Majuscules and minuscules

Joanna Taylor mywordjewelry at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 19 12:40:49 UTC 2009

iirc, cuneiform (my memory is fuzzy on when this appeared, but by
Akkadian certainly) had unpronounced determinant symbols that were
used before names. Different ones for names of deities vs. names of
kings. This system of determinants was also used for other things, to
disambiguate the meaning of the following word -- type of material,
shape, profession are a few that come to mind (iirc, again-- emphasis
on the 'if'.)  It always struck me as being a bit like a system of
graphic classifiers.


> ------------------------------
> Date:    Tue, 17 Nov 2009 16:47:12 -0500
> From:    "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject: Majuscules and minuscules
> In Latin-based scripts and a few others, majuscules are used to
> indicate proper nouns (people, places, organizations, etc.)
> Are there any scripts where a different technique is used to
> distinguish proper from common nouns?  A kind of diacritical
> marking?  An additional word or particle?  Etc.
> Joel

The American Dialect Society -

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