Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum



Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by Drexel University or The Math Forum.


Math Forum » Discussions » Inactive » math-history-list

Topic: Roman arithmetic
Replies: 4   Last Post: Dec 16, 1996 8:27 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Michael Deakin

Posts: 64
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Roman arithmetic
Posted: Dec 16, 1996 6:45 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply


A brief note on this remark:

> Particularly interesting about them is that numbers seem to have
> been associated with what they counted or measured. Thus in the earliest
> versions of the abacus one could add (using the right tokens) two goats to
> three goats to get five goats, but not two goats to five bushels of wheat.
> The pure abstraction of number seems to have been a later development,
> perhaps around the end of the third millennium BC
>
>

A number of Asian languages require "units" or "measures" to be
applied to the objects being counted. The most commonly quoted
example is Chinese, but the feature also exists in Indonesian and
elsewhere.

E.g. in Indonesian to say "three people" we can't have "tiga orang",
as a literal translation might go; correct is "tiga orang orang", the
1st "orang" being the unit "people", the second the noun "people".

Mike Deakin




Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© Drexel University 1994-2014. All Rights Reserved.
The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.