Igala Numeral System
Posted by abdul at December 2nd, 2014
The numeral system of Igala displays mathematical operations of addition, multiplication and subtraction in the realisation of especially non-basic numbers. The language is a quasi decimal system attested in its lower numerals and a majorly vigesimal system overall. The source of data for this paper is introspective evidence of the native speaker competence. With the need to count enormously large figures in contemporary times and limitations on the utility of the traditional system in achieving this, the difficulty of a vigesimal system and the merits of a proper decimal system in harmony with other numeral systems in a modern world; the need for a guided modification of the primitive model presents itself. The present work proposes a modification based on adjustment to a proper decimal system, elimination of subtraction in regular counting and the use of the multiplicative morpheme only at a higher numeral level in favour of the use of juxtaposition overall, syntactic reordering of numeral elements to achieve simplicity and meaning shift in some existing units in the language to cater for new units in the higher numerals. The modification plan put forward is based on aspects of the lexical, morphological and syntactic system of the norm, with only minimal essential shifts. For the utility of the proposal put forward, it is the position here that Igala linguists, language enthusiasts, educationists, authors and students endeavour to popularize the result of this work as effective means by which the proposal herein will move from the purely academic to become a functional system for the Igala language community.