30.03.2003 // Etymology // by Sergey Sirotkin
Why Is "I" Capitalized?
"The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology" гласит:
~I~, pron., 1137 'i', later 'I' (about 1250, in 'The Story of Genesis and Exodus'); developed from the unstressed form of Old English (about 725) 'ic' singular pronoun of the first person (nominative case).
Modern and Middle English 'I' developed from earlier 'i' in the stressed position. 'I' came to be written with a capital letter thereby making it a distinct word and avoiding misreading handwritten manuscripts.
In the northern and midland dialects of England the capitalized form 'I' appeared about 1250. In the south of England, where Old English 'ic' early shifted in pronunciation to 'ich' (by palatalization), the form 'I' did not become established until the 1700's (although it appears sporadically before that time).