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Counting in Sunúz

Language overview

Forty-two in Sunúz Sunúz is a dead language, an archaic tongue described in a single manuscript written in a second language almost as old, called Dúru’ob. It serves as the vehicle for texts relating to the “Pariah Deities”, incantations, spells, and rather strange philosophical concepts. This artificial language is the work of the linguist Muhammad Abd-el-Rahman Barker as part of a role-playing game, the Empire of the Petal Throne, published in 1978, set on the planet Tékumel. Sunúz script is composed of an alphabet of 64 letters, and 20 characters called /taya:kh/ used for magical inscriptions.

Sunúz numbers list

  • 18 – kul
  • 28 – la:p
  • 38 – shul
  • 48 – ’uma:’
  • 58 – wayl
  • 68 – heret
  • 78 – ’eng
  • 108 – thu:m
  • 118 – thu:m kul
  • 128 – thu:m la:p
  • 138 – thu:m shul
  • 148 – thu:m ’uma:’
  • 158 – thu:m wayl
  • 168 – thu:m heret
  • 178 – thu:m ’eng
  • 208 – la:p thu:m
  • 308 – shul thu:m
  • 408 – ’uma:’ thu:m
  • 508 – wayl thu:m
  • 608 – heret thu:m
  • 708 – ’eng thu:m
  • 1008 – thusu:m

The octal numeral system

Sunúz 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.

Sunúz numerals

0
08
1
18
2
28
3
38
4
48
5
58
6
68
7
78
8
88
9
98

Sunúz 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 seven are rendered by specific words, namely: kul [1], la:p [2], shul [3], ’uma:’ [4], wayl [5], heret [6], and ’eng [7].
  • Octal tens are formed starting with the multiplier digit, followed by the word for the octal ten (thu:m), separated with a space, except for the octal ten itself: thu:m (108/810), la:p thu:m (208/1610), shul thu:m (308/2410), ’uma:’ thu:m (408/3210), wayl thu:m (508/4010), heret thu:m (608/4810), and ’eng thu:m (708/5410).
  • Compound numbers are formed starting with the ten, followed by the unit separated with a space (e.g.: thu:m wayl [158/1310], shul thu:m kul [318/3710]).
  • Octal hundreds are formed starting with the multiplier digit, followed by the word for the octal hundred (thusu:m), separated with a space, except for the octal hundred itself: thusu:m (1008/6410), la:p thusu:m (2008/16128), shul thusu:m (3008/19210), ’uma:’ thusu:m (4008/25610), wayl thusu:m (5008/32010), heret thusu:m (6008/38410), and ’eng thusu:m (7008/44810).
  • Octal thousands are formed starting with the multiplier digit, followed by the word for the octal thousand (thulthu:m), separated with a space, except for the octal thousand itself: thulthu:m (1,0008/51210), la:p thulthu:m (2,0008/1,024128), shul thulthu:m (3,0008/1,53610), ’uma:’ thulthu:m (4,0008/2,04810), wayl thulthu:m (5,0008/2,56010), heret thulthu:m (6,0008/3,07210), and ’eng thulthu:m (7,0008/3,58410).

Books

Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne
by , editors Guardians of Order (2003)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Tékumel languages

Engsvanyáli, Livyáni, Sunúz, Tsolyáni, and Yán Koryáni.

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.

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