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Ramyo Numbers

From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Saturday, November 10, 2001, 4:09
(long post, cut from a webpage in progress...)


As ramyo only have four fingers on each hand, there are only four basic Rami

    pii+ci-    "one"
    rka-rki+   "two"
    rhu-mbi-   "three"
    cnä+sci+   "four"

Any number that can be counted on one hand is {qhu+rshi-} "few", and any larger
number is {lzi-gngi-} "many".

The verbal forms of these adjectives can be used to assert the existence of a
certain number of objects:

    ra-myo- cnõ+sca-tho-  "there are four ramyo"
       - or possibly -
    ra-mi+cnõ+sca-tho-    "there are four ramyo"

Zero is not counted; if it must be noted that there are none of an object, one
might say {mo-wqa-tho+} "it is absent". However, {m-wq}'s adjectival form
{ma-wqi+} not cannot be used to refer to a null quantity.

There are a few words used to refer to specific numbers higher than four; these
are mainly nouns receiving their value from specific referents and the only one
in common use is {ra-me-ti+} "a ramyo's-worth" for eight (i.e., both hands).

The normal way to get to the higher numbers is thus:

    cnä+sci+ pii+ci-                "five"        (4+1)
    cnä+sci+ rka-rki+               "six"         (4+2)
    cnä+sci+ rhu-mbi-               "seven"       (4+3)
    ra-me-ti+ na- pii+ci-           "nine"        (8 and 1)
    ra-me-ti+ na- rka-rki+          "ten"         (8 and 2)
    ra-me-ti+ na- rhu-mbi-          "eleven"      (8 and 3)
    ra-me-ti+ na- cnä+sci+ rhu-mbi- "fifteen"     (8 and 4+3)
    rka-rkra-mee^ti+                "sixteen"     (2x8)
    rka-rkra-mee^ti+ na- pii+ci-    "seventeen"   (2x8 and 1)
    rhu-mbra-mee^ti+                "twenty-four" (3x8)
    cnä+scra-me-ti+                 "thirty-two"  (4x8)
    lzi-gnge-ti+                    "forty"       (a lot)

    cnä+sclzi-gnge-ti+ na-
    cnä+scra-me-ti+ na-
    cnä+sci+ rhu-mbi-               "199"         (4x40 and 4x8 and 4+3)

These higher numbers cannot be used as verbs.


Now here's the part I'm less than decided about...

If you have to count two hundred of something... well, I'm not sure exactly how
that would be formed.  I have a kind of idea that you would take the thing
you're counting, add a 200x marker, and count onward as you would with

So, supposing you were counting brains, and you happened to have 360 of them
stacked up you'd take the word for 'brain' {jhää-gnghdhiiz+} and somehow derive
[I dunno, let's say] ?{jhää-gnghdhii+ze-ti+} "200 brains", and thereunto:

    ? jhää-gnghdhii+ze-ti+ na- cnä+sclzi-gnge-ti+  "360 brains" (200 and 4x40)

Would that be sensible, or is that a little too extreme?
A system like that'll take us at least up to 999, I think, unless you can add
{lzi-gngne-ti+} before ?{jhää-gnghdhii+ze-ti+}, in which case... Gah... well,
that'll be a thousand, meaning you can count as high as 4999 ('s a guess, 'm too
lazy to check the math right now).

It's also possible that numbers might take the 200x instead, so something like
?{pii+ce-ti+} for "two hundred" (hypothetically, since {pii+ce-ti+} by itself is
just the nominal form of "one").

Any input/suggestions?  :p



Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Muke Tever <alrivera@...>