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Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214816.1999.x


[Lat. minuscula ( littera ) ‘smaller letter’] Collective term for all alphabetic letters of the four-line system, where the body of the letter is contained between the base line and the x line (the height of an x ), while ascenders of letters such as h and b and descenders of letters such as p and y extend, respectively, to an upper and lower line ( figure 13 ). Minuscules were for the most part derived from the earlier majuscules , especially from the uncial style, a book hand. They first appeared in Roman manuscripts of the third century ce . Their popularity gradually increased, and in the mature form of the Caroline minuscule of the eighth century ( figure 14 ) they became the major style of European writing. See also typography . Reading Bishop 1971. Figure 13 The four-line system: minuscules Figure 14 Caroline minuscule, ninth century ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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