Ebisedian numbers: an epilogue
|From:||H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, July 23, 2002, 3:43|
One of the issues that came up with the Ebisedian number system was
whether to inflect number words for number or not. Well, I've made a final
<cue drumroll> :-P
The answer is, *both*.
The explanation is:
There are *two* kinds of number words: those that denote the actual
quantity, and those that refer to the numerical entity that represent that
The former, the "quantity nouns", are fully inflected for number--for
example, the *quantity*, zero, is _y'i_, which is a nullar noun that does
not have a singular/plural form; the *quantity*, 1, is _kei'_, a singular
noun without nullar or plural forms; and the *quantity*, 2, is _3jei'_,
which is a plural noun that doesn't have a nullar/singular form. And so
OTOH, the latter, the "entity nouns", are *singular* nouns that refer to a
single instance of the mathematical object representing that quantity. For
example, _ivei'_ is a singular noun representing the number 0. Its plural,
_hivei'_, denotes multiple instances of the mathematical object "0".
Similarly, _ijei'_ is a singular noun denoting the *number* 2. Its nullar
form, _my'jei_, refers to the absence of the mathematical object "2".
I don't know how to better explain this difference in English; but the
Ebisedi certainly draw a distinction between the numbers everybody use
(i.e., the quantity nouns) and the weird numbers that only mathematicians
use (those abstract entity nouns that happen to represent numerical
Mediocrity has been pushed to extremes.