Counting on fingers (was: Re: [CONLANG] A question regarding dictionary entries)
|From:||Benct Philip Jonsson <conlang@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 1, 2007, 9:29|
Roger Mills skrev:
> Sylvia Sotomayor wrote:
>> I am redesigning my dictinary for Kelen (yet again), and
>> I am planning on having short glosses (one word, maybe
>> two) for each stem or base word, and also longer
>> definitions for each fully formed and inflected word. My
>> question: given that Kelen has a base 8 counting system,
>> should I gloss 'āllōr' as 32 or 40? It has the
>> functional equivalent of 40 in the language, being 8x4,
>> but refers to 32 things.
> I'd suggest you insert an explanatory comment, like:
> "āllōr forty (base 8 = 32 base 10)" That will prevent
> IMO any confusion/mistakes on the part of the reader.
> I sometimes have the same problem with Gwr, even though
> they adopted the decimal system quite some time ago. But
> some old ways persist.
Do Kelen and/or Gwr speakers have only four fingers, or do
they not use their thumbs when counting?
I have thought about how octal and duodecimal counting may
arise in a language of five-fingered humans thru either
not using the thumbs when counting, or adding the palms to
get six positions on each hand. I winder if there is
natlang attestation of such systems. The only duodecimal-
counting human community I know of are type-cutters and
-setters, allegedly because a base 12 system offers more
dividends than a base 10 syystem (1 2 3 4 6 12 against
only (1 2 5 10).
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
"Truth, Sir, is a cow which will give [skeptics] no
more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull."
-- Sam. Johnson (no rel. ;)