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.
Interesting. I'll have to look at it more deeply tomorrow.
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
(Philip Jonsson jr, age 7)