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Re: Numerals in Maggel (Was: Re: Judajca)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Friday, August 23, 2002, 14:22
On Fri, Aug 23, 2002 at 08:12:42AM +0200, Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> En réponse à "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh@...>:
> > > "distributive" numbers (meaning "one by one", "two > > > by two" or "each one", "each two"...) > > > > Now this is a very cool idea. > > Stolen from Classical Latin which had a class of distributive numeral > adjectives: > singuli: one by one > bini: two by two > trini: three by three > quaterni: four by four > quini: five by five > etc... > I've always thought they were one of the coolest part of Latin grammar ;))) .
Interesting. I should learn some basic Latin some day. I did learn Classical Greek for a year; and I'm glad I did. Ebisedian owes several major ideas to Greek -- the most significant of which are cases (I was never a fan of case inflections until I learnt Greek and saw how cool they can be!), and the correlatives. [snip]
> > Ebisedian grammar recently: how to express "each other", "one by one", > > "each", "every one of", etc.. So far, I have _zoro_, a nominal > > conjunction > > used to mean "every". For example: > > pii'z3di zoro pii'z3di "each and every man" > > > > Nice construction. The reduplication of the noun really serves its meaning.
Yeah. I'm still debating whether or not to allow two *different* nouns with _zoro_, and what it might mean. [snip]
> > Literally, _zoro_ is a contraction of _zo oro_, "and the next". So, a > > construction like the above literally means "a man and the next man". > > (This is sorta stolen/borrowed from the colloquial expression "every > > man and his neighbour".) > > > > Actually, I think that's a pretty good history for the creation of such a term. > I wouldn't be surprised if some real language did the same.
In fact, that was how *I* came up with the term. :-) I was playing around with various combinations of _zo_ and _oro_, and ended up with _zo oro_. So I thought, if this combination is used frequently enough, it'd likely assimilate into _zoro_. (Just as _Ke_ and _ve_ at some point assimilated into _keve_ in certain contexts, and now _Ke_ and _ve_ coexists with _keve_ but with meanings that have since diverged.)
> > I should think of a way to express your "distributive" concept here. Hmm, > > actually, now that I think of it, maybe something like the following would > > do it: > > jei' zoro jei' "two by two" (lit. "two and the next two") > > > > So I can, for example, say: > > 3mir33'nojei zoro 3mir33'nojei. > > "Two children by two children." > > > > What do people think of this new idea? ;-) > > > > It would work, although you might think of abbreviating the expression by > omitting the noun once (although if your numbers cannot be used by themselves, > it may be difficult). But since such distributive expressions are not used much > too often, it may not be necessary to think of abbreviating it.
Actually, I *can* drop the nominal prefix from the second occurrence. After all, _3jei'_ is a plural quantity, and will never be confused with _ijei'_, which is a singular mathematical entity. So I could, for example, say things like: pii'z3dojei zoro 3jei'. "Two men and the next two." [snip]
> > quantity entity > > 0 y'i ["?y?i] ivei' [?iB&"?i] > > 1 kei' [k&"?i] ikei' [?ik&"?i] > > 2 3jei' [?@\dZ&"?i] ijei' [?idZ&"?i] > > 3 3rei' [?@\r`&"?i] irei' [?ir`&"?i] > > 4 3dei' [?@\d&"?i] idei' [?id&"?i] > > 5 3Pei' [?@\p_h&"?i] iPei' [?ip_h&"?i] > > 6 3sei' [?@\s&"?i] isei' [?is&"?i] > > 7 3Tei' [?@\t_h&"?i] iTei' [?it_h&"?i] > > 8 3Cei' [?@\tS_h&"?i] iCei' [?itS_h&"?i] > > 9 3Kee'i [?@\"k_h&:?i] iKee'i [?i"k_h&:?i] > > > > Wow! And your Ebidesians
^^^^^^^^^^ !!!!!!!!!! Apparently I need to put up that prominent pedantic ado about Ebisedian plurals again... "Ebisedi" is a *plural* noun; the equivalent singular is "Bisedi". And the nullar is "Mybisedi", but of course, English doesn't have nullars, and you *really* don't want to talk about "my Bisedi" and have it imply a nullar. :-P (Yes, this is a transliteration from the Ebisedian forms _bis33'di_, _3bis33'di_, and _my'bis3di_. In case you didn't know. :-P)
> never have a problem recognising all those quasi- > identical words?
Well, the prefixes _3_ [?@\] and _i_ [?i] are very distinct. One is the plural prefix, which is immediately recognizable, and the other is the neuter proper noun prefix, which is also immediately recognized. I don't think anyone would have difficulty recognizing the difference once they know what the prefixes stand for. As for the consonant differences... most Ebisedian words are differentiated based on consonants, since case inflections can really warp the vowels. For example, the word _juli'r_ has the following forms: jul0'r [dZu"lAr`] jolu'r [dZo"lur`] jwla'r [dZ8"lar`] jwl3'r [dZ8"l@\r`] juli'r [dZu"lIr`] or [dZu"lir`] [snip]
> The system is extremely nice (I like the idea of "level of granularity") but > the form of the numbers themselves makes me wonder how well recognisable they > are. I guess counting is not an easy activity there ;))) .
True, there seem to be way too many velars in there. :-P [snip]
> > Good idea. I'm thinking of adding subtractives to Ebisedian as well > > (mainly out of convenience, although there is a semantic reason for > > it). > > What would be the semantic reason?
[snip] The whole counting-by-triads system is based on a hierarchical grouping into three's. So a number like _rekrei'_ literally means a 3rd-level group, consisting of 3 2nd-level groups, each of which contains 3 1st-level groups, each of which contains 3 members each. Since this system arose from organizing large groups of people into manageable hierarchical groups, subgroups, etc., this is always approximate, since people usually don't come in powers of 3. :-) So, as an approximation, _rekrei'_ may well represent the number of people present. But when more precision is desired, additives and subtractives are desirable. E.g., "we have 3 3rd-level groups of people, plus 2 extras", or "we have 3 3rd-level groups of people, less 5." T -- A programmer is a device for turning computer programs into spaghetti. A good programmer is a device for turning spaghetti into computer programs.