From: Kenneth Whistler (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Dec 02 2010 - 18:53:14 CST
> Right, but older Chinese texts and tables don't use the Arabic numerals
> used nowadays.
Well, they use all kinds of numeric stuff.
I'm looking at an old(ish) Chinese encyclopedia -- 20th century, but
old fashioned enough that it is set vertically and all the
entries are in *classical* Chinese, not vernacular. Full of numbers,
of course, but almost all of them use the traditional Chinese
6 + 10 + 3 = 63 (liu-shi-san) (cf. English "six-ty-three" hehe)
But if you dig around, you find various numerical oddities. Historical
date lists introduce the characters U+5EFF nian4 for "20"
(which also has variants U+5344 and U+3039) and
U+5345 sa4 for "30", so the days of months get listed:
10 + 8
10 + 9 (shi-jiu)
20 + 1 (nian-yi)
30 + 1 (sa-yi)
which is another non-decimal-radix system, and which also differs from
the traditional numerical construction for ordinary numbers.
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