Counting by Tens

Specific Counting in Southeast Solomonic Languages

Deborah HILL, Paul Unger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Southeast Solomonic (SES) languages have retained the Proto-Oceanic decimal
system for general counting, and also show evidence of a supplementary
specific counting system, based on the number ten. These languages have
lexemes that refer, for example, to ‘ten pigs’ or ‘ten coconuts’ (numerically
specific nouns), as well as lexemes that refer to ‘pig’ and ‘coconut’. This
paper describes the linguistic and cultural context of this counting system. It
describes the syntactic behavior of numerically specific nouns and the cultural
context in which they were used. This specific counting system is not
widely used today, and in any individual language there may be only a small
number of numerically specific nouns. However, by looking at the languages
as a group, with shared cultural and trading practices, the specific counting
system and its uses can be better understood. In the specific counting systems
of the SES, speakers count edible and nonedible objects of value and
exchange by tens to calculate and remember large numbers during times of
feasting and exchange.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-143
Number of pages21
JournalOceanic Linguistics
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Fingerprint

language
linguistics
evidence
Southeast
Language
Values
Group
Nouns
Pig
time
Cultural Context
Linguistic Context
Syntax

Cite this

@article{b3acfe5cf69645d7882d9457934daf6b,
title = "Counting by Tens: Specific Counting in Southeast Solomonic Languages",
abstract = "Southeast Solomonic (SES) languages have retained the Proto-Oceanic decimalsystem for general counting, and also show evidence of a supplementaryspecific counting system, based on the number ten. These languages havelexemes that refer, for example, to ‘ten pigs’ or ‘ten coconuts’ (numericallyspecific nouns), as well as lexemes that refer to ‘pig’ and ‘coconut’. Thispaper describes the linguistic and cultural context of this counting system. Itdescribes the syntactic behavior of numerically specific nouns and the culturalcontext in which they were used. This specific counting system is notwidely used today, and in any individual language there may be only a smallnumber of numerically specific nouns. However, by looking at the languagesas a group, with shared cultural and trading practices, the specific countingsystem and its uses can be better understood. In the specific counting systemsof the SES, speakers count edible and nonedible objects of value andexchange by tens to calculate and remember large numbers during times offeasting and exchange.",
keywords = "Counting systems, Oceanic language, ethnolinguistics",
author = "Deborah HILL and Paul Unger",
year = "2018",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1353/ol.2018.0004",
language = "English",
volume = "57",
pages = "123--143",
journal = "Oceanic Linguistics",
issn = "0029-8115",
publisher = "University of Hawaii Press",
number = "1",

}

Counting by Tens : Specific Counting in Southeast Solomonic Languages. / HILL, Deborah; Unger, Paul.

In: Oceanic Linguistics, Vol. 57, No. 1, 06.2018, p. 123-143.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Counting by Tens

T2 - Specific Counting in Southeast Solomonic Languages

AU - HILL, Deborah

AU - Unger, Paul

PY - 2018/6

Y1 - 2018/6

N2 - Southeast Solomonic (SES) languages have retained the Proto-Oceanic decimalsystem for general counting, and also show evidence of a supplementaryspecific counting system, based on the number ten. These languages havelexemes that refer, for example, to ‘ten pigs’ or ‘ten coconuts’ (numericallyspecific nouns), as well as lexemes that refer to ‘pig’ and ‘coconut’. Thispaper describes the linguistic and cultural context of this counting system. Itdescribes the syntactic behavior of numerically specific nouns and the culturalcontext in which they were used. This specific counting system is notwidely used today, and in any individual language there may be only a smallnumber of numerically specific nouns. However, by looking at the languagesas a group, with shared cultural and trading practices, the specific countingsystem and its uses can be better understood. In the specific counting systemsof the SES, speakers count edible and nonedible objects of value andexchange by tens to calculate and remember large numbers during times offeasting and exchange.

AB - Southeast Solomonic (SES) languages have retained the Proto-Oceanic decimalsystem for general counting, and also show evidence of a supplementaryspecific counting system, based on the number ten. These languages havelexemes that refer, for example, to ‘ten pigs’ or ‘ten coconuts’ (numericallyspecific nouns), as well as lexemes that refer to ‘pig’ and ‘coconut’. Thispaper describes the linguistic and cultural context of this counting system. Itdescribes the syntactic behavior of numerically specific nouns and the culturalcontext in which they were used. This specific counting system is notwidely used today, and in any individual language there may be only a smallnumber of numerically specific nouns. However, by looking at the languagesas a group, with shared cultural and trading practices, the specific countingsystem and its uses can be better understood. In the specific counting systemsof the SES, speakers count edible and nonedible objects of value andexchange by tens to calculate and remember large numbers during times offeasting and exchange.

KW - Counting systems

KW - Oceanic language

KW - ethnolinguistics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85047809733&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1353/ol.2018.0004

DO - 10.1353/ol.2018.0004

M3 - Article

VL - 57

SP - 123

EP - 143

JO - Oceanic Linguistics

JF - Oceanic Linguistics

SN - 0029-8115

IS - 1

ER -