Re: Unihan number types and values

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Thu Dec 02 2010 - 18:53:14 CST

  • Next message: Arne Goetje: "Re: Unihan number types and values"

    > 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 (nian)
       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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