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Numerical systems 
10th-Nov-2011 04:50 pm
smirk!
Does anyone know of any good articles on different ways to understand numbers in different cultures, preferably from isi web of knowledge?

I've found a few books, but it's going to take some time to get hold of them at the uni library.
Comments 
10th-Nov-2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
I can't vouch for the strength of research, but a couple of quick hits using "numbering systems of the world" as my google search:

http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/~ts/language/number.html has numbering systems with complexity ratings and more - each entry linked to a chart of the system as well as an explanation of what makes it unique.

http://www.math.wichita.edu/history/topics/num-sys.html an historical look at number systems.

10th-Nov-2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Do you mean things like the basis of counting in Welsh? 1 to 10 - clearly using fingers. Then 10 + 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - it has been suggested, moving on to toes. Then 15 + 1, 2 etc - the break, it has been suggested, because of changing feet. From then on in 20s - 20 + 1 ... 20 + 10, 20 + 10 + 1... 20 + 15, 20 + 15 + 1... 2 x 20 and so on*.

With two glitches: 18 is not 15 + 3 but 2 x 9, and 50 is not 2 x 20 + 10 but half 100.

*There are vestiges of this in the French of France as opposed to the French of Belgium - 70 is 60 + 10, 80 is 4 x 20, 90 is 4 x 20 + 10.
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