Natlang Attestation of Ayeri’s Strategy of Forming Ordinals

I was actually reading one of the papers I was intending to read tonight and came across this, on (Classical) Tibetan:

The suffix -pa forms a noun from another noun, meaning ‘associated with N’ (e.g. rta ‘horse,’ rta-pa ‘horseman,’ yi-ge ‘letter,’ yi-ge-pa ‘one who holds a letter of office,’ cf. Beyer 1992: 117). When suffixed to cardinal numbers this suffix forms ordinals (e.g. gsum ‘three,’ gsum-pa ‘third’; bcu ‘ten,’ bcu-pa ‘tenth’). — Chung et al. 626

Ayeri does basically the same thing with -an, cf. First, at First, Once, First Time:

    1. rig- ‘draw’
    2. rigan ‘drawing’
    1. avan ‘soil, bottom’
    2. avanan ‘foundation, base’
    1. men ‘one’
    2. menan ‘first’
    1. ito ‘seven’
    2. itan ‘seventh’

Chung et al. don’t say whether Tibetan treats these derived forms as nouns or as numerals or whether it makes that distinction at all, unfortunately. In Ayeri, however, ordinals are basically nouns due to the derivational suffix -an forming nouns, typically from verbs and adjectives, but also from other nouns.

  • Beyer, S. The Classical Tibetan Language. New York: State U of New York P, 1992. Print.
  • Chung, Karen Steffen, Nathan W. Hill and Jackson T.-S. Sun. “Sino-Tibetan.” The Oxford Handbook of Derivational Morphology. Eds. Rochelle Lieber and Pavol Štekauer. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014. 609–650. Print.