In this post I am only considering numbers when they are used without any reference to an object. In a next post I shall deal with numbers when they are associated with particular objects, animals, humans, etc.

**1°) The numeral system is a simple decimal system **

The main units are 10 and multiples of 10, 100 and multiples of 100, 1000 and multiples of 1000.

*photographer: Christa Neuenhofer*

**2°) numbers from 1 to 10 are unique forms**

1 | ako or kone |

2 | anye or anyi |

3 | hinge |

4 | piilye |

5 | yango |

6 | khiiye |

7 | kanu |

8 | pinye |

9 | kowa |

10 | alyan |

**3°) Numbers from 11 to 19 are compound words, of the form : ****‘ten + unit’****.**

Units 2, 4, 5 appearing in compound forms are shortened; unique and compound forms for 1 are different; units 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 remain unchanged. The correspondence is given below for the main dialect :

Appearing in unique form | Appearing in compound form | |

1 | ako | -kun or -he |

2 | anye/anyi | -nyi |

3 | hin | -hin |

4 | piilye | -pii/-pe/-pyi |

5 | yango | -ngo |

6 | khiiye | -khii |

7 | kanu | -kanu |

8 | pinye/pinyi | -pinye/-pinyi |

9 | kowa | -kowa |

A particle, **LE**** ****(or**** ****HELA****)**, which can be roughly translated as ‘and’, is inserted between ‘ten’ and the unit. The difference between **LE** and **HELA** corresponds to 2 ways of counting, which are equivalent :

**‘ten + HELA + unit**(as appearing in unique form)**’****‘ten + LE + unit**(as appearing in compound form)**’**

Thus 11 is **‘alyan hela ako’** or ‘**alyan-le-kung**’. Both literally mean "ten and one" and can be used indiscriminately.

10 + HELA + unit | 10 + LE + unit | |

11 | alyan hela ako | alyan le-kun |

12 | alyan hela anye | alyan le-nye/nyi |

13 | alyan hela hinge | alyan le-hin |

14 | alyan hela piilye | alyan le-phe/pi |

15 | alyan hela yango | alyan le-ngo |

16 | alyan hela khiiye | alyan le-khii/khe |

17 | alyan hela kanu | alyan le-kanu |

18 | alyan hela pinye/pinyi | alyan le-pinye/nyi |

19 | alyan hela kowa | alyan le-kowa |

**4°) Multiples of ten are compound forms. Compoundings are made either of the form :**

**‘****number of tens + KHAN****’ : for 20, 30, 70, 80, 90.****‘****ten + number of tens****’ : for 40, 50, 60**

20 | lyikhan |

30 | hikhan |

40 | alyan-piilye |

50 | alyan-yango |

60 | alyan-khiiye |

70 | kanu-khange |

80 | pinyi-khange |

90 | kowa-khange |

* Note that the prefixes used for 20 and 30 are respectively **LYI-** and **HI-**, different from the shortened forms **-NYI-** and **–HING **used as suffixes.

* Note also the difference between :

**14 **(**alyan-hela-piilye**)** **and** 40 **(**alyan-piilye**)

**15 **(**alyan-hela-yango**)** **and** 50 **(**alyan-yango**)

**16 **(**alyan-hela-khiiye**)** **and** 60 **(**alyan-khiiye**)

It seems confusing at first sight, but after all no more than English 'fourteen' and 'fourty, 'fifteen' and 'fifty', 'sixteen' and 'sixty'....

**5°) multiples of hundred take the form ‘****hundred + numeral****’, **i.e. LANG- + numeral except for 200 and 300 where the compound form of the numeral is prefixed by **LA- **only. Note also that **LANG** becomes **LAM** before the consonant p)

100 | lan(h)e |

200 | lanye/lanyi |

300 | lahin |

400 | lampii/lampyi |

500 | lango |

600 | lankhii |

700 | lankanu |

800 | lampinye/lampinyi |

900 | lankowa |

6°) Multiples of thousand take the form 'thousand (LALYAN) + numeral' :

lalyan anye = 2000

lalyan ahin = 3000

etc.

However in recent years a new compound form including the Hindi word for 'thousand' (JAR) tends to replace it. It takes the form 'thousand (JAR) + numeral (contracted)'

1000 | jar(h)e |

2000 | jarnye/jarnyi |

3000 | jarhin |

4000 | jarpii/jarpyi |

5000 | jarngo |

6000 | jarkhii |

7000 | jarkanu |

8000 | jarpinye/jarpinyi |

9000 | jarkowa |

7°) Expressing any number above 10 is made by combining thousands, hundreds, tens and units and separating each category by the particle ‘LA’ (or HELA/LE between tens and units)

__Example :__

Jarnyi la lahin la alyan hela ako : 2311

P. Bouchery

## 2 comments:

I am really highly impressed by your ethno-linguistic work. Nevertheless you should ask people, when you use their photo or at least make clear, where you got the photo from. In this case it is from our homepage, in the description of our 3rd Arunachal tour: http://www.neuenhofer.de/guenter/Arunachal/aru2005.html

I want you at least to add the source of your photo: photographer: Christa Neuenhofer christa@neuenhofer.de

Regards

Christa

@Christa,

Thanks for you visiting my blog. I will take care of such issue in coming future,keep visiting.

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