Numbers and Quantifiers
Tatari Faran uses a number system based on base-5 counting. There are 5 sets of number words, each of which consists of multiples of a power of 5. These are combined to refer to numbers in between.
The following table shows the first set of numbers. Many of these number words are derived from nouns which serve as a mnemonic for their value:
These are the multiples of 1 (50).
The next set of numbers are multiples of 5:
|heibikas||10||he- + pika||hands (i. e., two hands)|
|dibikas||15||di'as + pika||3 hands|
We have repeated pikas here, because it is the first multiple of 5.
The third set are multiples of 25 (52). Again, we repeat the last member of the previous set, since it coincides with the first multiple of 25.
The fourth set are multiples of 125 (53):
|heiniras||250||-||possible portamenteau of he- + titiras?|
Finally, the last set consists of multiples of 625 (55):
|heiranas||1875||-||These seem to be analogies of heiniras and keiniras|
|fiiranas||3125||fii + -ranas||reaching the sky|
Since each of the basic numbers shown in the above tables are formed from different stems, they can be unambiguously combined to refer to numbers that are not multiples of a power of 5. The trailing -s is dropped from all but the last word in the compound. The order of combination is from least-significant to most-significant. For example:
jirapikas = 1 + 5 = 6
bunapikas = 2 + 5 = 7
di'apikas = 3 + 5 = 8
ni'apikas = 4 + 5 = 9
Combining a number stem with itself is not allowed, so one cannot say *pikapikas to refer to 10; rather, one uses the next multiple of 5: heibikas. Thereafter, the smaller numbers are combined with heibikas to count past 10:
jiraheibikas = 1 + 10 = 11
bunaheibikas = 2 + 10 = 12
And so forth, until one reaches 15, where dibikas is used as the basis for counting up to the next multiple of 5:
dibikas = 15
jiraribikas = 1 + 15 = 16
bunaribikas = 2 + 15 = 17
Note the spelling rule that the phoneme /d/ is spelled r when medial, hence jira(s) + dibikas = jiraribikas.
Once one reaches multiples of 25, more than two number stems may be combined. For example:
hujas = 50
heibikahujas = 10 + 50 = 60
jiraheibikahujas = 1 + 10 + 50 = 61
bunaheibikahujas = 2 + 10 + 50 = 62
And so forth.
It should be noted that the values given for these number words are precise only when used in calculations. The number words themselves, especially the base number words, are often used only approximately in casual speech. Compound numbers, especially those that are precise to the unit, are usually only used when doing calculations. Short compounds of large numbers (e. g., heibikahujas) may also used in an approximate sense in casual speech.
Sometimes in casual speech the adjective tumanas ... tsit (precise, exact) is used to indicate an exact quantity.
A handful of people.
san pikas tumanas.
Exactly 5 people.
Cardinals are numbers used to refer to the quantity of a noun referent. There are two types of cardinals: the indefinite cardinal, and the definite cardinal.
Indefinite cardinals are used with nouns that refer to things that have not yet been introduced in the conversation. Indefinite cardinals are formed by placing a number in the adjectival position. For example:
Ten young men.
Definite cardinals are used to refer to things that have already been introduced in the conversation. They are formed by placing the partitive case of the noun being modified in the adjectival position of the number:
One of the men.
Three of the women; or, the three women.
Ten of the young men; or, the ten young men.
Note that although the literal meaning of the partitive case is a subset of the noun referent, definite cardinals can refer to the entire set of referents as well. For example, di'as bunaris literally means “three of the women”, but it may simply mean the three women if there are only three women mentioned previously.
Ordinals are numbers that refer to one of an ordered sequence of noun referents. There are two ways of forming ordinals in Tatari Faran.
The first way is to use a number with the postposition te':
san jiras te'.
The first man.
diru bunas te'.
The second girl.
The second way is to use the compositive form of the numbers:
The best (number one) man.
The second best girl.
The difference between these two forms is that the first is used for ranking in an arbitrary sequence (e. g., the second girl on my right—she just happens to be the second in line), whereas the second is used for ranking in terms of quality or achievement (the girl who came second in the race—she is the second-best in ability, not just because she happens to be standing second in line).
The number words may also be used with the postpositional adverb me to indicate repetition:
banta jiras me.
banta di'as me.
Jump three times.
tara' kei tsana bunas me huu na aniin.
She spoke to me twice.
Quantifiers are a general class of words in Tatari Faran that includes the cardinal numbers. There are also other, non-numerical, quantifiers, which can be used in the same fashion as the cardinals.
Indefinite quantifiers are formed just like indefinite cardinals, by placing the quantifier in adjectival position:
Definite quantifiers are formed just like definite cardinals, by placing the partitive case of the noun after the number:
Many of the people. (Or, the many people.)
The rest of the people.
A small number of commonly-used fractions have dedicated words:
These words are employed like numbers and quantifiers, appearing in adjectival position in the indefinite case, or as the head noun followed by a partitive noun in the definite case.
kere na' sa.
Half of a cake.
na' keres sa.
The half of the cake.
bihuun di'is so.
One-third of some pepper.
di'is bihuunis so.
One-third of the pepper.
Sometimes na' is also used in an approximate sense, meaning "some of", "a bit of", as a colloquial variation of bara. A similar word is jiris "a pinch of", "a tidbit of", usually used with powdered substances or a heap of very small objects.
san na' so.
A couple of people.
bihuun jiris so.
A pinch of pepper.
Fractions involving non-unit numerators can be constructed by using a numeral with the partitive case of di'is, ni'is and pikis:
These fractions form definite and indefinite cardinals the usual way:
kere ni'as pikitis sa.
Four-fifths of a cake.
ni'as pikitis keres sa.
Four-fifths of the cake.
Fractions involving larger denominators are usually not used outside of technical and mathematical applications. They are formed as the partitives of the corresponding cardinals.
These fractions differ from the smaller ones, in that when there are non-unit numerators, they do not change in form:
Three sevenths (3/7).
Two ninths (2/9).
Genitive Case in Fractional Definite Cardinals
When a definite cardinal involves a fraction with non-unit numerator and a large denominator, the noun sometimes appears in the genitive case instead of the expected partitive case. For example:
bunas ni'apikatis paraman sei.
Two ninths of the rope.
instead of the expected:
bunas ni'apikatis paramis sei.
Two ninths of the rope.
Native speakers perceive both forms as grammatical and more-or-less equivalent. In some contexts, the form with the partitive may be understood as a fraction of a particular object, whereas the form with the genitive may be understood as fractions of each of a group of objects. However, such nuances are usually resolved by context, rather than such subtle grammatical distinctions.
kut and put
Two special words, kut and put are sometimes used to disambiguate certain constructions involving fractions.
one unit of,
one instance of, and is often
used in the sense of
na' kutis hebuaran sa muras dafan.
Half of each volcano is black.
put means a piece of, a fragment of, or some of a larger group:
na' putis hebuaran sa muras dafan.
Half of the volcanoes are black.