Terminology: majuscule, minuscule

I know that a majuscule script can be written between two lines, while a minuscule uses four lines: ascender, mid, base and descender lines.

I read that cyrillic ustav was a sort of uncial, so I expected it to be a majuscule; but when I look at ustav it seems to use three lines: there are long descenders without ascenders (apart from Ф).

Fedorovsk Unicode is based on Ivan Fedorov’s poluustav type. Upper and lower case both appear to use three lines. The shared line is the descender line, not the two “base” lines.

In “http://redvelvetglove.blogspot.co.uk/2007/11/research-merging-arabic-and-western.html” I read about two Arabic fonts: SADA (a naskh font) uses seven lines, while TheMixArab (a kufi font) uses four, just like the familiar minuscule.

Is there any established vocabulary that I can use instead of saying, for example, “a script or font written using three horizontal guide lines”?

If not, have you any suggestions?


  • A mediuscule?
  • Alex VisiAlex Visi Posts: 36
    I’m a native cyrillic user, and to me those decenders in ustav are “weaker” than real decenders of p or q, but a bit “stronger” than the tail of Q (I suppose you don’t count it as a real decender, do you?).
    So I wouldn’t count it as three lines. I might be wrong though.
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