Isadora Zamora wrote: (re cardinal/ordinal numbers) ....there is an irregularity in > some of the early ordinal numerals. The ordinals are generally derived > from the cardinals by a regular process (in the case of English, by adding > -th), but the first few seem not to be derived at all or are derived > irregularly. (English "third" is derived irregularly and "first" and > "second" appear not to be derived at all from the corresponding > cardinals. > > How widespread is this phenomenon? I can only add one other non-IE language-- Indonesian. The word for 'first' is not related to 'one' (resp. pertama < Skt., satu; not exactly certain what "pertama" meant in Skt.). Everything is regular after that (prefix k@-). Some other languages in the family also have an irreg. word for first, regular thereafter. It's interesting that Span/Port/Ital. preserve the Latin ordinals, even for the teens and decades (and so the forms aren't visibly derived from the cardinals) whereas French, aside from premier(e), is regular in adding -ième. Does _seconde_ exist as an alternative to deuxième? Span. primero, segundo, tercero, cuarto, quinto, sesto, séptimo, octavo (alternative ocheno IIRC???), noveno~nono, décimo..... décimo quinto 15th vs. quince décimo octavo 18th vs. diez y ocho ~dieciocho (???) etc. vigésimo 20th vs. veinte cuadrigésimo 40th vs. cuarenta etc.