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Counting in Proto-Indo-European

Language overview

Forty-two in Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family, spoken between 3.500 and 2.500 BC. By linguistic reconstruction, linguists have reconstructed a language for which no direct record exists. The reconstructed numerals presented on this page are taken from the Late Indo-European stage, when the distinction with its parent, the Proto-Indo Hittite (PIE) has been done.

Due to lack of data, we can only count accurately up to 1,000 in Proto-Indo-European. Please contact me if you can help me counting up from that limit.

Proto-Indo-European numbers list

  • 1 – oinos
  • 2 – dwōu
  • 3 – trejes
  • 4 – qétwores
  • 5 – penqe
  • 6 – seks
  • 7 – septḿ
  • 8 – oktṓu
  • 9 – newṇ
  • 10 – dekṃ
  • 11 – sémdekṃ
  • 12 – dwōu dekṃ
  • 13 – trejes dekṃ
  • 14 – qétwores dekṃ
  • 15 – penqe dekṃ
  • 16 – sweks dekṃ
  • 17 – septḿ dekṃ
  • 18 – oktṓ dekṃ
  • 19 – newṇ dekṃ
  • 20 – dwid kṃtī
  • 30 – trídkṃta
  • 40 – qetwŕdkṃta
  • 50 – penqédkṃta
  • 60 – sé ksdkṃta
  • 70 – septḿdkṃta
  • 80 – oktṓdkṃta
  • 90 – néwṇdkṃta
  • 100 – dkṃtóm
  • 1,000 – sṃgheslom

Proto-Indo-European 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 nine are rendered by specific words: oinos/oinā/oinom (m/f/n) [1], dwōu/dwāi/dwoi (m/f/n) [2], trejes/trja or trī/trísores (m/f/n) [3], qétwores [4], penqe [5], seks [6], septḿ [7], oktṓu [8], and newṇ [9]. It seems that weks, six, could have been the ‘original’ PIH (Proto-Indo Hittite) form, to which an s- from septḿ was added; it would have lost the w- later.
  • The tens are formed starting with the multiplier unit, directly followed by the suffix -dkṃta (group of ten), with no space, except for twenty: dekṃ [10], dwid kṃtī or wid kṃtī [20], trídkṃta [30], qetwŕdkṃta [40], penqédkṃta [50], swé ksdkṃta or sé ksdkṃta[60], septḿdkṃta [70], oktṓdkṃta [80], and néwṇdkṃta [90].
  • Compound numbers from eleven to nineteen are formed starting with the unit, then the word for ten (dekṃ), separated with a space: sémdekṃ or oinos dekṃ [11], dwōu dekṃ [12], trejes dekṃ [13], qétwores dekṃ [14], penqe dekṃ [15], sweks dekṃ [16], septḿ dekṃ [17], oktṓ dekṃ [18], and newṇ dekṃ [19].
  • Compound numbers above twenty are formed starting with the unit, then the ten separated with a space (e.g.: qétwores tridkṃta [34], oktṓu penqédkṃta [58]).
  • Hundreds are formed starting with the multiplier digit root, directly followed by the plural form of the word for hundred (singular: dkṃtóm or kṃtóm, plural: kṃtos), with no space, except for one hundred: dkṃtóm [100], dwikṃtos [200], trikṃtos [300], qatwṛkṃtos [400], penqekṃtos [500], sekskṃtos [600], septṃkṃtos [700], oktōkṃtos [800], and newṇkṃtos [900].
  • Compound hundreds start with the unit, then the ten and the hundred, separated with spaces (e.g.: penqe dekṃ dkṃtóm [115], oinos qetwŕdkṃta septṃkṃtos [741]).
  • The word for thousand is sṃgheslom [1,000].

Write a number in full in Proto-Indo-European

Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Proto-Indo-European. 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.

Books

A Tentative Syntax of Modern Indoeuropean A Tentative Syntax of Modern Indoeuropean
by , editors CreateSpace (2013)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

A Grammar of Modern Indo-European, Prometheus Edition A Grammar of Modern Indo-European, Prometheus Edition
by , editors CreateSpace (2012)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

A Grammar of Modern Indo-European (Third edition) A Grammar of Modern Indo-European (Third edition)
by , editors CreateSpace (2011)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World
by , editors Princeton University Press (2010)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com, Kindle - Amazon.com Kindle - Amazon.com]

The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World
by , editors Oxford University Press (2006)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com, Kindle - Amazon.com Kindle - Amazon.com]

Source

  • A Grammar of Modern Indo-European, by Carlos Quiles and Fernando López-Menchero, 2011

Romance languages

Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, Eonavian, French, Friulian, Galician, Gallo, Italian, Jèrriais, Ladin, Latin, Lombard (Milanese), Occitan, Picard, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Proto-Indo-European, Romansh, Sardinian, Spanish, and Venetian.

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