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
question was asked. The task:

9 + 3 = 12

amounts to asking the question

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.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	potet [SMTP:POTETJP at wanadoo.fr]
> Sent:	Wednesday, July 25, 2001 7:14 AM
> 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

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