way to use a dotted barline to get this point across but it escapes me. This is the best I can come up with:
The problem with this is that it gives the impression of a 4+1+3 grouping, although the accents alleviate that somewhat. Making the actual barline dotted seems very confusing, although it would show that it should not feel like the end of the measure.
Finally, the time signature can be changed to 8/4:
This clearly shows the structure, but it gives the impression that all eight notes belong to one musical unit, whereas they're supposed to be separate measures. The best way I can think of to fix that is to separate the two in the time signature:
Depending on the style of music, this is... opinionated at best, but it carries the meaning fairly well. The only problem is that it removes the "borrowing" or "stealing" feeling I'm going for.
Is there a notation, whether it is widely or currently used or not, which fully conveys the semantics of what I am describing? Of course I realize this is extreme pedantry and some of these examples are 99% there. But to be clear, here is the exact semantic meaning I am going for:
However, I think this notation would take some explaining.