Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ

# Re: Telona number system

From: Jonathan Knibb Wednesday, March 5, 2003, 8:02
```Mike and Roger, variously, wrote:
>NO NO!!!! COP-OUT!!! ;-) At the least, maybe you could have them
>discover cubing (ede+pen??).  And I guess I'd allow simpler
>constructions for 200, 300...1000, 2000--I agree that is a cop-out. If you must have them fall back on a base
system... Your highest prime with a name was 17 - nua. Why not a base
17 system for those higher numbers?

Hrmph.  I didn't say you *had* to use a decimal system, I only said
you *could* :)  If you want to use the 'traditional' system for
indefinitely large numbers, there's nothing wrong with that, but you
have to think of your listeners a bit too.

Remember, I'm not embedding this in any sort of conculture - there's
only one speaker of this language, and that's me!  (Anyone else is of
course welcome to learn, but they have to prove they're not fictional
first. :)) )  The reason why Telona uses the prime-factor system is
because it's the most *elegant* way of expressing numbers given Telona
syntax, not because its speakers (whoever they are) haven't worked
out how to use a base system.

If Telona has a cultural context, then it's our culture, and
so if you're going to use base 17 or anything else other than calques
of natural-language terms, then you might as well use the traditional
system ... and I would wholeheartedly support you doing that.  I agree
with Roger when he said: 'I'd bet that priests/scientists would go to
the trouble [of using the traditional system] in their formal
writings' - that's exactly the context in which I would expect the
system to be used.

I don't *like* the use of the decimal system in Telona, I just think
it might come in *useful* for actual communication rather than elegant
linguistic posing. :)))

[mental note: must try to sound less defensive when engaging in
intelligent discussions :) ]

Jonathan.

[reply to jonathan underscore knibb at hotmail dot com]
===
'O dear white children casual as birds,
Playing among the ruined languages...'
Auden/Britten, 'Hymn to St. Cecilia'
```