We get right to it talking about suprasegmentals: mainly stress, phonation, tone, and nasalization. After a long and fascinating (if incomplete) discussion, we finally get around to talking to DJP’s Kamakawi.
Top of Show Greeting: Kinál
Links and Resources:
- Phonation Types
- Mark Liberman has doubts about stress-timed vs syllable-timed
- Nambikwara (lots of suprasegmental distinctions)
Featured Conlang: Kamakawi
Some comments we mention specifically:
A short introduction to danish numbers.
In danish “halv fem” (half five) is 4:30. Oh yeah, now Bianca found swedish
There’s also a special word for ‘one and a half’ in danish. It’s “halvanden” (half-second), and it has rarely used counterparts: “halvtredje” (half-third = 2.5) “halvfjerde” (half-fourth = 3.5).
And this brings me to the vigesimal part of the numbersystem. The names of the tens 50-90 are derived from the number of scores. For example 60 is “tresindstyve” which breaks down to “three-times-twenty”, though this is a rather conservative way of saying it; it is normally* shortened to “tres”.
Now, 50 is “halvtreds(indstyve)” (half-third-times-twenty = 2.5 * 20 = 50).
70 is “halvfjerds(indstyve)” (half-fourth-times-twenty = 3.5 * 20 = 70).
80 is “firs(indstyve)” (four-times-twenty = 4*20 = 80).
90 is “halvfems(indstyve)” (half-fifth-times-twenty = 4.5 * 20 = 90).
*”normally” means always, except in ordinal numbers where you’d have to say “tresindstyvende”. And these are used a bit more than the english equivalents because we have flipped tens and ones (as in German).
Hi guys, some random thoughts apropos this episode:
Is it possible that Chinese’s writing system was a sufficiently strong influence to prevent numbers like 12 and 13 from being subjected to the forces of historical linguistics? I mean, would the fact that 12 was written [ten][two] be enough to stop the spoken form drifting away?
Half five: that’s just us Brits lazily omitting “past” As Bianca pointed out, Swedish would have it meaning “halfway to five”, and Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and German are the same. Similarly, Jameld has “fëfjel” (five-half), which is also used to mean “four and a half”.
William mentions not needing to use a plural marker after a numeral in Hungarian. Finnish also does that; IIRC it does funky things with the partitive and the verb stays in the singular. Which is fun. Russian is glorious: it uses the genitive singular with 2, 3, 4 and numerals ending in those digits, and the genitive plural for 5–9. So you get one book, two/three/four of book, five/six of books… , 21 book, 22 of book, 25 of books and so on. Truly inspirational