Nominal vs Cardinal numbers in ASL

Adam Frost icemandeaf at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 8 20:01:13 UTC 2009

A very fine line here because page numbers are counted pages which  
number the page with a label. They are often used as both  
interchangeably mostly because English doesn't distinguish between  
both and most people don't know the difference. When thinking about  
how I usually refer to pages, I usually use the cardinal form as I am  
basically saying "turn 5 pages from the beginning" verses "turn to  
page 5" which would use the nominal form. However, I think that we are  
actually labeling the page as "Page 5" so I think that in this case it  
should be nominals that are used. I hope that makes sense. Anyway,  
that is my 2 cents worth. (Hmm... would that 2 be cardinal or nominal?  
Ha!) ;-)


On Feb 8, 2009, at 11:40 AM, SignWriting wrote:

> SignWriting List
> February 8, 2009
> Hi SW Listers!
> I need your advice. Most ASL numbers are the same whether they are  
> nominal or cardinal, but there are five that are different....the  
> first five numbers are cardinal inside a sentence, but nominal when  
> telling people your phone number, your apartment number etc...I  
> believe that is correct anyway ;-))
> In other words, the cardinal is part of meaning in a sentence, but  
> the nominal is like a "label" stating your Social Security  
> Number (a long number that represents a person in the US)...if it  
> has a lot of "ones" 111-897-1102...or something like that...I  
> don't believe the palm turns towards the chest when stating your  
> Social Security Number, does it?
> So when reading tiny tiny page numbers at the bottom of pages in a  
> 500 page SignWriting book, should the page numbers be nominal or  
> cardinal? I have always felt that the page numbers were like  
> "labels" for finding a page quickly...but others have disagreed with  
> me...meanwhile most people do not have a lot of experience reading  
> large books in SignWriting yet, including myself, so we all are  
> guessing a bit... It may really be a matter of all of us getting  
> used to this, and figuring out, by testing readers, who can find  
> page 1 faster...when it is nominal or cardinal? smile...
> I am updating our old Goldilocks documents with the symbols of the  
> ISWA and while I am doing that update anyway, I wondered about the  
> page numbers...They were nominal in the old documents.
> Should page numbers be nominal or cardinal? Please see attached...
> <Nominal-Cardinal.png>
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