Friday, February 27, 2015

Tatediem: Numbers

The numbers in Tatediem are somewhat inconsistent in their morphological behavior. Generally speaking, one to four take singular marking; usually, two is only used in counting and the morphological dual is used instead. With masculine, feminine and neuter I, it is not unusual for the dual to be used with three and four, but not mandatory. It is uncommon with neuters III and IV, due to the length of the gender-number prefixes (setem-, geme-) . The noun prefixes are used.


Thus, counting masculine things would go net, kint, wanpárt or nepárt, wansèlx or nesèlx, whereas counting feminine things would go sart, kint, xanpárt or sarpárt, xansèlx or sarsèlx. The right column gives the forms used when compounding for larger numbers.

A pair of things can be formed by compounding the dual number prefix to 'one', or, remarkably enough, by prefixing the singular prefix to kint.

Five, six and seven take the plural marking instead.


Eight, nine, ten and eleven do not take any morphological marking whatsoever, but force plural marking on the noun.

8 - buns (with the form -tikàr when compounding with su-, rupu-, sader-, etc, which will be introduced a bit down)
9 - xerans
10 - mbártans
11 - sanáns

from eleven upwards, however, all nouns take plural markers, and the least significant digit takes the gender congruence, except if that number is buns:
12 wan|sélx suxuns
13 wan|bara suxuns
14 wan|kena suxuns
15 wan|peli suxuns
16 buns suxuns
17 wan|khun suxera
18 wan|xera suxera
19 wan|párt suxera
20 wan|sèlx suxera
21 wan|barà suxera
22wan|kenà suxera
23 wan|pelì suxera
24 buns suxera

su- is a prefix that basically forms 'bunches of eight'; rupu- forms 'bunches of forty'. sader- forms 'bunches of 120'. kurber- forms 'bunches of 480'. When speaking of numbers as numbers, the grammatical class is used, i.e.
kurbértíkàr ya-dekàr l-mónta re-l-kàlù
ku:b:ɛ́:tíkà: yadekà: lónta relkàlù
8*480 neut2-number/amount  neut4-big gram-neut4-reach
3840 is a big number / reaches a big amount

Ordinals are formed by using the adjectival prefixes instead of the nominal ones, with one exception: the neuter II. The neuter II uses the same prefix as the neuter I. Here's 'the first', which also uses xuns, exceptionally, maybe because et, rat, ... would be too short:
masc exuns
fem raxuns
neut I kexuns
neut II kexuns
neut III yexuns
neut IV yexuns
grammar urxuns
Et and rat do occur in some contexts - mainly in numbering the volumes of scholarly tomes, the points in the agenda of a meeting. Counterintuitively it also appears at times in faux-foreign accents, where often the -t/-xuns pair are intentionally mistaken.

Notice that the neut III and IV ordinals are identical to neut II cardinals.

The other number with exceptional ordinals is buns, eight. Its ordinal is formed using tíkàr.
The 'grammatical gender' version 'urxuns' is basically an analogous formation to English 'firstly', although its meaning is somewhat distinct - it is not so much used to state importance as it is to state temporal priority.
'urkint' essentially means 'next, thereafter, then, subsequently'. 'urxera' means 'secondly, in order of importance' - sometimes, it is compounded with gender prefixes forming eyurxera, rayurxera, kexurxera, etc, which signify 'second in order of importance'. Urpárt and ursèlx sometimes are used to weaken the causal connection or the time-span between the events in a narrative or discussion.

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