In many languages we usually say "between min and max" (e.g., grades "between 1 and 10").
Are there any languages where the reverse construction ("between max and min", e.g. grades "between 10 and 1") is used?
In German, I am aware of two instances where the "reverse" order is used:
1) The weather forecast of the newscast "Tagesschau" (and quite possibly many other weather forecasts, but not all) always states the range of lowest expected temperatures with the higest number first. From today's 8pm broadcast:
In der Nacht 19 bis 12 Grad; am Tag 18 Grad im südwestlichen Bergland, 27 in der Niederlausitz.
At night, 19 to 12 degrees [celsius]; during the day, 18 degrees in the southwestern uplands, 27 degrees in Lower Lusatia.
I is used very consistently. Here are the archived broadcasts of the last few days.:
If you understand a little bit of German, you can listen out for the numbers and for the word "Grad" (degrees).
Usage of this ordering goes back a long way. See for example this 1983 recording:
Tiefsttemperaturen 5 bis 1, Tageshöchsttemperaturen 7[!] bis 12 Grad
yes, he says 7, even though the thermometer graphic displays 9
However, these even older recordings use "standard ordering":
Im Norden Tiefsttemperaturen 1 bis 5 Grad, Tageshöchsttemperaturen 4 bis 7 [cut off]
Tiefsttemperaturen in der Nacht 11 bis 15 Grad, Tageshöchsttemperaturen 20 bis 25 Grad, nur im Norden etwas weniger.
2) Some cities (particularly those with inconsistent numbering schemes) add house number range information to all or some of their street name signs. The house number that is closest to the location of the sign is stated first, followed by the last house number before the next (major) intersection, which often results in the larger number coming first. This Berlin-style sign shows for example "56 – 48".
There are, presumably in all languages, situations where the top limit is mentioned first. For example, we may talk about "between 10 and 20 metres below sea level".
So this seems to be primarily a matter of which limit is felt 'closer' to the speaker (and that would be the limit that is mentioned first). Because we normally count up, the lower limit is more likely to be the first to be mentioned and would also be the default if not one of the limits is felt 'closer'.
Also in the example of grades "between 1 and 10", you could argue that 1 is the easiest to obtain and therefore 'closer' to the speaker (I would be interested to know whether Americans say "grades from F to A" or "from A to F", because that could falsify this claim).
In Japanese, you often have this construct as well. An example is "100分の１is" one of 100 parts (lit: 100 parts and 1) for fractions. You tend to bound problem as well when you are speaking in regard to mathematics. I generally give the limits of equations before I discuss the points; however, that could just specific to the discipline of mathematics in Japanese.
I'm not sure whether this should be an answer, since it's not about numerical ranges, but there are definitely certain idioms in English that seem to put the "greater" extreme first, such as: