Counting in Kēlen HOME   DICTIONARY

Cardinal Numbers

Table A: Numbers
Base 10 Base 8 Eastern Kēlen
Transitional Xāmorte Kēlen
Old Kēlen (Poetic)
1 1 āniþ ān
2 2   ēnne
3 3   wījte ārre
4 4   wijor ālle
5 5   āmme
6 6  
7 7   ōnne
8 10 ānor   ōr
9 11 ānor aþān ōr aþān āru
10 12 ānor aþēnne   ōr aþēnne āru aþān
11 13 ānor awījte   ōr awījte āru aþēnne
12 14 ānor awijor ōr awijor āral
13 15 ānor aþāmme   ōr aþāmme āral aþān
14 16 ānor atē   ōr atē āral aþēnne
15 17 ānor aþōnne   ōr aþōnne āral awījte
16 20 ēnnōr ālu
24 30 wijtōr ēnnaral
32 40   āllōr
40 50   āmmōr
48 60 tēōr āllaral
56 70   ōnnōr
64 100 ānoru   ōru
72 110 ānoru aþōr   ōru aþōr tēaral
96 140 ānoru aþāllor   ōru aþāllor ŋō
128 200   ēnnoru
144 220   ēnnoru aþēnnor āralu
4096 10000   ōrāen

Cardinal Numbers

Table A lists the various forms of the cardinal numbers in Kēlen. The dialects shown are: the Eastern dialect, often used in less formal documents, and by mathematicians and engineers; the Xāmorte dialect, used in formal situations and law courts, the primary source of Standard Kēlen; Old Kēlen, whose forms are still found in poetry; and some transitional forms found in various places. The official standard forms are indicated by the bold type in boxes.

Kēlen numbers read from left to right. So, "17" parses to "10 and 7" or ōr aþ-ōnne. Likewise, "217" parses to "2 hundred and 10 and 7" or ēnnoru aþ-ōr aþ-ōnne, and "2017" parses to "20 hundred and 10 and 7" or ēnnor ōru aþ-ōr aþ-ōnne. The used in counting is the same as the conjunction , and is reduced to a- before consonants.

When counting, the number follows the substantive, which stays singular up to the quantity of four. For counting sticks, then, count japōma ān "one stick" and japōma ēnne "two sticks", japōma wījte "three sticks", japōma wijor "four sticks", japōmi ēmme "five sticks", japōmi tē "six sticks", etc.

Numbers as Substantives

Numbers can be turned into substantives by putting substantive morphology on them. These substantives are grammatically singular, being prefixed with the inanimate ja- or the animate ma-. These substantives do not take any suffixes for plural or collective or distributive.

One can use numbers inflected with singular morphology with singular substantives and collective substantives, though not in the same way. An inflected number never modifies a plural substantive; however, it can be used as a pronoun. For example:

"Give me one stick." sele japōma jān cī COMM "Give me one." sele jān cī COMM "Give me six sticks." sele japōmi tē cī MOD(six) COMM "Give me six." sele jatē cī COMM "Give me one set of sticks." sele anpōmi ān cī MOD(one) COMM "Give me six sets of sticks." sele anpōmi tē cī MOD(six) COMM "Give me one of the sticks." sele anpōmi jān cī COMM "Give me six of the sticks." sele anpōmi jatē cī COMM

As one can see from the examples above, using a bare number with a collective counts sets, while using an inflected singular number with a collective, counts items in a set. However, see below for more on counting sets.

Some numbers come primarily as substantives. Some of these are: jewēlle "zero", jārranisse "pi", and jatēnnarien "inifinity".

Ordinal Numbers

For ordinal numbers, aside from 'first', the particle is affixed to the end of the number. So:

ēnne two ēnne nō second
six tē nō sixth
ōr aþēnne twelve ōr aþēnne nō twelfth
ēnnoru aþōr aþēnne 217 ēnnoru aþōr aþēnne nō 217th

The word for 'first' is jānnena, and is used only for 'one'.

ān one jānnena first
ālu aþān 21 ālu aþān nō 21st

The article can also be used with inflected numbers, following the pattern in the previous section.

"Give me the first stick." sele japōma jānnena cī COMM "Give me the first." sele jānnena cī COMM "Give me the sixth stick." sele japōmi tē nō cī MOD(six) MOD(nth) COMM "Give me the sixth one." sele jatē nō cī MOD(nth) COMM "Give me the sixth sets of sticks." sele anpōmi tē nō cī MOD(six) MOD(nth) COMM "Give me the sixth of the sticks." sele anpōmi jatē nō cī MOD(nth) COMM

Iterative Numbers

Iterative numbers count parts, sets and times. Generally the word jaþāwa is used to count parts, jānien is used to count sets, and an il construction is used to count times, both cardinal and ordinal. For example:

jaþāwi āmme five parts
jānieni tē six sets
il ōnne seven times
il ōnne nō the seventh time

The exceptions to this pattern occur with the numbers one through four. Instead special substantives are used in place of the first four numbers.

set of-part timesnth time
1: jāniþa"set of one" anāniþa"one-part" il anāniþa"one time, once" il jānnen"first time"
2: jēnniþa"set of two, pair" anēnniþa"two-part" il anēnniþi"two times, twice" il jēnniþa"second time"
3: jārriþa"set of three, triad" anārriþa"three-part" il anārriþi"three times" il jārriþa"third time"
4: jālliþa"set of four" anālliþa"four-part" il anālliþi"four times" il jālliþa"fourth time"


Fractions or jānnissi are expressed using the old diminutive suffix -isse attached to the denominator. For example, the fraction 1/3 is ān wījtisse and 2/3 is ēnne wījtisse. The fraction 1/2 can be expressed as ān ēnnisse, but is more often expressed as wiē or as jawīja when inflected as a substantive.

Some Basic Mathematics

Here are some quick examples of addition (anranā), subtraction (anrapē), multiplication (anrōrū), and division (anrapērre).

"5 is 2 plus 3." ñi [jaranā ja] āmme to ēnne to wījte; [The sum of] 5 is made from 2 and 3. "2 is 5 less 3." ñi [jarapē ja] ēnne to āmme pē wījte; [The difference of] 2 is made from 5 less 3. "6 is 2 times 3." ñi jarōrū ja tē to ēnne to wījte; The product of 6 is made from 2 and 3. "2 is 6 divided by 3." ñi jarapērre ja ēnne to wījte pē tē; The quotient of 2 is made from 6 less 3. "2 is 6/3." la ēnne to tē wījtisse; 2 is from 6/3.

Last modified: August 05, 2011