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Re: Ordinal (and other numerical) adverbs

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 7:01
On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 12:44 AM, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote:
> Are there other con- or natlangs that have distinct > ordinal derivations for these senses?
German has, as far as I can think of, a distinct derivation only for one of those senses: -tens for "Nthly". Though it's not quite the same as yours, since I probably wouldn't use it when saying "First I made dinner, second I ate it, third I cleaned up". The most common use is when explaining reasons why or why not something is done: "Warum kannst du keinen Kuchen haben? Erstens hast du dein Zimmer noch nicht aufgeräumt, zweitens ist Kuchen ungesund, drittens hast du deine Zähne schon geputzt, und viertens haben wir überhaupt keinen Kuchen" - "Why can't you have any cake? Firstly, you haven't cleaned up your room yet; secondly, cake is unhealthy; thirdly, you've brushed your teeth already; and fourthly, we haven't even got any cake." I could also imagine using it when announcing an agenda, though, for example. I suppose its use is roughly comparable to that of English numbers with ordinal and adverbial suffixes -th-ly. For "N times", German uses "Nmal"; for "for the Nth time", "zum Nten Mal" (or maybe "zum Ntenmal"? not sure of the spelling). For telling the order in a series, there's "zuerst" (at first) but no similar forms for other numbers, and "als Erstes/Zweites/Drittes" meaning "as the first/second/third thing". (Using the substantivised forms of ordinal numbers.) For example, "Als Erstes machte ich Essen; als Zweites aß ich es auf; und als Drittes wusch ich ab" = "First, I made food; as the second thing, I ate it up; as the third thing, I washed the dishes". Cheers, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>