The Ngëh Language

Numerals, Written and Spoken

Numeral Systems

Ngëh has two separate but related numeral systems: A traditional vigesimal (base-20) system, and a modern decimal (base-10) system.

Ngëh also uses two written numeral systems: Indigenous logorams are used represent vigesimal numerals, while Arabic numerals are used to write in decimal.

In the past, vigesimal numerals were the standard for denoting numbers in Ngëh. But in the last few centuries, the use of vigesimal has been replaced by a decimal system for most applications. Decimal is the standard for scientific measurement, accounting, and everyday use. The traditional vigesimal system continues to be used in sequel titles, in tattoos, for ceremonial purposes, and as a formal way to record dates.

Cardinal Numerals (Vigesimal)

Specific words are used to render the digits zero through twenty.

  1. róitsu
  2. i
  3. rah
  4. tómva
  5. wángto
  6. sai
  7. twákë
  8. jírugai
  9. króso
  10. ngë́ri
  11. prainy
  12. ítse
  13. ráhtse
  14. tomwátse
  15. wanáita
  16. fígu
  17. twákëtse
  18. júgaitse
  19. krótse
  20. ngë́ritse
  21. yau

Numerals for 21-39 are formed starting with "yau" (twenty), followed by the conjunction "na," and ending with the remaining digit.

  1. yau na i
  2. yau na rah
  3. yau na tómva (etc.)

For 0-399, multiples of 20 are expressed as "yau" followed by a multiplier digit. Digits in the ones position are preceded by the conjunction "na."

  1. yau rah
  2. yau rah na i
  3. yau rah na tómva
  1. yau prainy
  2. yau prainy na i
  3. yau prainy na tómva
  1. yau figu na krótse
  2. yau figu na ngë́ritse
  3. yau twákëtse

Numerals 400-7999 are formed starting with the word ómhwe (four hundred), followed by a multiplier digit, and then any remaning digits in the twenties and ones position.

  1. ómhwe
  2. ómhwe na i
  3. ómhwe na rah
  1. ómhwe yau
  2. ómhwe yau na i
  3. ómhwe yau na rah
  1. ómhwe rah yau rah na wángto
  2. ómhwe rah yau rah na sai
  3. ómhwe rah yau rah na twákë

The pattern continues indefinitely: Numerals consist of specific words, representing powers of 20, followed by a multiplier digit, said in descending order. In compound numerals, digits in the ones position are preceded by the conjunction "na."

Powers of 20

Writing Vigesimal Numerals

Ngëh vigesimal numerals are written right to left using positional notation. Below are the written forms of numbers 1-20.

vigesimal numeral chart

Examples

Converted decimal value included below each sample, for comparison.

example vigesimal numerals and their decimal values.

An example of a large numeral:

long numeral example
iyusáurë gáprobe sai tragése amívë ítse ómhwe yau rah na ngë́ri (80,248,449 in decimal)

Cardinal Numerals (Decimal)

When counting in decimal, numbers 0-29 are denoted identically to their vigesimal counterparts.

  1. yau na jírugai
  2. yau na króso
  3. yau na ngë́ri

Values in the tens position equal to 30 and above are rendered as "prainy" followed by a multiplier ("tómva" through "ngë́ri"). Digits in the ones position are restricted to 1-9 ("i" through "ngë́ri") and are preceded by the conjunction "na."

  1. prainy tómva
  2. prainy tómva na i
  3. prainy tómva na rah

Subsequent powers of 10 are expressed with specific words, and also followed by a multiplier digit ("rah" through "ngë́ri") if applicable.

Powers of 10

Writing Decimal Numerals

Arabic numerals are used to write decimal Ngëh numerals.

Examples

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