On Wed, May 29, 2013 at 10:07:55PM -0700, H. S. Teoh wrote: [...] > tse na ti' jirabunas ta? > 2SG RCP:MASC notch how_many Q > How old are you? (Lit. to you how many notches?) [...] I forgot to point out the etymology of _jirabunas_: it is a contraction of _jiras bunas di'as_ "one two three". It's like asking "you have one, two, or three notches?" (with an implied "etc." after "three" -- induction, y'know). Well technically, it's _jiras ta bunas ta di'as ta_ (the construction _X ta Y ta_ meaning "X or Y"), which simplified to _jiras bunas di'as_ > _jirabunari'as_ > _jirabunas_, through a process of successive simplification via contraction and elision. TF numerals are agglutinative, you see; "eight", for example, is _di'apikas_, from _di'as_ (3) + _pikas_ (5). However, these agglutinations are only valid between numerals of a group belonging to a different power of 5: 1-4 are the first group, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 are the second group, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125 are the third group, etc., up to 5 groups (with 3125 being the largest root, thus a maximum nameable numeral of 3905). The agglutination _jirabunari'as_ is therefore an invalid numeral, so the contraction _jirabunas_ does not conflict with any numeral, and can safely stand in for the interrogative numeral. :) (Kids on the street have been heard simplifying this even further to _jiabunas_ or _jabunas_ (or *shudder* _jabun_), but this is frowned on by the older folk and isn't part of the official TF dictionary published by the town grammarians.) T -- Stop staring at me like that! You'll offend... no, you'll hurt your eyes!