Numerals

 roman
 Posts: 1504
 Joined: 16 May 2015 18:48
Numerals
OK, I keep getting pestered by Gornec (even when I haven't made a new language) and I'd like to give him numbers, but none of my languages have numeral systems, except I think Spraka might have a few numbers (although Spraka is a fauxlang with most of the words copied from English and German and occasionally words from other Germanic languages so who cares). But, I really want to make some interesting systems. The first idea I had for a numeral system was basically Danish but with 11 and 12 as oneteen and twoteen and numbers greater than 10 that are 8 or 9 after being 1 or 2 before (so, twenty eight would be two from thirty) like Latin. That's not particularly creative. My second idea is almost completely normal except that 59 are onefive, twofive, threefive, fourfive in "backwards" order even though twentyone would be twentyone in that order, and I don't like that idea much either, even if it's more creative and natural than Latin meets Danish. So, what are some of the most interesting numbers you all have seen or made?
No darkness can harm you if you are guided by your own inner light
Re: Numerals
Well, there's Piraha (there's always Piraha...) Actually, I've been thinking about this as well; do you mind if I add one more question? Does anyone know of a natlang where the default position for compound numbers is around the modified noun, in the following way:
one dog = one dog.sing
two dogs = two dog.plur
twenty dogs = twenty dog.gen
twentyone dogs = one dog and twenty
I guess it could work around classifiers as well, something like the following:
one dog = dog one [animalCLASS]
two dogs = one dog = dog two [animalCLASS]
twenty dogs = dog [animalCLASS] twenty
twentyone dogs = dog one [animalCLASS] twenty
one dog = one dog.sing
two dogs = two dog.plur
twenty dogs = twenty dog.gen
twentyone dogs = one dog and twenty
I guess it could work around classifiers as well, something like the following:
one dog = dog one [animalCLASS]
two dogs = one dog = dog two [animalCLASS]
twenty dogs = dog [animalCLASS] twenty
twentyone dogs = dog one [animalCLASS] twenty
 druneragarsh
 sinic
 Posts: 439
 Joined: 01 Sep 2015 15:56
 Location: Finland
Re: Numerals
Finnish has base numbers 17, forms 8 and 9 as "2 away from 10" and "1 away from 10" (though using the PIE dek root), and has 10 be derived from "palm, hand".
For ProtoṬelö, I formed the numbers like this:
1 = finger, ḷirä
2 = pair, tẹsa (ordinal ḳora)
3 = 4 without 1 (4 1PRIV), kärä ḷiräti
4 = palm, hand, kärä
5 = other hand, ḳora kärä
6 = hand and pair (hand pairCOM), kärä tẹsaka
7 = 8 without 1, ṭelö ḷiräti
8 = person, ṭelö
9 = 8 1ASSOC, ṭelö ḷiräŋy
10 =8 2ASSOC, ṭelö tẹsaŋu
For ProtoṬelö, I formed the numbers like this:
1 = finger, ḷirä
2 = pair, tẹsa (ordinal ḳora)
3 = 4 without 1 (4 1PRIV), kärä ḷiräti
4 = palm, hand, kärä
5 = other hand, ḳora kärä
6 = hand and pair (hand pairCOM), kärä tẹsaka
7 = 8 without 1, ṭelö ḷiräti
8 = person, ṭelö
9 = 8 1ASSOC, ṭelö ḷiräŋy
10 =8 2ASSOC, ṭelö tẹsaŋu
drúne, rá gárš
drunVOC I.ERG read
List of conlangs with links!
Refer to me with any sexneutral (or feminine) 3s pronoun, either from English (no singular they please, zie etc are okay) or from one of your conlangs!
CWS
drunVOC I.ERG read
List of conlangs with links!
Refer to me with any sexneutral (or feminine) 3s pronoun, either from English (no singular they please, zie etc are okay) or from one of your conlangs!
CWS

 roman
 Posts: 1504
 Joined: 16 May 2015 18:48
Re: Numerals
Wow, these are some long numerals... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alyutor_language#Numerals
No darkness can harm you if you are guided by your own inner light
Re: Numerals
Tazaric numerals:
bún̪ wááŋ gá
little eye one.F
one little eye
bùn̪ wáàŋ d̪ó̤ó̤
PL\little PL\eye two.F
two little eyes
bún̪ wááŋ gá
little eye one.F
one little eye
bùn̪ wáàŋ d̪ó̤ó̤
PL\little PL\eye two.F
two little eyes
Re: Numerals
that's unlike him.HoskhMatriarch wrote:OK, I keep getting pestered by Gornec (even when I haven't made a new language)
could he have gotten the wrong impression, that you were making more conlangs?
just say, in your post or in a reply to him, eitherand I'd like to give him numbers, but none of my languages have numeral systems,
"Haven't gotten around to the numbers yet, sorry."
or
"Speakers of this conlang, just use the numbers of their neighbors."
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
Re: Numerals
Meh, one through to five are basic, being two or three syllables long, which isn't too unusual and you can find these number with similar lengths in a number of languages (although it looks like three and four might be derived in Alyutor, but it's not mentioned, and some of the endings seem to drop in combined forms), and then ten and twenty are base numbers too. After that it's a case of multiplying and adding numbers together, which is pretty universal when it comes to forming higher and higher numbers (although oddly enough, twenty isn't used in forming higher numbers at all).HoskhMatriarch wrote:Wow, these are some long numerals... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alyutor_language#Numerals
So 99 is basically ((4+5)x10)+(4+5) as opposed to the English (9x10)+9 or the French (4x20)+9 or the German 9+(9x10).
In the Chumashan languages, apparently, 99 would have been something like ((2+4)x16)+3 since they used base4 and base16, while Komnzo, using base6 would have it as (2x36)+(4x6)+3 while 72 would simply be (2x36) as opposed to the French (6x10)+12 or the English (7x10)+2.
I've used base8, base10 and base5 so far in my conlangs, trying to shift the base8 one into base10 and base12 and found that number length is pretty relative to the language, the base system they use and what number you're actually trying to use. Base numbers tend to be shorter than derived/combined forms and then the system kind of just starts over with a few extra syllables thrown in. In counting, they might find short cuts, such as only counting in units until they hit the next base and then only saying the full number at regular intervals (I tend to do this at work, e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1, 2, ...., 8, 9, 20, 1, 2, ... and so on) so that large numbers don't become a problem during counting. Specific numbers will likely turn up in set circumstances, while the majority of the time the bases will do, in a similar manner to English users saying "hundreds of people" or "thousands of flies" except Komnzo speakers will say "216s of people" or "1296s of flies".
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
 eldin raigmore
 korean
 Posts: 5652
 Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
 Location: SouthEast Michigan
Re: Numerals
How do speakers of your conlangs — and/or natlangs if you like — say and/or write the following eighteen numerals?
They’re the values of A^(B^C) where each of A and B and C varies through the whole numbers from 2 to 5, except I didn’t include values greater than 3^(3^3). I also left out duplicates such as 2^(2^5) = 4^(2^4) = 4^(4^2).
I’m interested how languages, especially your languages, handle very large numbers.
Or which ones they don’t handle; I think European languages didn’t handle numbers as great as one million before the First Crusade.
If your language’s numeral system has a base other than ten, of course that will be interesting.
But even with base ten, your language might use the equivalents of myriads or crores or lakhs instead of millions and billions and trillions.
And if they use billions and trillions, maybe a billion is a million million and a trillion is a million billion, and a thousand million is a milliard.
And so on.
 16
 81
 256
 512
 625
 6,561
 19,683
 65,536
 262,144
 390,625
 1, 953,125
 33, 554,432
 43, 046,721
 134, 217,728
 4,294, 967,296
 152,587, 890,625
 847,288, 609,443
 7, 625,597, 484,987
 sixteen
 eightyone
 two hundred fiftysix
 five hundred twelve
 six hundred twentyfive
 six thousand five hundred sixtyone
 nineteen thousand six hundred eightythree
 sixtyfive thousand five hundred thirtysix
 two hundred sixtytwo thousand one hundred fortyfour
 three hundred ninety thousand six hundred twentyfive
 one million nine hundred fiftythree thousand one hundred twentyfive
 thirtythree million five hundred fiftyfour thousand four hundred thirtytwo
 fortythree million fortysix thousand seven hundred twentyone
 one hundred thirtyfour million two hundred seventeen thousand seven hundred twentyeight
 four billion two hundred ninetyfour million nine hundred sixtyseven thousand two hundred ninetysix
 one hundred fiftytwo billion five hundred eightyseven million eight hundred ninety thousand six hundred twentyfive
 eight hundred fortyseven billion two hundred eightyeight million six hundred nine thousand four hundred fortythree
 seven trillion six hundred twentyfive billion five hundred ninetyseven million four hundred eightyfour thousand nine hundred eightyseven
They’re the values of A^(B^C) where each of A and B and C varies through the whole numbers from 2 to 5, except I didn’t include values greater than 3^(3^3). I also left out duplicates such as 2^(2^5) = 4^(2^4) = 4^(4^2).
I’m interested how languages, especially your languages, handle very large numbers.
Or which ones they don’t handle; I think European languages didn’t handle numbers as great as one million before the First Crusade.
If your language’s numeral system has a base other than ten, of course that will be interesting.
But even with base ten, your language might use the equivalents of myriads or crores or lakhs instead of millions and billions and trillions.
And if they use billions and trillions, maybe a billion is a million million and a trillion is a million billion, and a thousand million is a milliard.
And so on.
My minicity is http://gonabebig1day.myminicity.com/xml
Re: Numerals
^My conlang would just say the digits out individually, amongst several methods. Easy.
Base 10, but it doesn't use thousand/million, it uses tenthousand instead.
Base 10, but it doesn't use thousand/million, it uses tenthousand instead.
 eldin raigmore
 korean
 Posts: 5652
 Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
 Location: SouthEast Michigan
Re: Numerals
If your base B is ten or fewer, it might be sensible to use the sequence
B^(2^n)
for a basesequence, rather than
B^n.
OTOH if your base B is ten or greater, it might be more sensible to use the
B^n sequence, than the B^(2^n) sequence.
....
The sequence in which each is the square of the previous one, starting at ten, is
Ten 10
Hundred 100
Myriad 10000 (I think this is what you meant by “ten thousand”?)
Myriadmyriad or hundredmillion 100,000,000
10^16 or ten quadrillion
10^32 or hundred nonillion
10^64 or ten vigintillion
I don’t see any point in going greater than 10^80.
My minicity is http://gonabebig1day.myminicity.com/xml
Re: Numerals
Yes, ten thousand = 10000eldin raigmore wrote: ↑28 Sep 2020 01:42Myriad 10000 (I think this is what you meant by “ten thousand”?)
Re: Numerals
That's interesting. Are there any natlangs who express big numbers like this?
I'm not saying you cannot absolutely do this  it's your conlang, after all. But I lay awake last night for a while thinking about it, and I (as a linguistic amateur, mind you) can see many practical problems with it.
Mostly, you have no idea how big a number is until it's said completely. For instance, take the simple question "how big was the turnover of this company last year?" And now somebody answers "well, it was a total of two four five eight zero zero zero zero zero Dollars."... and you need to count how many digits were said in your head. So was it four zeros? Or five? What exactly was the first number again?
Also, you don't have any redundancy in case you couldn't the speaker properly. In English or Chinese (among all other natlangs I know) you can still get how big the number was at all, even though you didn't completely understand the number. "It's [inaudible] thous[inaudible] fortyfive"  you still know it's in the 4digits, or maybe 5. In griuskant, someone might just hear "it's [inaudible] four [inaudible]", leaving the listeners completely clueless.
These are just my thoughts and I might be completely wrong here. Maybe some of the more adept or professional linguists in this board can share their thoughts on that.
Wipe the glass. This is the usual way to start, even in the days, day and night, only a happy one.
Re: Numerals
^Eldin raigmore posted very specific large numbers, without trailing zeroes. In general conversation with approximation, like your example, they would also use place values. In griuskant, this can be expressed with the standard form as usual, which is coefficient x 10^magnitude.
griuskant (without script here)
zhe pludsaenae degnastae sloukekson az voe? 2.458 x 10^8.
/'ʒə 'pludsene 'dəgnaste 'slɔukəksɔn az vɯ? 'tʃaus gəz 'hiɔdliugθuan 'kəru 'θuan/
this groupPLPOSSPASSPOSS backyearPOSS tradeplusEBPASS is howmany? 2 decimal 458 10magnitude 8
How big was the turnover of this company last year? Well, it was a total of 245800000 dollars.
Of course, having 1 convenient place value at the end would still require one to wait, but the opposite also has problems: Every intermediate place value is repeated, and at the end, I might have forgotten the initial magnitude
griuskant (without script here)
zhe pludsaenae degnastae sloukekson az voe? 2.458 x 10^8.
/'ʒə 'pludsene 'dəgnaste 'slɔukəksɔn az vɯ? 'tʃaus gəz 'hiɔdliugθuan 'kəru 'θuan/
this groupPLPOSSPASSPOSS backyearPOSS tradeplusEBPASS is howmany? 2 decimal 458 10magnitude 8
How big was the turnover of this company last year? Well, it was a total of 245800000 dollars.
Of course, having 1 convenient place value at the end would still require one to wait, but the opposite also has problems: Every intermediate place value is repeated, and at the end, I might have forgotten the initial magnitude
Re: Numerals
I do the same in sajátnyelvföld...
and all languages do it in writing without the need to count the digits...
you just have to write/pronounce them in short, regular groups...
and all languages do it in writing without the need to count the digits...
you just have to write/pronounce them in short, regular groups...
 eldin raigmore
 korean
 Posts: 5652
 Joined: 14 Aug 2010 19:38
 Location: SouthEast Michigan
Re: Numerals
It seems to me that some natlangs group them in twos and fours and maybe eights (not sixteens unless the base is lower than ten.)
Some natlangs group them in threes and sixes; not aware of any that group them in twelves.
I will be surprised if that exhausts the possibilities.
The numbers I asked about are all powers of 2 or 3 or 4 or 5. That’s why none of them have trailing zeroes in decimal representation.
If you would like to express, for instance, all the B^(2^n) where B is your base and n runs from, say, zero to 9, go ahead!
That would be particularly interesting if B is one of 4 or 5 or ten or twelve or twenty. Ten and twenty seem to be the most common exponential bases in WALS.info. Twelve is popular among conlangers. And when Greenberg’s students studied them, those five bases — four, five, ten, twelve, and twenty — were found to be most common among the languages in their sample.
2^(2^9) is probably going to be bigger than your computer can express exactly.
Some natlangs group them in threes and sixes; not aware of any that group them in twelves.
I will be surprised if that exhausts the possibilities.
The numbers I asked about are all powers of 2 or 3 or 4 or 5. That’s why none of them have trailing zeroes in decimal representation.
If you would like to express, for instance, all the B^(2^n) where B is your base and n runs from, say, zero to 9, go ahead!
That would be particularly interesting if B is one of 4 or 5 or ten or twelve or twenty. Ten and twenty seem to be the most common exponential bases in WALS.info. Twelve is popular among conlangers. And when Greenberg’s students studied them, those five bases — four, five, ten, twelve, and twenty — were found to be most common among the languages in their sample.
2^(2^9) is probably going to be bigger than your computer can express exactly.
My minicity is http://gonabebig1day.myminicity.com/xml