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Re: Borrowed numerals (was: Inuktitut (Canada))

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Monday, April 19, 2004, 11:15
Thomas R. Wier scripsit:

> And of course English borrowed one > number, the ordinal of "two", from Latin/French, as the citation > ordinal. ("Other" has of course remained with altered semantics.)
What's more, the ordinal in question ("secundus") is itself an internal borrowing, displacing the inherited "alter", which is a cognate of "other"! The entire High German ordinal system from "zwanzigste" on up is a pseudo-calque: the Latin apparent ending -e:simus in vice:simus fell together with the Latin superlative ending -issimus (as -iesme), giving the Germans the impression that Romance-speakers said "twentiest", "thirtiest", and so on: hence the perfect parallelism fleissig:fleissigste::dreissig:dreissigste. -- John Cowan "You cannot enter here. Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!" --Gandalf