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Re: Numerals in Sohlob languages.

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Thursday, March 23, 2006, 22:09
taliesin the storyteller skrev:
> * Benct Philip Jonsson said on 2006-03-23 11:18:58 +0100 > >>I'm mulling over whether I should expand on the multiples of >>twelve. According to "Describing Morphosyntax" the only >>known numerical bases in human languages are five, ten and >>twenty, for obvious reasons having to do with the number of >>digits humans possess. > > > So why have humans also counted in base (3) 6, (4) 8 and 12? (Hint, use the > space *between* the digits...)
Yes, humans have *counted* in these bases -- the Babylonians even used baswe 60! -- but Payne says no languages use other bases than 5, 10, 20. It seems he's wrong however, to judge by the evidence cited by Jörg:
> This is a question I have also pondered for long, because I use > a base-12 system in my conlang Old Albic (which is spoken by humans). > Base-12 systems seem to be vanishingly rare in human languages, but > I have read about a language in Nigeria, Nimbia is its name, which > has a base-12 system, so I think it's OK, and at any rate, I am > quite happy with the numerals of Old Albic, and don't wish to > change them.
Yes, base 12 has its advantages, such as 12 being divisible by all of 2 3 4 6, while 10 is only divisible by 2 and 5. That's why typographers traditionally have used base 12.
> There are lots of interesting numeral systems around. A few of them > can be found here: > >
Interesting. I'll have to look at it more deeply tomorrow. -- /BP 8^)> -- Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se "Maybe" is a strange word. When mum or dad says it it means "yes", but when my big brothers say it it means "no"! (Philip Jonsson jr, age 7)