LINGUIST List 13.3102

Tue Nov 26 2002

Qs: Subtraction in Numerals, Notational Conventions

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  1. Ivan A Derzhanski, Q: Subtraction in numerals
  2. Laurie Bauer, Notational Conventions - *, !, #

Message 1: Q: Subtraction in numerals

Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 17:11:03 +0200
From: Ivan A Derzhanski <>
Subject: Q: Subtraction in numerals

In English the number 19 is called _nineteen_ `9 and 10'.

In Hindi 19 is <unnIs> `1 to 20', but 18 is <aThArah> `8 and 10'.

In Latin 19 is _undeviginti_ `1 to 20', 18 is _duodeviginti_ `2 to
20', but 17 is _septendecim_ `7 and 10'.

In Yoruba 19 is _Okandinlogun_ < _Okan din l-ogun_ `1 to 20', ..., 15
is _EEdogun_ < _arun din ogun_ `5 to 20', but 14 is _Erinla_ < _Erin
l-Ewa_ `4 and 10'.

In what other places do languages draw the line? For instance, is
there a language where 17 is `3 to 20', but 16 is `6 and 10'? How
about one in which 16 is `4 to 20', but 15 is `5 and 10'?

- Ivan A Derzhanski <>;
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Message 2: Notational Conventions - *, !, #

Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 09:39:24 +1300
From: Laurie Bauer <>
Subject: Notational Conventions - *, !, #

We are all familiar with asterisks showing ungrammaticality, but in
relatively recent times this notation has been supported by various
other symbols indicating other types of anomaly. Although I can find
various books and papers that make use of '!' and '#' for these
purposes, I have not been able to discover

(a) where these notational conventions were originated

(b) whether their use is conventionalized or whether each writer
redefines them

(c) whether ! and # can be synonymous or not

(d) whether this exhausts the range of such markers: I suppose % for
'dialectally variable' comes into the same domain, but are there

Does anybody know?


Laurie Bauer
Professor of Linguistics
School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
New Zealand
Ph: +64 4 463 5619
Fax: +64 4 463 5604
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