Print

Print


--- On Thu, 7/7/11, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> > > > Base-12 is well established in the human psyche.
>
> > > In the English-speaking human psyche maybe.
>
> > I think whatever is the prevailing counting system in use by a
> > community, that is what is "well established". Case in point:
>
> True, but when one is talking about "*the* human psyche",
> one is talking about universal tendencies.

You're right there. In that case, I don't think any particular system is
universally "well established".

> Still, I can tell you from
> experience that we don't see that consciously as being
> vigesimal. 

Now, that's interesting! You're using, what to an outsider is obviously a
vigesimal system, but don't realise it?

> Although those numbers are transparent, we don't make the connection
> unless explicitly pointed out to it. When I say
> "quatre-vingt-dix", I don't think
> in terms of multiplications and additions. I just use the word
> /katʁəvɛ̃ˈdis/, which means "90". The connection to
> meaning is direct,
> unlike, say "deux cents", which feels like actually
> counting the number of hundreds.

Interesting indeed. Of course, quatre-vingt-dix is exactly parallel to
"four score and ten". For us that would be marked as highly unusual.

> > Yeah. I never cared much for dozens. If I have a lot
> of things to count, I
> > often count them in either scores or else in French.
> Which is six of
> > one half dozen of the other.
> >
> >
> LOL :) .

Or I guess ten of one demi-vignt of the other?

> Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

Padraic