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Re: CHAT: Icelandic Numbers (was: Re: CHAT: San Marino)

From:Oskar Gudlaugsson <hr_oskar@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 30, 2000, 16:43
>From: DOUGLAS KOLLER <LAOKOU@...> >Subject: Re: Icelandic Numbers (was: Re: CHAT: San Marino) >Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 01:39:26 -0700
>Haven't you answered your own question? I find it very hard to believe that >there's no citation form for numbers. With a noun in the equation, I can >see >kids saying, "One apple, two apples, three apples..." or "One paper clip, >two paper clips, three paper clips" and having that noun invoke the >appropriate gender-specific nominative form. But if you said, "Hey kids, >let's count from one to thirty." I can't imagine someone saying: "counting >apples or paper clips?. Masculine? Okay. 2x2=4? Surely, students don't stop >a class and say, "Okay, I need to know if we're multiplying dogs or >chairs."
I forgot to answer this one. I found this very funny :) Well, no, we don't have that much trouble. When counting in mathematics, we always use masculine. So it's "tvisvar sinnum tveir eru fjórir".
> > So, anybody still interested in learning Icelandic? ;) > >It's a *cool* Nordlang. Mere mention of copious, arcane noun declensions >sends erotic shivers down my spine.
Hehe. It's remarkable how the arcane declensions survive in our language. I don't remember ever having had problems with the number declensions. They don't show signs of changing soon, either, unless the wave of immigrants would manage to force a simplification of the language. Regarding the "coolness", I mostly find its phonology (which is rather un-Nordic) and lexis (which is kind of artificial, actually) to be cool. I don't love its complex inflectional system at all, as it's quite impractical and over-complex. But nonetheless, I'd say yes, it's a "cool" Nordlang, if not only through its peculiarity. Oskar _________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at