Minuscule, or lower case, is the smaller form (case) of letters (in the Roman alphabet: a, b, c, ...). Originally alphabets were written entirely in majuscule (capital) letters which were spaced between well-defined upper and lower bounds. When written quickly with a pen, these tended to rounder and simpler forms, like uncials. It is from these that the first minuscule hands developed, the half-uncials and cursive minuscule, which no longer stay bound between a pair of lines.
These in turn formed the foundations for carolingian minuscule, developed by Alcuin for use in the court of Charlemagne, which quickly spread across Europe. Here for the first time it became common to mix both majuscule and minuscule letters in a single text.
Traditionally more important letters - those beginning sentences or nouns - were made larger; now they were written in a different script, although there was no fixed capitalization system until the early 18th century (and even then all nouns were capitalized, a system still followed in German but not in English).
Similar developments have taken place in other alphabets. The minuscule script for the Greek alphabet has its origins in the seventh century and acquired its quadrilinear form in the eighth century. Over time, uncial letter forms were increasingly mixed into the script. The earliest dated Greek minuscule text is the Uspenski Gospels (MS 461) in the year 835. The modern practice of capitalizing every sentence seems to be imported (and is commonly not used when printing Ancient Greek materials even today).
The X-axis shows lowercase Y subscript lowercase F 1 divided by lowercase Y subscript lowercase M 1, which is the bridge approach depth in the floodplain channel divided by the bridge approach depth in the main channel, from zero to 0.5.
The X-axis measures lowercase D subscript 50 divided by lowercase Y, which is median diameter of sediment divided by depth of flow in the main channel, ranging from 0.01 to 1 on a logarithmic scale.
The X-axis is the quotient of V subscript lowercase AB divided by V subscript lowercase C, which is the maximum resultant velocity at the upstream abutment corner divided by the critical velocity for initiation of motion, minus 1 ranging from 0.1 to 10 on a logarithmic scale.
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