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Counting in Kēlen

Language overview

Forty-two in Kēlen Kēlen is a constructed language created by the Californian linguist Sylvia Sotomayor as an alien language, in the sense it violates a key linguistic universal stipulating that all human languages have verbs. This verbless language is spoken by the Kēleñi alien species on the planet Terjemar. Kēlen can be written in its own script, in a ceremonial interlace alphabet of 21 letters, or in box script, but can also be romanized. The numbers presented on this page are written in the Xāmorte dialect, which is used in formal situations and law courts.

Kēlen numbers list

  • 18 – ān
  • 28 – ēnne
  • 38 – wījte
  • 48 – wijor
  • 58 – āmme
  • 68 – tē
  • 78 – ōnne
  • 108 – ōr
  • 118 – āru
  • 128 – ōr aþēnne
  • 138 – ōr awījte
  • 148 – āral
  • 158 – ōr aþāmme
  • 168 – ōr atē
  • 178 – ōr aþōnne
  • 208 – ālu
  • 308 – ēnnaral
  • 408 – āllōr
  • 508 – āmmōr
  • 608 – āllaral
  • 708 – ōnnōr
  • 1008 – ōru

The octal numeral system

Kēlen numbers follow the octal numeral system, or base-8. To better understand the octal numeral system, let’s start with a more familiar one: the decimal system. In the decimal system (or base-10), we have ten digits, from zero to nine. When we add 1 (one) to 9 (nine), we get 10 (ten), or the unit 1 (one) followed by 0 (zero). This system is positional (the digits represent the units, and their rank the matching power of ten). Thus, 132 decomposes in 100 + 30 + 2 = 1*102 + 3 *101 + 2 *100. This system is also known as a positional decimal numeral system.
Base-8 uses digits from 0 to 7. Its first ten is eight in decimal (810 = 108), the base is noted in subscript. The decomposition of an octal number (in a positional system) is the same as the one of a decimal number, only the base changes: (132)8 = 1*82 + 3 *81 + 2 *80. If we carry it out, we get the matching decimal number, here 90.

Kēlen numbering rules

Now that you’ve had a gist of the most useful numbers, let’s move to the writing rules for the tens, the compound numbers, and why not the hundreds, the thousands and beyond (if possible).

  • The digits from one to seven are: ān [1], ēnne [2], wījte [3], wijor [4], āmme [5], [6], and ōnne [7].
  • The Kēlen tens are: ōr [108/810], ālu [208/1610], ēnnaral [308/2410], āllōr [408/3210], āmmōr [508/4010], āllaral [608/4810], and ōnnōr [708/5610].
  • Compound numbers are formed starting with the octal ten, then the unit digit prefixed with the conjunction a(þ) (with the exception of eleven and fourteen). Thus, the octal teens are: āru [118/910], ōr aþēnne [128/1010] (108 + 2), ōr awījte [138/1110] (108 + 3), āral [148/1210], ōr aþāmme [158/1310], ōr atē [168/1410], and ōr aþōnne [178/1510].
  • The octal hundreds are formed prefixing the word for hundred (ōru) by the multiplier digit root, except for one hundred itself: ōru [1008/6410], ēnnoru [2008/12810]…
  • Thousands are formed as tens of hundreds: ōr ōru [1,0008/51210] (108 * 1008), ālu ōru [2,0008/1,02410] (208 * 1008), ēnnaral ōru [3,0008/1,53610] (308 * 1008)…
  • Ten thousands is ōrāen [10,0008/4,09610].

Sources

Other artistic languages

Atlantean, Atrian, Ayeri, Azazilúŝ, Barsoomian, Belter Creole, Dai, Dovahzul, D’ni, Elder Speech, Giak, Hylian, Illitan, Ithkuil, Itláni, Kēlen, Kiitra, KiLiKi, Láadan, Na’vi, Shiväisith, Trigedasleng, Va Ehenív, and Wardwesân.

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