Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 24 14:47:53 UTC 2008

At 9:28 AM -0500 1/24/08, Mark Mandel wrote:
>How common is it in natural languages to have an ordinal interrogative word?
>Esperanto has "kioma", derived by adjectivizing "kiom"  'how much/many"?
>m a m

Presumably this arose by analogy with French and
other Romance languages (the main source for
Esperanto).  I note 106 google hits for
_combienième_ with this meaning and derivation,
as in

Ca fait le combienieme sujet sur le genre?

Mettons, que pour la j'sais pas combienième fois,
j'ai utilisé le bouton "éditer ce message" au
lieu de "répondre à ce message"

c'est ton combienieme match?

And the "less logical" but "more correct" form,
_combientième_ (with epenthetic -t-) gets 2250
hits (e.g. "Bill Clinton est le combientième
président des États-Unis?" and an appearance in
this blog on the topic:
(Respondents to this blog contribute
interrogative ordinals in Swedish, German,
Finnish, Turkish, Tagalog, etc.)


>On Jan 17, 2008 8:48 PM, Bill Le May <blemay0 at> wrote:
>>  > -----Original Message-----
>>  > From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
>>  > Of Joel S. Berson
>>  > Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2008 10:42 AM
>>  > Subject: Re: twoth
>>  > Thank heaven this is not likely to lead to oneth and thirdth.  (If I
>>  > come across speakers of these, I won't stand too close.)
>>  In childhood I remember saying "what-th". Wondering the day of the month,
>>  I
>>  would ask a parent "what day is it" and inevitably get an answer like
>>  "Wednesday". Frustrated, I'd reply, "No, I mean today is that what-th of
>>  January?"
>>  No virus found in this outgoing message.
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>>  11:12 AM
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>>  The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

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