Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Cardinals and ordinals

From:Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Date:Friday, September 12, 2003, 14:48
Janko's request for numerals got me thinking about something.  In all the
languages that I know the numerals of (admittedly that's not many: English,
Danish, Latin, Russian, Church Slavonic, and maybe I've missed
one.  They're all Indo-European in any case.) there is an irregularity in
some of the early ordinal numerals.  The ordinals are generally derived
from the cardinals by a regular process (in the case of English, by adding
-th), but the first few seem not to be derived at all or are derived
irregularly.  (English "third" is derived irregularly and "first" and
"second" appear not to be derived at all from the corresponding
cardinals.  Church Slavonic "edin"/"pervyj" and "dva"/"vtoryj" bear no
resemblance to each other, but the ordinals do eventually regularize.)

How widespread is this phenomenon?

What sorts of ways do various languages have of forming the ordinal
numerals?  (I'm especially interested in processes that are different from
the ones that I have seen.)



Tristan McLeay <zsau@...>
Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>
JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Roger Mills <romilly@...>
H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>
Isaac Penzev <isaacp@...>