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The Number Concept
Its Origin and Development

written by "Conant, Levi L. (Levi Leonard), 1857-1916"
...f the names of the first five numerals are of finger origin, they have so completely lost their original form, or else the names of the fingers themselves have so changed, that no resemblance is now to be detected between them. This scale is so interesting that it is given with considerable fulness, as follows: 1.atauzik. 2.madro. 3.pinasun. 4.sisaman. 5.tudlemut. 6.atautyimin akbinigin [tudlimu(t)]= 5 and 1 on the next. 7.madronin akbinigin= twice on the next. 8.pinasunin akbinigin= three times on the next. 9.kodlinotaila= that which has not its 10. 10.kodlin= the upper part—i.e. the fingers. 14.akimiaxotaityuna= I have not 15. 15.akimia. [This seems to be a real numeral word.] 20.inyuina= a man come to an end. 25.inyuina tudlimunin akbinidigin= a man come to an end and 5 on the next. 30.inyuina kodlinin akbinidigin= a man come to an end and 10 on the next. 35.inyuina akimiamin aipalin= a man come to an end accompanied by 1 fifteen times. 40.madro inyuina= 2 men come to an end. In this scale we find the finger origin appearing so clearly and so repeatedly that one feels some degree of surprise at finding 5 expressed by a pure numeral instead of by some word meaning hand or fingers of one hand. In this respect the Eskimo dialects are somewhat exceptional among scales built up of digital words. The system of the Greenland Eskimos, though differing slightly from that of their Point Barrow cousins, shows the same peculiarity. The first ten numerals of this scale are:71 1.atausek. 2.mardluk. 3.pingasut. 4.sisamat. 5.tatdlimat. 6.arfinek-atausek= to the other hand 1. 7.arfinek-mardluk= to the other hand 2. 8.arfinek-pingasut= to the other hand 3. 9.arfinek-sisamat= to the other hand 4. 10.kulit. The same process is now repeated, only the feet instead of the hands are used; and the completion of the second 10 is marked by the word innuk, man. It may be that the Eskimo word for 5 is, originally, a digital ...

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