Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
Some scripts (such as Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek) have capital letters, while others (such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Hangul) do not. In languages with capital letters, there are rules as to when words must be capitalized. In English, names of months are capitalized, while in French they are not. In German, all nouns are capitalized, while in most languages with capitalization nouns are only capitalized in a limited number of cases. Since many languages of the world have writing systems with no capitalization, it's clear that capitalization is not essential for a functional writing system, and one can easily imagine English, for example, being written with no capital letters, and this already happens in text messaging and other informal means of written communication. My questions are about what happens when a language switches from a script with no capitalization to one with capitalization.
- Has there ever been a language that switched scripts in this way but only borrowed the lower-case letters? I don't know of any.
- When a language does adopt capitalization in this situation (as most, if not all, seem to), how does it decide what its capitalization rules are? An example would be Turkish, which switched from the Arabic script to the Latin script. Does anyone know how capitalization rules were decided for Turkish when the switch happened? What about other languages that underwent this kind of switch?