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Re: Telona number system

From:Jonathan Knibb <j_knibb@...>
Date: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'


Roger Mills <romilly@...>OT Prime numbers / Telona number system