-6

So, let us divide the letters into four categories.

  1. Ii Kk Ll Vv Ww Xx Zz are all made of straight lines.
  2. Cc Oo Ss are all made of curves.
  3. Bb Dd Gg Jj Pp Qq Rr Uu are made of both straight lines and curves.
  4. Aa Ee Ff Hh Mm Nn Tt Yy are made of only straight lines in the capital letters, but are made up of both straight lines and curves in the small letters.

Here is the history of the latin script.

Now, what is the origin of the latin capital and small letters?

9
  • 1
    Isn't it 26 × 2 = 52 questions, not just one? Did you read this article before asking? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Latin_script – Yellow Sky Sep 25 '20 at 18:32
  • 2
    You can look up the Phoenician alphabet. What exactly is your question, is it about their origins or is it about their development since a particular date in history? I think your question is probably too broad! – rjpond Sep 25 '20 at 19:28
  • 2
    Beyond the observation that the forms of the capitals are associated with carved inscriptions (favouring straight lines) and the lower case with pen-writing (favouring curves), your classification has no historical or explanatory value. With a small number of exceptions (eg Korean, Canadian syllabics) there is essentially no graphical systematicity to any of the scripts in general use today. – Colin Fine Sep 25 '20 at 21:12
  • 1
    Besides, that's the way those letters look in the computer font your device uses to render this site. It's a sans-serif font with me, but even a serif font like Times New Roman gives the letters quite a different look, not to say about artistic fonts. It's artists who create those fonts, it's artists who create and have always created the shape of the letters we use now. The Antiqua typeface (which you usually see in printed books) was designed in the 15th century by Nicolas Jenson, a French engraver: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiqua_(typeface_class) – Yellow Sky Sep 26 '20 at 0:27
  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because it makes little sense. It's not a serious question. – Arnaud Fournet Sep 26 '20 at 7:42
4

(This should be a comment, but it's too long.)

For a very brief overview:

  • The lowercase forms developed out of Mediaeval handwriting, becoming fixed in their modern shapes with the invention of the printing press.
  • The uppercase forms go back to Roman inscriptions.
  • The Romans borrowed the alphabet from the Etruscans, who borrowed it from Greek colonists, with various minor changes along the way (such as Δ tilting sideways to become D).
  • The Greeks borrowed it from the Phoenicians, adding a few letters of their own invention, and repurposing some extra consonants as vowels (which weren't indicated in Phoenician).
  • The Phoenician alphabet evolved from the Canaanite alphabet, which evolved from the Proto-Sinaitic script.
  • At this point the details get less clear. The Proto-Sinaitic script was probably derived from some form of Egyptian writing, though it's hard to say anything for certain about it; not very much writing in this script survives, and the actual meaning of the writing we have is still debated.
  • If it does come from Egyptian, Egyptian hieroglyphs are derived from earlier pictograms being extended to write arbitrary words. For example, the word for "mouth" was something like raꜣ, so a picture of a mouth was used for the "R" sound in words having nothing to do with mouths (such as the preposition meaning "to", which is harder to draw).

And there's a lot more detail in each of these phases that I'm glossing over. If you can narrow down your question a bit and explain exactly what part you're interested in, you'll get better answers.

7
  • How can I narrow down my qüestion? – Arunabh Bhattacharya Sep 25 '20 at 21:21
  • @ArunabhBhattacharya That's really up to you, and what you're curious about. – Draconis Sep 25 '20 at 21:50
  • I really want to know the "historical origin". – Arunabh Bhattacharya Sep 25 '20 at 22:51
  • @ArunabhBhattacharya I explained in broad strokes the origin of the letters in general. Is there a part you're curious about specifically? The origin of capital vs lowercase, for example, or how the Etruscan script changed over time? The history of the alphabet could be the topic for an entire semester; it's not feasible to explain all of it in detail in a single StackExchange answer. – Draconis Sep 25 '20 at 23:49
  • What are some possible questions I can ask? – Arunabh Bhattacharya Sep 25 '20 at 23:50

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.