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'What happened' is a very broad question, that in this context requires a multitude of answers. What happened in spoken German These words derive from old Proto-Germanic stems that indeed contained a [s] sound. *swōtuz for süß *sebun for sieben *sunþrą for Süden, main form of süd- Throughout the course of sound shifts and two millenia, these sounds had ...


2

Capitalisation of some (not all!) words makes sentences easier to read quickly, for much the same reason that ascenders (as e.g. in t, l, h, k) and descenders (as e.g. in g, p, q, y) do the same. Capitalising all nouns leads to a nice percentage of capitalised words and therefore aids reading. I am not claiming that this is the reason we are doing this, but ...


3

You are correct in observing that German is probably the only language to still capitalise common nouns. (Note the emphasis) First of all, this is because capitalisation can only happen in scripts such as Cyrillic, Greek or Latin which distinguish between capital and lower-case letters. Why they do that can probably be traced back to Charlemagne who let ...



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