I was just wondering about the way Ayeri forms fractions. The Grammar (§ 4.2.2.1) currently says that:

Fractional numerals are formed from men ‘one’ plus the integer divided by.

A table with all the forms for the basic numerals from *ja* to *tam* is listed.^{1} It informs furthermore that in order to

give multiples of a fraction, the numerator is used as a modifier of the fraction word, which serves as the head of the phrase:

- vadisān
- bread

- menkay
- third [= one.three]

- sam
- two

‘two thirds of a loaf’

However, how about a competing (e.g. traditional/colloquial vs. mathematical) or regional alternative where the denominator is the genitive form of the respective cardinal number, like this:

- vadisān
- bread

- kay-ena
- three-GEN

- sam
- two

‘two thirds of a loaf’

Or, to pattern with other case-marked numerals and their special meanings,^{2} the numeral could also be nominalized first and then case-marked:

- vadisān
- bread

- kay-an-ena
- three-NMLZ-GEN

- sam
- two

‘two thirds of a loaf’

Although *kayanena* is strictly speaking a nominal form and thus might be expected to follow ordinals (*kayan vadisānena* ‘the third bread’, three-NMLZ bread-GEN), it makes sense to use it as a regular numeral anyway – a drop-in replacement for *menkay* – since noun phrases cannot usually be doubly case-marked in Ayeri:

- Ang
- AT

- konja
- eat-3SG.M.T

- vadisānena
- bread-GEN

- kayan-ena [= menkay]
- third-GEN

- sam.
- two

‘He ate two thirds of a loaf.’- *Ang
- AT

- konja
- eat-3SG.M.T

- kayan-ena-ley
- third-GEN-P

- sam
- sam

- vadisānena.
- vadisānena

- Cf. an earlier article on numerals on this blog. ↩
- Cf. an earlier article on ordinals and multiplicative numerals on this blog. ↩