Nominal vs Cardinal numbers in ASL

MARIA AZZOPARDI maria.azzopardi at UM.EDU.MT
Wed Feb 11 08:49:43 UTC 2009

Hi all,

In written English, Italian, Maltese, French (those are the languages I
can talk about), a whole book is written in the specific languages,
however the page numbers are written as Arabic numerals, i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4,
5 etc..

Imagine having a whole English book and then the page numbers were written
at the bottom as follows 'one, two three, four, five..etc - if you have
536 pages in all on the bottom of the last page you will find written:
'five hundred and thirty six' (!!)

I totally agree with Valerie who said that:
"the page numbers were like "labels" for  finding a page quickly..."

My opinion is that page numbers for signwriting books are written as '1,
2, 3, 4' -
Even if/when signwriting evolves to the point where all school text books
are in signwriting for the Deaf, I have my doubts whether the signwriting
will replace the function of ARabic numbers such as when they are used for
Mathematical calculations in text books.

When working with the Christmas Bible translations, we had asked the
Maltese Deaf, whether they prefer verse numbers and page numbers in
signwriting or in Arabic numbers (1,2,3,4..) - and everyone we asked said
they prefer Arabic numbers because the function of these numbers is to
find something quickly, just like we would prefer page numbers in an
English book to be '1, 2, 3 etc and not 'one, two, three'.

bye for now,


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