[Tibeto-burman-linguistics] Numerals

Randy LaPolla randy.lapolla at gmail.com
Fri Dec 19 00:46:03 UTC 2014

From: "B. Zeisler" <zeis at uni-tuebingen.de>
Subject: Numerals
Date: 18 December, 2014 10:57:08 pm GMT+8
To: Tibeto-burman-linguistics <tibeto-burman-linguistics-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>

Dear all,

it seems that my answer to Gwendolin -- and my question about numeral classifiers yesterday did not reach the list, but went directly to Gwendolyn. So I repeat it here again:

Bettina Zeisler schrieb:

> Dear Gwen and all, 
> Ladakhi has the same principle as Dzongkha: /gang/ or low tone /kang/ for one container, /do/ or low tone /to/ for two containers (including cups and plates). /do/ is attested in Classical Tibetan, but it looks very Indoeuropean. gang means 'full'. 
> Ladakhi has also two numeral classifiers /minga/ or /mingo/ (most probably mi + mgo 'person + head') for people, /gor/ for trees and treelike round shaped things. 
> I am not aware that other Tibetic languages have numeral classifiers, but perhaps I am mistaken? Has anyone of you observed them? 
> Seasonal greetings 
> Bettina Zeisler 
> Zitat von Gwendolyn Hyslop <gwendolyn.hyslop at gmail.com>: 
>> Dear Tibeto-Burmanists, 
>> In most languages of Bhutan I have looked at, I have found special forms of the numbers 'one' and 'two' for measurement contexts. For example, Kurtöp 'one' and 'two' are thê and zon unless counting things like containers (bre, phuya, etc.) of grain, points in archery, distance measured by fingers, hands, bodies, etc. In those contexts 'one' and 'two' are bleng and gwâ. I believe a similar system is also in Tibetan as well as in other Bhutanese languages, although the forms do not appear to be cognate (Dzongkha g'ang and d'o, for example).  Although it is not exactly the same sort of system, I am also reminded of the difference between the two Mandarin words for 'two'. (er2 and liang3) 
>> So, my question to you: how widespread is this? Is it just a Tibetan/Bhutan thing or is it more widespread than this? 
>> Cheers, 
>> Gwen 


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