Tuesday, 13 August 2019


The orthography of the First Nations Saanich people from British Colombia and Washington state employs (with the exception of ‘s’ which acts like an apostrophe) only uppercase letters, making it one of the unicameral alphabets, like Hangul, Arabic, Georgian and Tamil, something rare for a Latin-based script though all languages start out with just a single case. The International Phonetic Alphabet uses only lower case Latin and Greek letters, so a second example, though not a genuine writing system but rather something epiphenomenal. Created by linguist Dave Elliott in 1978 to conform to the sound and grammar of the language, it saw a resurgence and renewed interest around 2011 when its unfamiliar characters (Ⱥ and Ⱦ) received their own Unicode range and a texting programme was developed.