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Re: base-20 (was Re: Numbers from 1 to 12 in Ayeri)

From:John Quijada <jq_ithkuil@...>
Date:Sunday, August 22, 2004, 21:59
Carsten Becker wrote:
>On Friday 20 August 2004 22:11, John Quijada wrote: > > > I believe many of the Northeast Caucasian languages such > > as Avar, Lezgian, Dargwa, etc., are vigesimal, i.e., base > > 20. I will look up how they put their numbers together > > and get back to you. > > > > Also: Before finally deciding to change it to base-100, > > Ithkuil used to be base-20. > >Base 10 and base 20 are not very economical, though. 10 can >only be divided into 2 and 5, 20 as well. But base-100 is >just perverse IMO -- are there unique names for all numbers >from 0 to 99?! That'd be very much a tax on memory. Or are >there possiblities given to make counting easier, since >Ithkuil is a philosophical lang and I guess thus has >elements of a loglang?
____________________________ I looked at some number systems among Dagestanian languages: it turns out the vigesimal taits involve merely some compounding of twenties. For example, the number 'forty' in Avar is 2 X 20, while Lezgian 30 is 20+10 and 60 is 3 X 20, etc. As for base-100 in Ithkuil, there are separate roots for 1 through 10, then each of these takes suffixes which mean +10, +20, +30, +40, etc. up to +90. Example: 'kas' = 2 and 'nas' = 7 become 'kast_>u' = 22 and 'nast_>u' = 27 by adding the suffix 't_>u' which means "+20". Thus there are single-word stems for 1 through 99 (based on the roots for 1 through 10), then a completely new root for 100, at which point numbers become two digits up to 10,000 (a hundred hundreds) at which point they become three digits, etc. It's all part of the overall design of the language for morpho-phonological conciseness. For all the details on the number system, see Chapter 12 of the online Ithkuil grammar. --John Quijada