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Two pus one makes thirteen: Senary numerals in the Morehead-Maro region

Evans, Nicholas

Description

Southern New Guinea languages possess unusual senary systems, used for yam-counting. This article demonstrates the common presence of cognate base-6 numeral systems with monomorphemic power terms up to 66, with attestation across the major branches of the Morehead-Upper Maro group. Kanum, related to the Morehead-Upper Maro family, has cognate forms but with ambiguity between the readings 6n and 'numeral in nth senary cycle', while Agöb in the neighbouring Pahoturi family has recently borrowed...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorEvans, Nicholas
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T21:56:30Z
dc.identifier.issn1430-0532
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/39459
dc.description.abstractSouthern New Guinea languages possess unusual senary systems, used for yam-counting. This article demonstrates the common presence of cognate base-6 numeral systems with monomorphemic power terms up to 66, with attestation across the major branches of the Morehead-Upper Maro group. Kanum, related to the Morehead-Upper Maro family, has cognate forms but with ambiguity between the readings 6n and 'numeral in nth senary cycle', while Agöb in the neighbouring Pahoturi family has recently borrowed the senary power numerals. Evidence is presented for convergent cultural factors that would have selected for the emergence of a base-6 numeral system, including the six-petal arrangement in which they are laid out in piles and other aspects of ceremonial counting routines.
dc.publisherWalter de Gruyter
dc.sourceLinguistic Typology
dc.subjectKeywords: Linguistic area; New Guinea; Number systems; Numeral base; Numerals
dc.titleTwo pus one makes thirteen: Senary numerals in the Morehead-Maro region
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume13
dc.date.issued2009
local.identifier.absfor200406 - Language in Time and Space (incl. Historical Linguistics, Dialectology)
local.identifier.ariespublicationu9313127xPUB177
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationEvans, Nicholas, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.issue2
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage321
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage335
local.identifier.doi10.1515/LITY.2009.015
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T11:58:36Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-77950757777
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
dc.provenancehttp://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/1430-0532/..."Publisher's version/PDF may be used, on author's personal website, editor's personal website or institutional repository" from SHERPA/RoMEO site (as at 02/01/19).
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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