Numbers

Incomplete!

The information on this page represents just one exploration of ideas put forth on earlier Kryptonian projects. It is obviously not the work of mathematicians—and shouldn't getting this aspect of Kryptonian culture right be of the utmost importance for a science-based culture? One of the more compelling proposals that I have heard is that Kryptonians should use a base-12 system... I hope to explore this possibility in the future.

Cardinal Numbers

The Kryptonian number system is a decimal (10-based) system... sort of. It is different from our own in a seemingly-simple way that has a pretty profound impact: it has characters for digits 1-10, but it does not contain a placeholder digit—something highly unusual for such an advanced society. Thus, the first two-digit number is 11 (not 10), the first three-digit number is 111 (not 100), and so on.

In Kryptonian writing, number characters are always used, and numbers are never spelled out. Numbers are written at half the hight of the letters, and are always written on the top half of a text line.

1
Name / chahv /  :: 
Kryptonese / 1 /  :: 
IPA [ ʧɑv ]  :: 
Font 1
2
Name / tav /  :: 
Kryptonese / 2 /  :: 
IPA [ tæv ]  :: 
Font 2
3
Name / non /  :: 
Kryptonese / 3 /  :: 
IPA [ non ]  :: 
Font 3
4
Name / ten /  :: 
Kryptonese / 4 /  :: 
IPA [ ten ]  :: 
Font 4
5
Name / suzh /  :: 
Kryptonese / 5 /  :: 
IPA [ suʒ ]  :: 
Font 5
6
Name / kizh /  :: 
Kryptonese / 6 /  :: 
IPA [ kiʒ ]  :: 
Font 6
7
Name / duhv /  :: 
Kryptonese / 7 /  :: 
IPA [ dʌv ]  :: 
Font 7
8
Name / ghehn /  :: 
Kryptonese / 8 /  :: 
IPA [ ʝɛn ]  :: 
Font 8
9
Name / rraozh /  :: 
Kryptonese / 9 /  :: 
IPA [ ra͡ʊʒ ]  :: 
Font 9
0
Name / byth /  :: 
Kryptonese / X /  :: 
IPA [ bɪθ ]  :: 
Font 0
Exercise
To visualize writing numbers without a placeholder, remove the character '0' and mix in the Roman numeral 'X' (10). Now practice writing your numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, X, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 1X, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 2X, 31, etc. You can even practice saying them if that helps: … seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, ten-teen, twenty-one, twenty-two … twenty-eight, twenty-nine, twenty-ten, thirty-one, thirty-two, etc.

Power-Base Column Order

Digits start with the lowest-base digits on the left and higher-base digits added to the right—the reverse of what you find with traditional Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). For example, the number 152 would be written in the order "251".

Zero

While there is no placeholder, there is, however, a character for zero—although it might be argued that it's not a true zero since the same character doubles as the decimal separator (in essence, a decimal point with nothing on either side would be zero by definition).

`
Name / :zha /  :: 
Kryptonese / 0 /  :: 
IPA [ n̩.ʒæ ]  :: 
Font `

Examples

Number Names Past Ten

Double-digit number names follow an easy-to-learn formula: ones column digit name plus the tens column digit name without its first consonant. For example, the number 31 (written in the order: 13) has 1 (/chahv/) in the ones column and 3 (/non/) in the tens column and is thus named /chahvon/.

Counting to Twenty-Five

Ordinal Numbers

In speech, a simple suffix, /-ehd/, is used to change a cardinal number into an ordinal number. This is extremely similar to many languages on Earth, including English (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). Ordinal numbers are written with an underline as below:

 _
Name / /  :: 
Kryptonese / d /  :: 
IPA [ -ɛd ]  :: 
Font  _

Examples

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