I've put the passage from Wright regarding the "polarity" of numbers at
See paragraph 327.
Caveat: I've used my own system of transliteration - see xlit.txt in the
same directory. Eventually I'll translate it into a standard encoding.
Wright is the standard reference grammar, still easily available:
or you can probably get it at the Oxford Press website.
Last week I sought info on other languages with similar number polarity, and
it turns out I had an example right under my nose all along. Apparently
classical Sinhalese does the same thing in a left-to-right context. See
But notice that the (English) author makes the same culturally-based
assumption we all tend to make, which is that the "correct" polarity is most
significant digit first, so he interprets the numbers as "right-to-left".
He may be right; I don't speak or read Sinhalese, so I don't know how such
numbers would have been read aloud. But I'll bet it was LSD first, so
left-to-right is the proper interpretation. I sent a query to a friend who
is from Sri Lanka but haven't heard back yet; can anybody here shed some
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