Questions tagged [numerals]

Symbols or words that depict a number. Examples are "4", "15" or "three hundred twenty-one". A numeral may consist of one or more digits. Numerals are the symbolic or linguistic representations of abstract mathematical objects called "numbers".

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Which cultures are big-endian?

I do not really know where to post such a question, so please bear with me if you think there were a better stackexchange for it. Endianness refers to how we order elements from multiple scales. As ...
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Can we make a case for Eurasiatic numerals for one and two?

There is a widespread Eurasiatic theory that puts all these families (except PIE) into one group, the case for common numerals for one and two seems more plausible. I also add Chukchi-Kamchadal family ...
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Is there a term for cardinal numerals that don't express quantity?

In phrases like page twenty-five, year nineteen ninety-nine, Half Life Two or article seven three zero zero one, the number is in cardinal form, but it doesn't refer to the amount of the head noun. It ...
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Is the numeral or the noun the head? Does it vary depending on the language?

Many (all?) languages have possession of some kind. Whether the language is possessor-possessum or possessum-possesor, the possessum is the head of the phrase. I'm wondering whether the numeral or ...
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Is “small numbers inflect, large numbers don't” a universal?

In many languages, adjectives have some sort of noun-like inflection. In Latin (Indo-European) and Lingála (Bantu), just off the top of my head, adjectives are marked to agree with the nouns they ...
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4 or 5: is thumb a finger? Distribution across languages

Researching the origins of counting systems, I came across the question I cannot seem to find an answer for: what is the typological distribution of languages that consider thumb a finger (5 fingers ...
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Besides Proto-Indo-European, does any language have separate words for “one alone” and “one united”?

In PIE, e̯oinos meant "one alone", "one separated", it has the same root as in the word for "goes", e̯eiti. Semantically it meant the one that went away. At the same time, som meant "one united", "...
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Devanagari digit variants

There are alternative glyphs for Devanagari numerals ५ (5), ८ (8) and ९ (9)[1], that look like cursive "y", ८ with upper horizontal bar, and mirrored "3", respectively.[2] These are sometimes called ...
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Numeral-noun number agreement - how popular it is

I am interested in the feature of number agreement for simple cases of "several nouns" in various languages. Some languages featuring this agreement are e.g. English or Slavic languages (I don't know ...
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Are numeric notations independent of the languages spoken by their creators?

This question shows that Roman numerals did not take advantage of the regularities that were present in Latin. Quīnquāgintā (L) is clearly built from quīnque (V), yet their Roman numerals aren't ...
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(PIE) déḱm̥ vs déḱm̥t (ten)

In short : what's the final -t in déḱm̥t? Full details : The Proto-Indo-European root for ten is traditionally defined as déḱm̥/déḱm̥t(ᵃ). The final -t may be analyzed as a casual ending, e.g. as a "...
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What numeral system is on this Hyderabad banknote?

This banknote from Hyderabad (Hyderabadi rupee) has five different numerals in the circles on the right and left sides. From the bottom they are Hindu-Arabic, Kannada, Marathi and Telugu. But what is ...
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Do Urdu Numerals belong to the Persian Script?

Do Urdu Numerals belong to the Persian Script and does Urdu use the same Unicode characters as Persian Language apart from Western Arabic numerals?
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Why do languages use different symbols (. or ,) as the thousands separator?

Examples of the separators can be seen in this Oracle number formatting chart. It appears that the Anglophone countries use , as the thousands separator and . as the decimal separator, but other ...
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Have words for numbers changed since the introduction of public schools?

Obviously language changes, which is the reason why numbers have many different names in languages. Comparing the German "einundzwanzig" (one-and-twenty) with the English "twenty one" shows what I ...
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What is the reason for some languages have non-linear word order for numbers?

Is there a scientific/historic explanation for the reversed word order for numbers in some languages? For example, while we have for 32: in English: thirty two (tens units), Hebrew: shloshim ...
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Languages where numbers are read out in a mixed-up fashion

The German number system has the peculiarity that the ones are read out before the tens. For example: 634542 = Sechshundertvierunddreißigtausendfünfhundertvzweiundvierzig = "six hundred four-...
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declining numerals in Old English

Disclaimer : this thread is perhaps off-topic. I thank you for your indulgence since I couldn't ask such a question on https://english.stackexchange.com/ . I read in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in the ...
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What kind of a word class are numbers?

For example, in the sentence: 'that book weighs six kilos'...what is the word class of 'six'? I know some grammars have 'numerals' as a word class, but if you don't have that, what is it? an Adjective?...
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Do all cultures allow for 1 to 1 swapping of decimal numerals?

Given the decimal numerals we're all familiar with: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0 And given any number, for example: 1 100 156021 -23 -212311 242.2129 -21.001 Can we safely assume that in every language in ...
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Does “adding a sixth” mean adding a fifth?

I seem to recall hearing that French francophones say the French equivalent of "in three days" where anglophones say "in two days". (I don't speak French, and can't vouch for it.) That, coupled with a ...
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In what languages do eleven start with /b/ and fourteen start with /e/? [closed]

How do I find a foreign word for a number that starts with a given sound? I'm writing an article about what English might look like if its numerals were in hexadecimal (base sixteen). For this, I ...
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Etymology of basic numerals (number words)

When speakers of a language coin words for one, two, three, four, etc., for the first time, where do they come up with the forms? Are there any common methods used across language families? Pirahã ...
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How are numerals written in Arabic?

How are multi-digit numbers written in Arabic? For example, if someone wanted to write 123, would they write "321" from the right or in some other way?
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In PIE are words for two and for hate connected?

In PIE we have du̯is twice du̯iteros second du̯oi̯os twofold du̯eiplos double etc, with the root du̯ei̯- At the same time we have: du̯eiros fearful du̯eisos hated with seemingly the same ...
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Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French number words from eleven to nineteen - history of a bizarre, inconsistent construction

Following Sklivvz's advice, I propose here a question I made in Italian Language. Because I am not sure how I should do this, I will just copy/paste the whole lot. Let's count in Latin from one to ...
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Distributive case in Latin

Why? I've taken a great interest in linguistics lately and want to learn more about the basic principles but also advanced topics we built into different languages. What? As I was browsing through ...
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Are the words for one and for going cognates in PIE?

We have in PIE: e̯eitr way, pedestrian road e̯imos road e̯iera̯ year e̯eiti goes e̯iteros other, another, next I wonder whether the word for "one" e̯oinos alone, separated connected to the ...
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Is it *incorrect* to use single digit numerals? [closed]

I had an argument with someone recently and figured I should find out, so I went on a research spree and could not find any authoritative answers on the subject. I am sure there are many disputes ...
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In use numeral systems

In addition to Western and Eastern Arabic numeral symbols is there any other numeral symbols in active use nowadays? There is 460 decimal (46 numeral set) and 224 non-decimal number in Unicode, which ...
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Old-Persian Numeral System

Does any body know how old-Persian numeral were used and provide some example? (source of image is Unicode characters maps)
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Word for eighteen expressed as Twenty Minus Two

Other than Latin, are there any languages that have a word for the number 18 that means twenty minus two? A quick glance at some of the numeral systems of languages in the Indo-European reveal that ...
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Which modern, spoken languages do not use the decimal number system?

Rationale: While writing a document about foundations of computer science and describing that a number is a sequence of digits, I was wondering about our relation to the decimal system. In English ...
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Is there a term in linguistics for underdeveloped number systems?

I had trouble phrasing a recent question because I couldn't find simple wording to convey the difference between languages like English where all kinds of numbers are expressible, such as "nineteen ...
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Are there languages with indefinite articles but for which the word for “one” is not related etymologically to any of the indefinite articles?

This is part of a set of three related questions but note they are each specific and distinct, they are not duplicates. In all the languages I'm familiar with that have an indefinite article, the ...
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Are there languages which lack a full number system but which have an indefinite article?

Most languages have a fully developed concept of numbers but many do not, for instance most Australian Aboriginal languages lack numbers and counting beyond a few such as 1, 2, and 3. Many languages ...
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How do linguists determine whether a language has an indefinite article?

Given: For those languages which have it, the indefinite article mostly if not always is derived from the numeral for "one". Most languages have numbers but many lack articles. How do linguists ...