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Re: Adjectives and ordinal numbers

From:Daniel Andreasson Vpc-Work <daniel.andreasson@...>
Date:Thursday, February 27, 2003, 9:16
Fredrik Ekman wrote:

> For instance, I am considering an adjectiveless language. Would it be > normal for such a language to not have any proper ordinal numbers either?
I can tell you about two examples I know a bit of: Potawatomi and Chickasaw. Both of them use verbs instead of adjectives. Potawatomi numerals aren't put in the verb category. They are placed in what in Potawatomi is called "particles", which is where all the things that aren't verbs, nouns or pronouns are put. Or rather, anything that isn't inflected ends up in the particle class. To form an ordinal from a cardinal, you (AFAIK!) simply prefix the cardinal particle with the prenoun (not pr*o*noun!) _éko-_ which forms ordinals higher than one. E.g. _éko-nish_ 'the second'. (Prenouns and preverbs form a class of their own, because they're not really particles, but not nouns or verbs either. I'm guessing someone else can explain this better than me.) So, to my knowledge, in the case of Potawatomi, ordinals don't work like adjectives. (At least not nearly as much as in Swedish.) Chickasaw has numerals as verbs. So "one" in Chickasaw is literally "to be one". However, I'm lost when it comes to how they form ordinals. ObConlang: In MNCL Piata, numerals are verbs (just like for instance in Chickasaw) so I would be *very* grateful if someone could enlighten me as to how ordinals (and cardinals for that matter) work in languages which have verbs as numerals. Daniel Andreasson


John Cowan <cowan@...>