The Language Vorlin (2006)

Chapter 7: Numerals and Other Quantifiers

cardinal numerals

The basic cardinal numerals are:

nom (0)
yun (1), dus (2), san (3)
kad (4), lim (5), tor (6)
zib (7), hog (8), nev (9)
dek (10)
bak (100)
taz (1000)
milon (1,000,000)
bilar (1,000,000,000)

The words for 1 through 10 were designed to be as distinctive as possible. Notice how often each vowel appears in the sequence yun, dus, san, kad, lim, tor, zib, hog, nev, dek.

For the sake of discussion, we will call the numerals dek, bak, taz, milon, bilar “powers-of-ten words.” Prefixing a numeral-word ranging from 2 to 9 onto a powers-of-ten word indicates multiplication. Therefore, dusdek means “twenty,” tordek means “sixty,” etc. Note that dek by itself means “ten;” it is not necessary to say *yundek.

In naming integers larger than ten, we create a compound word, starting with the multiple of the largest powers-of-ten word and working our way down to the hundreds, tens, and units. These words are written with spaces after each powers-of-ten word. Examples: 11 = dek yun, 21 = dusdek yun, 365 = sanbak tordek lim.


Ordinal numerals are created by adding -a: yuna = the first, dusa = second, etc. (These words are adjectives.)


hem represents “half.” Other fractions are formed by adding per-: perkad = one quarter, one fourth; dus perlim = two fifths, 2/5.

serial numbers

Serial numbers, such as telephone numbers and the names of years, are normally recited digit by digit: the year 1972 is called yun nev zib dus.

other quantifiers

These quantifiers are also worth mentioning:

yuwem = one and a half
piz = pi (3.14159...)
men = more than one

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