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Medieval Unicode Font Initiative

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Small capitals have the same form as majuscules (capital letters), but are usually drawn with the same height as a minuscule (small) letter such as ‘x’. In Medieval Nordic manuscripts, small capitals were used to denote geminates, i.e. long consonants, or they were used ornamentally. The letters ‘B’, ‘D’, ‘G’, ‘M’, ‘N’, ‘R’, ‘S’ and ‘T’ were most frequently used as geminates, while these and other letters might also be used as ornaments in the whole or in parts of highlighted words. Some of the small capitals, e.g. ‘O’ and ‘C’, are difficult to distinguish from minuscule letters. The Unicode Standard v. 5.1 has allocated nine small capitals to the range IPA Extensions, sc. ‘B’, ‘G’, ‘H’, ‘I’, ‘L’, ‘N’, ‘Œ’, ‘R’ and ‘Y’ (cf. pp. 40–42 above), and another 15 small capitals for the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet to the range Phonetic Extensions, ‘A’, ‘Æ’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘Ð’, ‘E’, ‘J’, ‘K’, ‘M’, ‘O’, ‘P’, ‘T’, ‘U’, ‘V’, ‘W’ and ‘Z’ (cf. pp. 48–49 above). Thus, only a handful of small capitals remain unrepresented. Of these, the small capital ‘S’ and ‘F’ can appear as geminates in Medieval Nordic. The rest, i.e. ‘Q’, ‘THORN’ and ‘X’ can only appear as small capitals in ornamental usage. Small capital ‘F’ and ‘S’ were included in v. 5.1 of the Unicode Standard, and have therefore been decommissioned below.


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