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Re: Sound changes causing divergence of ordinals from cardinals

From:Adam Walker <carrajena@...>
Date:Friday, January 6, 2006, 0:53
--- Roger Mills <rfmilly@...> wrote:

> Chris Peters wrote: > > > For those of you unfamiliar with Japanese: one > set of roots is borrowed > > from various dialects of Chinese. These roots are > combined with suffixes > > in > > order to count objects -- the suffixes change > based on the shape of the > > object being counted. Therefore: > > > > "nihon" = two long, thin objects (pens, trees, > neckties); > > "nimai" = two thin, flat objects (pieces of paper, > tickets, etc.); > > "nisatsu" = two volumes (books, newspapers, > magazines). > > I assume that -hon, -mai, -satsu etc. have meanings > ?? > > This is not unlike the Indonesian/Malay system (and > I think widespread in > Asia). Only the words with se- 'one' are written as > one word: >
Chinese, of course, does the same thing. I lived in Taiwan for three years and only learned a handfull of the multitude of classifiers. I won't bother to include tone marks. yi wei -- the polite way to count people yi ge -- the less polite way used with poeple younger, lower in a hierarchy and generally when politness is discarded yi zi -- used for things like pens and pencils yi ko -- used for coins, buttons, etc. yi tou -- used for cows (and other large animals?) yi zi -- (different character, but I believe same tone as above) used for dogs (and other smaller animals) yi ben -- used for books yi liang -- used for cars (and some other vihicles, but not bicycles IIRC) yi tiao -- used for long (flexible) things Wow. I can't believe that many resurfaced. There were dozens more that I never learned, and I often fell back on the "if you can't remember just use "ge" principle expected in "foreigner-speak". Adam Jin xividjilud djal suñu ed falud ul Jozevu pomu instanchid ul andjelu djul Dominu sivi, ed idavi achibid jun al su sposa. Ed nun aved cuñuxud ad sivi ancha nadud jan ad ul sua huiju primodjindu ed cuamad il su numi ul Jezu. Machu 1:24-25