Škjakto wrote:I believe that the number words in Toki Pona, "wan", "tu", and "ala", could be used for a ternary or binary counting system. A number, for example the decimal 28, would be "wan ala ala wan" or 1001.
There other possibilities we could borrow from the history. In ancient Slavic languages there were no numbers. So them used letters or words as numbers. Just marked "number letters" with diacritics. We may use the similar tactic. First make an agreement which word means which number and later use them in a way ancient Slavs did. For example we agreed that first ten words are correspond numbers . Except those 3 we already have. So there will be a list
ala -0 wan -1 tu -2 a -3
akesi -4 alasa -5 ante -6 anpa -7
anu -8 awen -9
Then we can say nanpa anu anpa. = 87 using our beloved Decimal system. But it will require an extra negotiations which are almost not an option. So I propose to tackle the math using an ancient Roman stile. It is gonna be pretty strait forward. Especially if we are agree on math operations. I think we are already agree on them. Try to find out what numbers did I meant when saying this...
tu tu wan kulupu tu =
tu tu kulupu tu tu kulupu tu tu =
tu tu wan kulupu tu en wan =
ali weka tu tu kulupu tu wan =
The answers are: 10, 64, 11, 88
I believe you got them right
Yeah it is verbose. But Toki Pona is designed to be verbose. You may say we would better use "mute" or "suli" instead of "kulupu" but I think you've got the idea anyway.
Of course I'm a big fan of ternary and binary systems. And I even being thinking myself to propose those as a TP standard.
But those systems are much less intuitive for non IT people. And they also would require negotiations and extra learning. Which makes binary system an improbable candidate for a standard. So old Roman looks most plausible for me.