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Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree - Page 2 - Toki Pona Forums

Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Signs and symbols: Writing systems (hieroglyphs, nail writing) and Signed Toki Pona; unofficial scripts too
Signoj kaj simboloj: Skribsistemoj (hieroglifoj, ungoskribado) kaj la Tokipona Signolingvo; ankaŭ por neoficialaj skribsistemoj
janTe
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Re: Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Postby janTe » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:49 am

If you were going to use colors to represent numbers, there's already an established system you can use: Resistor colour codes (). Every electrical engineer can read this like the back of his or her hand.

But this is getting a bit off topic.

I like the TP numerals and the Christmas tree :-)

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Re: Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Postby janTe » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:13 am

Oh, you might want to use LLLL for 20, and MMMMM for 100.

In practice, I can see people saying 'luka luka luka luka' instead of 'mute', to avoid confusion with the more general meaning of 'mute'. But 40 would be MM, unambiguously.

Same with 100 and 'ale'.

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Re: Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Postby janMato » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:15 am

Last edited by janMato on Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Postby janKipo » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:09 pm

'mi wile E...' although, when what follows is a number or, worse, 'nanpa' it is not clear what you are asking for. Yeah, yeah, "context will decide." Writing is even clearer with Hindu-Arabic notation -- as long as you're gonna break the rules.

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Re: Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Postby janMato » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:37 pm


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Re: Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Postby janKipo » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:57 pm

tp number words (even 'luka' [ptui1] and 'ale' and 'mute' [hyuck!ptui!] ) seem to be normal words, functioning in all contexts (except, perhaps, as prepositions). What they mean in these various positions is less clear, however. In particular, as head (and only) noun, they can obviously refer to the number itself (whatever that may be -- and, believe me, we don't want to get into that) and, in context, to a number of things offered -- to indicate how many are accepted. Starting off with 'nanpa' muddles matters further, since now we might mean a number of numbers (which ones unspecified) or the item offered in the ordinal positions specified or, just possibly, the number itself again. I don't see what the point of 'jan/ijo/soweli nanpa...' is nor how it relates either to Japanese or to bahuvrihi (which are usually '... pi jo ...' in tp). But then, I am not sure what the good point was. My point was that 'mi wile e wan' say, is a very peculiar thing to say out side of, say, a sudoku puzzle version of Wheel of Fortune, unless there is a lot of context to fill it in, typically with an NP to be modified.

Are there really saber-toothed toads?

I'm not quite sure where conculture ends and language rules begin in this case. Strictly speaking, we can, with enough patience and skill, use any number we want in tp as a linguistic fact. We are limited in fact by just those factors of patience and skill to a a relatively small number of relatively small numbers. The language offers little in the way of overcoming the problems of patience and skill, like having words for bigger magnitudes. Now, a consequence of this is that a culture using this language will probably not have much to do with big numbers. OR it will change the language in some way to accommodate them. At the moment, we are right at the OR, and a cheating all over the place: using illicit or at least unsightly and ungainly number expressions or codes which either abbreviate the same or rely on different systems altogether, the latter being serious code-shifting. I have -- over the years -- suggested at least three solutions to the problem and others have added a handful more. Hopefully one day we will get the final, definitive answer and place tp either in its proper therapeutic and cultic role or in its role s a utile language in the real world.

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Re: Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Postby janMato » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:32 pm


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Re: Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Postby janKipo » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:00 am

'nanpa wan,' as a NP alone means "one number" (no telling which) or, just possibly, "the number, one" or, again, with a little stretch, "the first, best, ... thing" (a calque). As a modifier, it means this last primarily, though it might mean either of the others (though I think it needs 'pi' then). In certain contexts, it could be a modifier of an implicit noun (indeed, I think that is what happens in the case of its mean "the first, best, ...").
Your e.g. says "I have colored paper. I have the 29th sheet" (in some unspecified ordering). It does not say "I have 29 sheets" that would b 'mi j e lipu MLTT' or the written form of the spoken equivalent. I don't see why 'lipu' is "inserted" -- but then, I don't see why you don't say 'mi jo e lipu kule MLTT' either.

Do you know what a bahuvrihi is? tp doesn't have any that I know of, but the ones it gets from other languages (which it probably shouldn't all together) tend to reproduce the underlying semantics. It might be possible to do this with the overt form but no one has done so so far so far as I know. You are right however that usually 'pi', without 'jo' is enough for the effect. Calling a smilodon "saber-tooth" is a bahuvrihi, but that gets translated into tp pretty much as you suggested ('akesi' aside). that is, the center becomes the head.

I doubt saber-toothed tigers are ever akesi, maybe mansuto. The basic meanings seem to stick for the head nouns, the derivative features, "ugly" for example, turn up more as modifiers.

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Re: Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Postby janMato » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:22 am


janKipo
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Re: Roman Numerals and Christmas Tree

Postby janKipo » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:11 pm

I don't see any reason why numbers can't be head nouns grammatically, even if they are semantically (or pragmatically) serving as modifiers of contextually specified class nouns. So, 'mi wile e wan' seems OK, and, in an appropriate setting, almost obligatory ("I would like one of those doughnuts you are now offering for my selection" seems way too much).

It seems that bahuvrihi turn up eventually in most languages by erosion; you can't say "the man with the red cap on" all day without eventually shortening it ("Red Cap") or replacing it ("porter") . It hasn't (so far as I can tell) happened in tp yet, but I won't be too surprised if it does (it is less likely in Lojban because the rules are stricter and the mindset toward literalism has been almost insurmountable). It's a move I didn't think of when discussing the Zipf Wall in my paper, but it now seems a natural step: 'linja uta li mu e kalama "miao"'

Yeah, I don't like the subjective part of the definitions, but I have to admit that, given them, you're probably right about the applications.


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