5

Bijective base-k numeration (or k-adic numeration) is a system of writing numerals such that the digits are 1 through k. Thus counting in bijective base-12 (such as my conlang Atili has) works as follows, using X, E, and T for ten, eleven, and twelve, respectively:

 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  7,  8,  9,  X,  E,  T,
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 1X, 1E, 1T,
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 2X, 2E, 2T,
...

What are reasonable ways to assign names to these numbers, specifically combining tens? Obviously, I could just name the numbers the way English does and just have the names for numbers not line up with how they are written (so "a dozen" would be T, but "a dozen and one" 11), but are there other solutions for naming that better align with the way that numbers are written?

3 Answers 3

4

Just have two different words, like "twelve" (T) and "dozen". Than the number 1T is one-dozen-and-twelve.

2
  • Well, that was pretty obvious. I feel kinda silly now.
    – Andrew Ray
    Jun 30, 2020 at 19:57
  • Well. it is only obvious when one's native language already has the two words "twelve" and "dozen" available. Thinking of bijective base-16, there are no such obvious words available. Jun 30, 2020 at 20:02
3

The solution I've gone with is to use two different words as jk suggests in his answer. In speech, both "one-dozen and twelve" ("rurinye-tendi") and "two dozen" ("barinye") are acceptable, but have slightly different meanings. Rurinye-tendi means exactly 24, while barinye means at least 24, but not more than 36. The latter is frequently used for approximations and estimations. In writing, rurinye-tendi can be either written as 1T or fully spelled-out, but barinye must be spelled out because there is no way to write it with numerals.

3
  1. if the base system is deeply ingrained in the language (in most (all?) natlangs it isn't, numbers predate modern positional notation by millennia; let's say your language had the notation for a long long time and historical language changes made the language conform to the notation), then the most natural system is just to read the digits - T is dozen, 11 is one-one.
  2. or make the base multiplier obligatory for numbers bigger than the base - T is dozen but 11 is one dozen (and) one

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.