Posts Tagged ‘numbers’


• Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'kakulu'.


  • (num.) zero
  • (pron.) nothing

Ei i kakulu tou!
“I am the mighty zero!”

Notes: Zero is, indeed, the mightiest of numbers—the archnemesis of one. Multiple anything by zero, and all you get is more zero. Compare that to pushover one, who gives you back just what you gave it. Pathetic! In fact, the same thing happens if you divide anything by one. Divide something by zero? Just try it. The very act causes lesser calculators to explode. All hail the mighty zero! :!:

In Kamakawi, you can now use kakulu to mean “nothing”, but it’s a bit slangy. The standard and more general way to say “nothing” is still okuku.


• Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mele'.


  • (num.) one thousand
  • (adj.) one thousandth

Mele i fatu kavi.
“One thousand is a big number.”

Notes: And its iku looks like a cage that houses a wild beast! RAAAAAAAAAAWRRRR! :twisted:

Nothing much to say about today’s word. It’s a placeholder word, since I found myself without much time today. Bleh. So it goes… Should be asleep already. That’s the kind of day it is.


• Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'kapa'.


  • (num.) one hundred
  • (adj.) one hundredth

Kapa Ulili o Awape.
One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

Notes: That’s the name of my favorite novel by Gabriel García Márquez. I realized there were still a couple crucial numbers missing from the Word of the Day posts, so I decided to get them out of the way. Today’s is the word for one hundred.

At this point, the iku for numbers stopped being lines connecting dots, and got a bit more abstract (after all, 100 dots would be pretty unreasonable). That’s why this one’s classified an ikunima’u (though it’s clearly based on the iku for mou, “ten”).


• Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tokapaoito'.


  • (num.) four hundred and four
  • (adj.) four hundred and fourth

A mata tokapaoito kuaki.
“I see four hundred and four ducks.”

Notes: Not a very inspired sentence, but I needed something. If you’re wondering why there’s such a bizarre word of the day today, it’s because I needed to have my new 404 error page point to a real entry. :) If you’d like to see my new 404 error page, just try to go directly to some random and obviously fake entry, like…oh, I don’t know, and see what happens.

I realize this may not be very exciting, but if you saw my previous 404, you will have noticed some grossly misaligned and overlapping divs that are now aligned appropriately. Hooray for fixitude! :D


• Monday, March 7th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mowoyape'.


  • (num.) eleven
  • (adj.) eleventh

A mata ei iu mowoyape kuaki.
“I see eleven ducks.”

Notes: This is what happens when I’m sick. I feel a lot worse than yesterday. So we get the number “eleven” as a Kamakawi Word of the Day. I can’t promise that tomorrow won’t be twelve.

Ugh… Soooooooooo sick… :(


• Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'nomou'.


  • (num.) thirty
  • (adj.) thirtieth

Kiko hame ei i nomou ulili.
“Today I’m thirty years old.”

Notes: Here I am. Rock you like a hurricane.

So, yeah, this is the beginning of the end. Not for any of the reasons you might be thinking, though. Believe me, I know 30 isn’t old. (David Bowie is past 60, and he’s not “old”, because he’s the coolest thing on two legs—and basically, as long as he’s alive, whatever age he is still counts as “not old”.)

No, this is the beginning of the end, because this is where people on my side of the family start to go crazy. I’ve traced it back to 30. Year by year, they start slipping a little bit more and more, until, before you know it, they’re David Bowie’s age, but they’re not David Bowie cool, and never will be again.

As an Internet Person (IP), this gradual slide of mine will be a public spectacle. I hereby embrace it. I’ve already admitted to the world that I create languages for fun; how much worse could it get?

So hey, it’s my birthday! HAVE A PARTY! :D Every day we’re still alive is a good day to have some fun. And hey, thirty years from now when, for some inexplicable and embarrassing reason, I no longer agree with what I just wrote, you can play me this song.


• Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'fatu'.


  • (n.) number
  • (v.) to count
  • (v.) to number
  • (adj.) orderly, in order
  • (adj.) obedient

A fatu ue!
“Let’s count!”

Notes: Awhile back, a commenter posted a short comment about how conlangs ought not have the same number of words beginning with each letter/phoneme in their inventory. This was when I had pointed out that there weren’t enough l words in the Word of the Day. I pointed out then that, as I select which words to do, the Word of the Day words were not a random sampling of Kamakawi words, but that got to me thinking: Just how close are the counts?

Counting today’s f word, here’s the percentage breakdown for the initial phonemes of the Words of the Day so far:

Rank Initial Phoneme # of Posts % of Posts
1 T 25 12%
2 H 24 12%
3 K 21 10%
4 I 19 9%
5 P 17 8%
6 O 16 8%
7 F 14 7%
7 M 14 7%
9 N 13 6%
10 L 12 6%
11 E 11 5%
12 A 10 5%
12 U 10 5%

That’s the Word of the Day breakdown. Now let’s compare that to the actual breakdown in Kamakawi.

To do that, I’m going to make use of a statistical analysis conducted by a great conlanger Jim Henry a year or so ago (two years? Can’t remember). Jim created a Perl script which he ran on my modified Kamakawi dictionary (he stripped out all the definitions leaving just the words). What it did was it separated the entire list into syllables, and counted initial, final, medial and total syllables. Though the lexicon has since expanded, I think it’s a fair representation of just how frequently a given syllable is used in Kamakawi—and in which position.

In order to get the initial phonemes, I took his count of the initial syllables of Kamakawi and added all the like CV forms together. Then I did a little math and came up with the percentages for initial phonemes in Kamakawi. Here are the results:

Rank Initial Phoneme % of Words
1 I 16%
2 K 11%
3 H 9%
4 T 8.6%
5 N 8%
6 M 7.6%
7 F 7%
8 P 7%
9 L 6.6%
10 E 5%
10 O 5%
10 U 5%
13 A 4%

Quick note on the above: F and P have pretty much the same percentage, but there are two more F words than P words, so I didn’t list them as tied. Oddly enough, though, there are exactly the same number of words starting with E, O and U (or, rather, there were at the time that Jim ran these statistics. I’m sure that’s no longer the case).

As you can see, the percentages are close sometimes, but not near enough to be accurate. Also, you can see by the real count that I words blow all the rest out of the water. That’s due in large part to the i- prefix which enjoys a lot of use. If you stripped those out, K would be the winner, which isn’t surprising (or, at least, not to me, the one who coins the words).

Other than I, though, I realized that it shouldn’t be surprising that the vowel-initial words should come in last. Vowel-initial words can be thought of as, essentially, beginning with an empty consonant. If you added them all together, then, you’d get a count much like the other consonants, where, with K, for example, you get every word that starts with ka, ke, ki, ko and ku all together.

A small note about the iku here. This is essentially the Kamakawi equivalent of the pound (#) sign. It just means “number”. You may recognize this iku from the entry for ape, “one”. All the number glyphs are shapes traced from the original number system, which was just a series of dots. Since one dot is too small for a character, a short stroke (or dot above, originally) was added to the glyph for fatu, and that’s what became the iku for “one”. Basically, it reads as if it were “number one”.

All right, now to start on something exciting for the next week or so!


• Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Glyph of the word 'mou'.


  • (num.) ten
  • (adj.) tenth
  • (v.) to multiply by ten

I mou leka te nuva.
“There are ten potatoes on the table.”

Notes: Hooray! That does it for numbers! :D

Well, except for zero, twenty, twenty-one, etc. But close!

So I think this iku may be an ikuiku, but I can’t remember how… The memory clouds up when the numbers stretch beyond nine, you see… I mean, it probably is, but I can’t see it right now. Maybe it’s two fives on top of one another…? I don’t know; something.


• Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ape'.


  • (num.) one
  • (adj.) first, singular
  • (pron.) such a one
  • (adj.) each
  • (n.) individuated unit of a group
  • (nm.) a boy or girl’s given name

A li ei i ape o temi e neo i ivoate.
“I use a bone as a stirring spoon.”

Notes: As I mentioned yesterday, today’s post will elaborate a bit on mass nouns. In addition to ape‘s duties as the number one and a whole bunch of other things, ape can be used to pick out a singular unit of a mass noun. Its English translation, then, will change depending on the unit. So an ape o temi is a (singular) bone, while an ape o hunu is a grain of rice, etc.

Hey, I think this takes care of the digits 1 through 9! Now I just need to do 0 and 10 (and then others like 20, 21 and 100) and I’ll be set!

For more information about the name Ape, you can check out its name entry here.


• Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'paka'.


  • (num.) nine
  • (adj.) ninth
  • (v.) to nonuple

A fulele ei e paka ie imoi li’i.
“I wish to nonuple my strawberry guavas.”

Notes: We’re nearing the end of the digits one through ten, and I wanted to use the verb form at least once. The word “nonuple” is the silliest English word, period. It almost sounds dirty. But let me tell you, if I had a strawberry guava, I’d want nothing better than to nonuple it. Just imagine: Guava juice for a week! That’s my idea of paradise.

(Well, not really. My idea of paradise is a lifetime supply of virgin piña coladas, but I’m deathly allergic to pineapple, so even when I had the opportunity to have as many free virgin piña coladas as I wanted [on my honeymoon], I couldn’t. I did have a few, but after the third, my throat started to swell, and then came the hives…)