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Re: Tentative Ebisedian number system

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Thursday, July 4, 2002, 6:38
 --- "H. S. Teoh" wrote:

> I just had an idea for the upcoming Ebisedian number system. Instead of > saying "<number> of <noun>", such as "three cows" or "four horses", where > the number word modifies the noun, Ebisedian will have the *noun* modify > the *number*. > > E.g., to talk about three children, you'd talk about a "child-three" > (child being adjectival). To talk about five dogs, you'd refer to a > "canine-five". The idea being that the number manifests itself in > different shapes and forms, rather than vice versa. So you'd talk about a > monetary-thousand rather than a thousand units of currency, a floral-ten > rather than ten flowers, and reddish-nine instead of nine (types of) reds. > > What do people think of this idea? Good? Bad? Crazy? Stupid? :-)
Stupid not at all, crazy perhaps, good I think so. The idea seems to fit well in what I have seen from Ebisedian. Ebisedian doesn't have real adjectives, right? From what I have seen, they are actually nouns that modify other nouns. As a result, you have the possibily of asking yourself the question: what modifies what? Depending on the context, a "black horse" could then be expressed as "a horse being a black thing" or "a black thing being a horse" (bad example, because I don't expect to find any horses in the Ferochromon Universe)... Perhaps not even depending only on the context, but also on the character/style/mood/taste of the speaker. In the case of cardinal numbers, this seems even more natural. Nobody would be surprised if the numbers were treated like adjectives. But in many cases it's the number that is dominant and not the noun. If you say: "My CD player has space for five CDs", it's obviously the number five that contains the crux of the message. In Ebisedian, the sentence would probably look more or less like: "player"-LOC (modified by "CD") modified by "my" "space"-CVY modified by "five" (five being modified by "CD") Correct me if I'm wrong; don't correct me if the Ebisedi don't have CD players ;) On the other hand, in some situations it might be wise to do the reverse. In the sentence "My neighbour has three parrots and a dog", the number three is nothing more than a specification from the more important parrots. In that case you might consider using the number as an adjectival noun. Since I cannot imagine a universe without parrots, I'll assume that there must be at least a few of them fluttering around above the Ebisedian landmasses :))) Jan ===== "Originality is the art of concealing your source." - Franklin P. Jones __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts


H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>