Chuvash.Org :: Printable Version :: UNIT FIFTEEN (CV Manual, Grammar)

     Numerals Cardinal, ordinal, distributive, collective, fractional.
    Numerals, being a subclass of nominals, are exactly like nouns in most of their functions, and may occur in the various cases and possessive forms, as well as in juxtaposition with another noun to denote the quantity of objects involved. Unlike those of some other languages, however, Chuvash nouns do not employ the plural form after numbers, the presence of a quantity word being sufficient indication of the plurality, thus
	ikĕ lasha		two horses
	pilĕk kĕneke		five books

    The cardinal numbers in Chuvash have two forms, the short and the long, of which the first is used attributively, that is, when same noun or object comes immediately after that numeral, and the second, the long, used when the numeral stands alone. Thus, “three houses“ would require the short form, but “the houses are three (in number)“ or “there are three‘ requires the long. The short forms also have forms without the final -ă/ĕ in free variation with short forms with these vowels. The long forms differ only in having a geminated consonant in place of a single consonant.
    The numbers 11-19 are formed by compounding two stems. Numbers 101 through 119 employ the word te ‘and,‘ as do numbers over 1,000.
    A table of cardinal numbers follows herewith,
	1.	pĕr		pĕrre
	2.	ikĕ, ik		ikkĕ
	3.	vişĕ, viş	vişşĕ
	4.	tăvată, tăvat	tăvattă
	5.	pilĕk		pillĕk
	6.	ultă, ult	ulttă
	7.	şichĕ		şichchĕ
	8.	sakăr		sakkăr
	9.	tăhăr		tăhhăr
	10.	vună, vun	vunnă

    The numbers 10-19 are compounded as: vunpĕr, vunikĕ, and so on. Units with higher tens are formed as in English: şirĕm pĕr ‘21,‘ şyrĕm ikĕ ‘22,‘ etc.
	20,	şirĕm
	30.	vătăr
	40.	hĕrĕx
	50.	allă, ală, al
	60.	utmăl
	70.	şitmĕl
	80.	sakărvunnă
	90.	tăhărvună
	100.	şĕr

    The other hundreds are compounded with stem forms plus şĕr, namely, ikşĕr, vişşĕr, tăvtşĕr, pilĕkşĕr. Smaller units with hundreds add te ‘and,‘
	văl şĕr te ikke şitnĕ		he reached 102.

    The same for numbers over 1,000:
	pin te tăhărşĕr şirĕm şichĕ		1927
	pin te tăhărşĕr utmăl pĕr		1961

    The long forms express the concept of the number as an abstract entity, and may be subject, object or predicate.
	tăhhărtan pillĕk		five from nine is four (from nine,
	kălarsan, tăvattă julat		when five is taken away, four remains‘)
	vişĕ hut vişşĕ – tăhhăr		three times three - (is) nine

    The short forms are qualitative attributes of nominals, and like adjectives, come directly before the noun to form a nominal group. Requirements of juncture and speech rhythm allow final ă/ĕ to be dropped in some cases.
	hirte vişĕ brigade ĕşlet	three teams are working in the field
	şich hut viş te pĕr hut kas	measure seven times, cut once ( Look before you leap!)
	viş-tăvat			three or four, some three or four
	iksĕmĕr				(we) two together (lit. ‘our two‘)

    Ordinal numerals denote the order or sequence in which one object follows another, and are formed from the long form of cardinal numbers by the morpheme -mĕsh (invariable). Syntactically, they are attributes, as ikkĕmĕsh brigada ‘the second team.‘ If the possessive -ĕ is used, then the ordinals may occur in all cases, and be used as subject, object or predicate.
	kolhozra ikĕ brigada: pĕrremĕsh ută şulat, ikkĕmĕshne yrash vyrma jană
	There are two teams in the kolkhoz: 
	the first mows hay, and the second was sent out to reap rye.

    The forms for the ordinals are the following.
	pĕrremĕsh		first
	ikkĕmĕsh		second
	vişşĕmĕsh		third
	tăvattămĕsh		fourth
	pillĕkmĕsh		fifth
	ulttămĕsh		sixth
	şichchĕmĕsh		seventh
	sakkărmĕsh		eighth
	tăhhărmĕsh		ninth
	vunnămĕsh		tenth

    Distributive numerals are formed with the suffix -shar/-sher added to the short form of the cardinals, and denote the distribution of a certain number of objects, usually best rendered by “each“ in English.
	pilĕksher tetrad"	five notebooks each
	pinsher			every thousand
	pĕrer			one each (the only irregular form)

    Collective numerals denoted an accumulation of uniform objects, and are formed from the cardinal numbers plus the special possessive morpheme ĕshĕ used with some terms of relationship.
	pĕri			one of them (‘its one‘)
	ikkĕshĕ			two of them, a pair, twosome
	vişşĕshĕ		a three of them, a group of three
	tăvattăshĕ		a foursome, four of them
	pillĕkĕshĕ		five of them
	ulttăshĕ		six of them
	şichchĕshĕ		seven of them
	sakkărăshĕ		eight of them
	tăhhărăshĕ		nine of them
	vunnăshĕ		ten of them (and so on)	

    Collective numerals being nouns may be declined, and the ones up to seven may occur with the 1st and 2nd p. pl. possessive suffixes.
	iksĕmĕr				both of us, the two of us
	iksĕr				you two, the two of you
	viş-sĕmĕr			we three
	viş-sĕr				you three
	pajan huralta. ikkĕshĕ tăraşşĕ	Today two of them are keeping watch
	viş-sĕmĕre haşat kălarma tivet  The three of us must make up an issue of the paper

    Fractional numbers combine cardinal numerals in the full form as the numerator, together with an ordinal denoting the denominator. This combination may be then declined by adding case morphemes to the second number.
	ikkĕ vişşĕmĕshĕnchen pĕrre tăvattămĕshĕ kalărsan, pillĕk vunikkămĕshĕ julat

	If one-fourth is taken away from two thirds, the remainder is five-twelfths.


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