Cornish numerals

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In the counting system used in the Cornish language, the numerals (number words) below 100 are based on twenties: so numbers from 21–39 are "x on twenty", 41–59 are "x on two twenty", numbers from 61–79 are "x on three twenty", and numbers from 81–99 are "x on four twenty". 40 is "two twenty", 60 is "three twenty", and 80 is "four twenty". This is very similar to counting in the Welsh language. It is also similar to the French numerals for 60–99.

NumeralsEdit

Number Cardinal no. Ordinal no.
0 mann, zero
1 onan, unn kensa
2 dew (m), diw (f);
both + soft mutation
nessa
3 tri (m), teyr (f);
both + aspirate mutation
tressa
4 peswar (m), peder (f) peswera
5 pymp pympes
6 hwegh hweghes
7 seyth seythves (etc.)
8 eth
9 naw
10 deg
11 unnek
12 dewdhek
13 tredhek
14 peswardhek
15 pymthek
16 hwetek
17 seytek
18 etek
19 nownsek
20 ugens
21 onan warn ugens ("one on twenty") kensa warn ugens, etc.
22 dew/diw warn ugens
23 tri/teyr warn ugens
24 peswar/peder warn ugens
25 pymp warn ugens
26 hwegh warn ugens
27 seyth warn ugens
28 eth warn ugens
29 naw warn ugens
30 deg warn ugens ("ten on twenty")
31 unnek warn ugens ("eleven on twenty")
32 dewdhek warn ugens
etc.
40 dew-ugens ("two-twenty")
41 onan ha dew-ugens ("one and two-twenty")
50 hanter kans ("half a hundred")
deg ha dew-ugens ("ten and two-twenty")
51 unnek ha dew-ugens
60 tri-ugens ("three-twenty")
61 onan ha tri-ugens
70 deg ha tri-ugens ("ten and three-twenty")
71 unnek ha tri-ugens ("eleven and three-twenty")
80 peswar-ugens ("four-twenty")
81 onan ha peswar-ugens
90 deg ha peswar-ugens ("ten and four-twenty")
91 unnek ha peswar-ugens ("eleven and four-twenty")
100 kans
200 dew kans
300 tri hans
400 peswar kans
500 pymp kans
600 hwegh kans
1000 mil; + soft mutation
2000 diw vil
1,000,000 milvil, milyon
1,000,000,000 bilyon
1,000,000,000,000 trilyon

Variation in formEdit

There is some syntactically and phonologically triggered variation in the form of numerals. There are, for example, masculine and feminine forms of the numbers "two" (dew and diw), "three" (tri and teyr) and "four" (peswar and peder), which must agree with the grammatical gender of the objects being counted. Numerals change as expected according to normal rules of consonant mutation; some also trigger mutation in some following words.

Use with nounsEdit

The singular form of the noun is used with numbers, but for larger numbers an alternative form is permitted, where a (partitive, "of") with the plural noun follows the number. Except where using this plural form, the noun is placed before any parts of the number that are added using warn ("on") or ha ("and") in the number system.

Nouns are also mutated following many numbers. Unn triggers the soft mutation of feminine nouns, but not masculine nouns. It also causes the word dydh "day" to become unn jydh "one day". Dew and diw both trigger the soft mutation. Tri and teyr trigger the aspirate mutation. The part of the number immediately preceding the noun will determine any mutation of the noun. In the plural form with a, the soft mutation is used as is normal after a.

The following example with kath "cat" illustrates several of these points:

  • Diw gath
Two cats
  • Teyr hath warn ugens
Twenty-three cats (literally "Three cat on twenty")
  • Etek kath ha tri-ugens
Seventy-eight cats (literally "Eighteen cat and three-twenty")
  • Tri hans eth mil ha dew-ugens, hwegh kans naw kath ha tri-ugens or
  • Tri hans eth mil ha dew-ugens, hwegh kans naw ha tri-ugens a gathes
Three hundred and forty eight thousand, six hundred and sixty nine cats (348,669)
  • Milvil gath or
  • Milvil a gathes
A million cats

ReferencesEdit

  • Williams, N. Desky Kernowek (Evertype, 2012)
  • Brown, W. A Grammar of Modern Cornish (Kesva an Taves Kernewek, 2001)