Counting in Paicî

Language overview

Forty-two in Paicî The Paicî language belongs to the Austronesian language family, and more specifically to the New Caledonian languages. Spoken on the main island of New Caledonia, in its North Province, it counts about 5,500 speakers.

Due to lack of data, we can only count accurately up to 100 in Paicî. Please contact me if you can help me counting up from that limit.

Paicî numbers list

  • 1 – caapwi
  • 2 – êrêilû
  • 3 – êrêcié
  • 4 – êrêpëpé
  • 5 – caa kârâ î-jè
  • 6 – caa kârâ î-jè görö caapwi
  • 7 – caa kârâ î-jè görö êrêilû
  • 8 – caa kârâ î-jè görö êrêcié
  • 9 – caa kârâ î-jè görö êrêpëpé
  • 10 – du î-jè
  • 11 – du î-jè görö caapwi
  • 12 – du î-jè görö êrêilû
  • 13 – du î-jè görö êrêcié
  • 14 – du î-jè görö êrêpëpé
  • 15 – du î-jè â jè â-jè
  • 16 – du î-jè â jè â-jè görö caapwi
  • 17 – du î-jè â jè â-jè görö êrêilû
  • 18 – du î-jè â jè â-jè görö êrêcié
  • 19 – du î-jè â jè â-jè görö êrêpëpé
  • 20 – caapwi âboro
  • 30 – caapwi âboro â du î-jè
  • 40 – êrêilû âboro
  • 50 – êrêilû âboro â du î-jè
  • 60 – êrêcié âboro
  • 70 – êrêcié âboro â du î-jè
  • 80 – êrêpëpé âboro
  • 90 – êrêpëpé âboro â du î-jè
  • 100 – caa kârâ î-jè âboro

Body language counting

If the first four digits do not have a specific meaning (caapwi [1], êrêilû [2], êrêcié [3], and êrêpëpé [4]), the rest of Paicî numbering is based on the human body: hands (î), feet (â) and the man (âboro), or the full body. Besides, Paicî being a tonal language that differentiates words between three different tones not rendered in the writing (low, medium, and high), the same written word can have different meanings. For instance, can be either the indefinite article a (medium tone), or the pronoun we; â the coordinating conjunction and (high tone), or the foot/feet. Thus, five (caa kârâ î-jè) can be decomposed into caa (diminutive of caapwi [1]), kârâ (junction), î (the hand) and (we), and means “one of the two hands”. Ten (du î-jè) can be decomposed into du (both), î (hands) and (we), meaning “both hands”. Fifteen (du î-jè â jè â-jè) means “both hands and one foot”, twenty (caapwi âboro), “one man”, and one hundred (caa kârâ î-jè âboro), “one time five men”, or five times twenty. The other numbers are formed by adding the digits from one to four (görö meaning plus), and by multiplying the number of men. It is thus both a quinary (number of fingers or toes) and a vigesimal system (number of men).

Paicî 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).

  • Digits from one to four are specific words, five being the turning point (it means one hand), and digits beyond five, from six to nine, are formed by adding the four first ones to five with the word görö (plus): caapwi [1], êrêilû [2], êrêcié [3], êrêpëpé [4], caa kârâ î-jè [5], caa kârâ î-jè görö caapwi [6] (5 plus 1), caa kârâ î-jè görö êrêilû [7] (5 plus 2), caa kârâ î-jè görö êrêcié [8] (5 plus 3), and caa kârâ î-jè görö êrêpëpé [9] (5 plus 4).
  • Tens follow a vigesimal system: du î-jè [10] (literally, the two hands), caapwi âboro [20] (one man), caapwi âboro â du î-jè [30] (20+10, or one man and two hands), êrêilû âboro [40] (2*20), êrêilû âboro â du î-jè [50] (2*20+10), êrêcié âboro [60] (3*20), êrêcié âboro â du î-jè [70] (3*20+10), êrêpëpé âboro [80] (4*20), and êrêpëpé âboro â du î-jè [90] (4*20+10).
  • Compound numbers are formed by adding the digit to the ten with the word görö (plus) (e.g.: du î-jè görö êrêilû [12], êrêilû âboro â du î-jè görö êrêpëpé [54]). We can however note an alternation of the form of the compound digit five between twenties and their intermediary tens, â or the foot replacing î or the hand (e.g.: caapwi âboro â jè î-jè [25], caapwi âboro â du î-jè â jè â-jè [35], êrêilû âboro â jè î-jè [45]).
  • One hundred is caa kârâ î-jè âboro, meaning one time five men, or five times twenty.

Write a number in full in Paicî

Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Paicî. Will you guess how to write a number in full? Enter a number and try to write it down in your head, or maybe on a piece of paper, before displaying the result.


Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages

Araki, Biak, Cèmuhî, Māori, Marshallese, Mussau-Emira, Mwotlap, Nêlêmwa, Nengone, Paicî, Rapa Nui, Tahitian, Tongan (telephone-style), and Yuanga-zuanga.

Other supported languages

As the other currently supported languages are too numerous to list extensively here, please select a language from the full list of supported languages.