Author: James R. Hurford
Hardback: ISBN: 9780521207355 Pages: 308 Price: U.K. £ 22.00 Comment: published in 1975; no longer available
Paperback: ISBN: 9780521133685 Pages: 308 Price: U.K. £ 16.99
Originally published in 1975, this was the first detailed linguistic study of natural language numeral systems. It draws on two quite different scholarly traditions. The first is carried on by anthropologists and others compiling and cataloguing data on the different counting-systems of the world. The second explores generative grammar, which analyses the universal features and the formal organisation of these numeral systems. Dr Hurford is able to extend and modify the detailed theory of generative grammar by testing it against this material and discovering the rules, conventions and constraints which apply. He includes separate chapters on the numeral systems of English, French, Mixtec, Hawaiian, Danish, Welsh and Yoruba; the book is therefore also a contribution to the grammars of these languages. The book is primarily intended for linguists, but there is an introduction to the relevant principles of generative grammar in the first chapter, to help make the work accessible also to anthropologists and mathematicians.
Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. The syntax and semantics of English numerals; 3. Mixtec Numerals; 4. French numerals; 5. Danish numerals; 6. Biblical Welsh numerals; 7. Hawaiian numerals; 8. Yoruba numerals; 9. Some further problems; 10. Summary: a basis for typology; 11. Some other numeral grammars; Bibliography; Index.