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EAK numerals

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Monday, May 21, 2007, 20:17
Since they _tría_ "three" has occurred in a recent email, we may as well
look at few more numerals.

_tría_ is the neuter form of the ancient (and modern) Greek word. As
several of the others also ended in -a (namely: téssara/ téttera [neut.]
4, eptá 7, ennéa 9 & déka 10), -a- tended to be added to others when
forming compounds, e.g. 5 was _pénte_, but in compounds _penta-_ is
commoner than _pente-_. With the nouns & adjectives we use what i termed
the "compositional base"; I propose to do the same with numerals (which
will mean that 6 and 'out of' do not become homophones  :)

The only modification to the numerals quoted above will be to 4. Tho
tessera- was used, by far the greater number of compounds begin
'tetra-', and the form _tétrasi_ was used by poets as the dative plural.
Therefore we may quite reasonably have _tétra_ in EAK.

Compounds of (h)eis [m.], mia [f.], (h)en [n.] "one" always begin
(h)en(o)- cf. English 'henotheism'. The word is fully declined as an
adjective, and by the rules for deriving EAK adjectives from ancient
Greek, we should have _enó_ [<-- genitive (h)enós]. I will retain this form.

"Two" is also a bit problematic. The ancient word was duó or duô (δυό,
δυώ) according to dialect. In the earliest Greek it was declined with
dual endings, but even from Homeric times there was a tendency towards
making the word indeclinable. In Classical Attic and the Koine it was
indeclinable δυό. No compounds in *dua- are found, and only a few in
duo-. Most words used di- from _dis_ = "twice" in compounds. But this
can cause confusion with compounds beginning with the preposition
di(a)-. Taking advantage of doublets like _difusítès_ (diphysite) ~
_duofusítès_ (dyophysite), I propose to retain _duo_ (δυό).

1 enó
2 duó ( δυό)
3 tría
4 tétra
5 pénta
6 eksá  [ancient (h)eks is normally indeclinable, but a rare dative
plural _eksási_ is attested]
7 eptá
8 oktå  [the ancient word is oktô, but this is rarely compounded. Nearly
all compounds begin okta-, including _oktápous_ "octopus"; our English
form is derived from the Latinized form of the Greek]
9 ennéa
10 déka

11, 12, 13 etc - dék'enó, déka duó, déka tría etc.

I am undecided about 20, 30, 40 etc. - whether to use analytic forms
like 'duó déka', 'tría déka etc., or to use forms derived from the
ancient language, namely: eíkosa, triákonta, tessarákonta, pentêkonta,
eksêkonta, ebdomêkonta (70), ogdoêkonta, enenêkonta.

In view of the irregularity of the formation of 10x words, I am inclined
towards the purely analytic forms, despite the criticisms leveled at
Esperanto's _du dek_, _tri dek_ etc.

100 = ekató  (εκατό  <-- AG εκατόν)
1000 = xília (AG χίλια - neuter plural)
10000 = múria (μύρια)

Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>