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Book Sections Year : 2015

Chinese Names for Integers


Chinese names for integers have always used the digits [1] through [9] and a series of decimal pivots starting with [10], [10 2 ], [10 3 ] and [10 4 ]. Changes occurred in the way the compounds [digit][pivot] were concatenated, with the conjunction yòu until the 3 rd century BCE, then with the term líng, which emerged around the 12 th century CE. The behavior of the morpheme [1] with pivots also evolved. Finally, in Contemporary Chinese, there is a choice between two morphemes for the digit 2 yielding legitimate alternative numerals; and there is the possibility to form elliptic number names which are not meant to be incorporated before classifiers. Some changes in the features of Chinese linguistic numeration were likely the result of language planning; they nevertheless hint at a tension between a tendency to maintain the morphosyntax of number names within the framework of the syntax of quantification versus simplification and shorter numerals.
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hal-01904462 , version 1 (25-10-2018)



Rémi Anicotte. Chinese Names for Integers. Space and Quantification in Languages of China, 2015. ⟨hal-01904462⟩
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