Why "hats" (circumflexes,
ˆ) instead of carons (
If I'm not mistaken The "capped" letters come from how slavic languages are transliterated/written using the latin alphabet, so why is the ĉ used instead of č when slavic languages would use the former rather than the latter?
According to section "origin" of the article "Esperanto orthography" in the English wikipedia:
The script resembles Western Slavic Latin alphabets but uses circumflexes instead of carons for the letters ĉ, ĝ, ĥ, ĵ, and ŝ. [...]
Zamenhof took advantage of the fact that typewriters for the French language (which, in his lifetime, was still a kind of international lingua franca for educated people) possess a dead key for the circumflex and umlaut/diaeresis diacritics: thus, anyone who could avail himself of a French typewriter could type ĉ ĝ ĥ ĵ ŝ and their uppercase counterparts with no problem.
ĵ instead of
Also they generally use ž instead of ĵ, so why is ĵ used?
According to the same Wikipedia section:
Also, the non-Slavic bases of the letters ĝ and ĵ, rather than Slavic dž and ž, help preserve the printed appearance of Latinate and Germanic vocabulary such as ĝenerala "general" (adjective) and ĵurnalo "journal".