Re: Sound changes causing divergence of ordinals from cardinals
|From:||Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>|
|Date:||Friday, January 6, 2006, 0:22|
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
> 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:
se/ekor (tail) animals
se/lembar (cloth) flat, sheet-like things
se/buah (fruit) round things in genl; also, generic for almost everything
nowadays (houses, cars...)
Older grammars (and related languages) have many more, but I suspect modern
urbanized Indonesians are giving up the system. (If I can find my old XIX C.
grammar of Buginese, I'll cite them... one curiosity in that lang.,
water-buffalo (but not other animals) are classified with _aju_ 'wood'.)
I'm also recalling a lang. of Timor (?) that has two number systems, one of
uncertain origin-- will hunt for that.