Saturday, 24 November 2012

Numerals, part 1

The Kareyku numeric system is very odd. Not because of the names of the numerals, which are quite regular and in accordance to the language constraints, but because the counting defies any formal explanation, or at least, for all of them but the last too. The system is mainly decimal, and a historical analysis points towards the hands having been used at some point. The numerals are as follows:

Number
Kareyku
1
tiri
2
kana
3
hatiri
4
hakana
5
soka
6
nawa
7
hasoka
8
hanawa
9
naka
10
haru

So, as can be seen here we have a clear sequence of groups of 2 or 4, that is tiri, kana, and then hatiri and hakana, which mean roughly "other 1" and "other 2" respectively. The last two number I have said had explanations in that 9 is clearly the word naka, "close, almost", and number 10 is haru "complete, perfect". One could consider this to be evidence of an older 4-based or 8-based system supplemented with a newer decimal system, but it nonetheless strikes as quite weird.

The numerals are used preceding the noun or object they modify:

naka vineru, nine men

hakana taro, four fathers

hasoka nakem, seven trees

And present no irregularities or variabilities.

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