# 4 operations

Cena, Resty rcena at epcor.ca
Wed Jul 25 20:25:11 UTC 2001

```There's a chance that the tendency to respond with AY may not have anything
to do with how they learned arithmetic in school, but to the way the

9 + 3 = 12

siyam at tatlo ay ano "Nine plus three is what?"

And notice that the question contains AY.  As a control, the question may
also be formed as follows:

Ilan/Ano ang siyam at tatlo? "What is 9 + 3?"

It would be interesting if the subjects respond with many more ay-less
sentences, thus:

Labingdalawa ang siyam at tatlo.

RestyCena

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	potet [SMTP:POTETJP at wanadoo.fr]
> Sent:	Wednesday, July 25, 2001 7:14 AM
> To:	 AUSTRONESIAN LANGUAGES AND LINGUISTICS
> Subject:	4 operations
>
> This debate on Tagalog _ang_ and _nang_ reminds me of the difficulties I
> encountered in the Philippines when I wanted my informants to give me the
> four arithmetic operations in Tagalog. You know that digits and operators
> are among the few ideograms we have in the modern Latin alphabet system.
> The
> advantage with these ideograms, the numbers written with them, and the
> formulae in which they appear, is that all these can be read in any
> language, so that I use them to dicover basic structures.
>
> Thus I gave them my informants the following lines to read ( the figures
> may
> have been different, but this is immaterial to the issue).
> 9 + 3 = 12
> 4 - 3 = 1
> 5 x 3 = 15
> 8 : 2 = 4
>
> I expected my informants to offer the equivalents of the two readings -
> the
> short one and the long one - we have in English, or French etc., to wit
> "Nine plus three, twelve." and "Nine plus three equals twelve."
> "Four minus three, one." and "Four minus three equals one."
> "Three times five, fifteen." and "Five multiplied by three equals
> fifteen."
> "Eight (divided) by two, four." and "Eight divided by two equals four."
>
> Their first reaction was to read the formulae in English. I insisted and
> asked them to read the formulae in Tagalog. To my dismay, they seemed to
> have problems doing it in Tagalog.  Some said they had been taught this in
> English, and could only offer equivalents in Tagalog without being sure
> these were the correct readings. All these equivalents involved AY.
> e.g. Ang siyám na dinagdagán nang tatló ay labindalawá.
> /IF / nine / Linker / add-focused on "nine" / nang / three / Anteposer /
> twelve /
> "Nine plus three equals twelve."
>
> Needless to say I was extremely disappointed because I wanted to see what
> the short readings were, and whether they used _ang_.
> Now, you, Tagalog tagalists, my friends, what short readings would you
> offer?
>
> Best
>
> Jean-Paul G. POTET

```