Numerals in Baskeet

This post is another post in the series “Useful words and phrases in Baskeet”; see earlier posts on thanking and greeting here and here. Today I’d like to introduce the cardinal numerals of Baskeet to you.

Baskeet Numerals

Baskeet Numerals

The numbers from 1 to 10 are as follows:

1: pettan (HH) (or as modifier: petti (HH))
2: nam’i (LH)
3: haizzi (LH)
4: oiddi (LH)
5: isshin (LH)
6: lehi (LH)
7: tabza (LH)
8: lamahai ~ lamakai (LHH)
9: saakali ~ saakili (LLH)
10: tabb’a (HH)

The numbers between 10 and 19 consist of tabb’o ‘-teen’ (= the modifying form of tabb’a ’10’) and the numerals given above, e.g.

11: tabb’o (HH) pettan (HH)
12: tabb’o (HH) nam’i (LH)

19: tabb’o (HH) saakali (LLH) ~ tabb’o (HH) saakili (LLH)

The numeral ‘twenty’ cannot be derived from ‘two’:

20: lamtam (LH)

All other tens, however, consist of a unit numeral as multiplier and tabb’a ‘ten, -ty’, e.g.

30: haizzi (LH) tabb’a (HH)
40: oiddi (LH) tabb’a (HH)

90: saakali (LLH) tabb’a (HH) ~ saakili (LLH) tabb’a (HH)

The highest Baskeet numbers are:

100: ts’eeta (HL) or gabba (HL)*
1000: mukila (HLL) ~ mukula (HLL)

By experience, the higher numbers (i.e. numbers starting from 30) are generally expressed in Amharic, even by otherwise monolingual Baskeet speakers. For price negotiations at the market, it is thus sufficient to know the Baskeet numbers up to 20 and then to continue in Amharic.


Note on some orthographic conventions: ‘ = [Ɂ], z/zz = [z/dz], sh/ssh = [ʃ/ʃ:], b’/bb’ = [ɓ/ɓ:], all vowel-initial words start in fact with a glottal stop [Ɂ]. The tilde ~ introduces pronunciation variants.
* The first term is possibly of Gofa origin.
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2 Responses to Numerals in Baskeet

  1. Liz says:

    Reblogged this on languagesupportuk and commented:
    Numbers 1 to 10 in Baskeet

  2. Pingback: Names and Naming: Dookka and Doolla are not Baskeet “dialects” | Basket to Ethiopia

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