Numerals

Cardinals

The cardinals ‘2’ to ‘1,000’ consist of inherited material. ‘1’ to ‘4’ are inflected by genders and cases. eka- ‘one’ follows the nominal -a- inflection with some (historical and inner-Indic) pronominal forms, e.g., in the RV: m. sg. nom. ek-as, acc. °am, inst. °ena (of pron. origin :: Av. aeuua), gen. °asya, loc. °asmin (pronom.), pl. ‘some people’ nom. eke (pronom.), dat. ekebhyas; n. nom.-acc. ekam, pl. *eka in ekam-eka sata; f. sg. nom. eka, acc. °am, inst. °aya, gen.-abl. °asyas (pronom.). d(u)va- ‘2’ is inflected in the dual: m. nom. dva, dvau, acc. dva, inst. dvabhyam, gen.-loc. dvayos; n. dve; f. dve, dvabhyam. tray-ltri- ‘3’ is inflected in the pl.: m. nom. trayas, acc. trin, inst. tribhis, dat.-abl. °bhyas, gen. trayanam (YSp+; trinam RV 1*), loc. trisu; n. nom.-acc. tri(ni); f. ti-sra-lti-sr-: nom.-acc. tisras, inst. tisrbhis, dat.-abl. °bhyas, gen. tisrnam, loc. tisrsu; multiplicative adv. tris serves sometimes for the cardinal. catvar-lcatru- ‘4’: m. nom. catvaras, acc. caturas, inst. °bhis, gen. °nam; n. nom.-acc. catvari; f. nom. acc. catasras, inst. catasrbhis.

‘5’ to ‘7’, and ‘9’ to ‘19’ are adjectives without gender-difference; nom.-acc. has no ending: panca-, sas-, sapta-, nava-, dasa- (nom.-acc. dasa, inst. dasabhis, gen. dasanam, loc. dasasu RV). Both indeclinable and declinable uses occur in the RV, e.g., sapta rasmibhis ‘with seven sunrays’ beside saptabhih putrais ‘with seven sons’. ‘8’ has the dual form in nom.-acc.: astau or asta, inst. astabhis. ‘11’ to ‘19’ look like Bahuvrlhi (possessive) compounds, nom.-acc. ekadasa, nom.-acc. duvadasa, nom.-acc. caturdasa, nom.-acc. pancadasa in the RV.

‘20’ ... ‘50’ are feminine collective substantives: vimsati-, trimsati-, catvarimsat-, pancasat-; inflected in the sg., but also pl. acc. in tisrah pancasatas ‘150’. ‘60’ ... ‘90’ are f. collectives with -ft-: sasti- ‘60’, asiti- ‘80’ etc., sg. and pl.: gen. saptatinam, navatinam, acc. navatis. ‘100’ is n. collective sata-, inflected as a nominal -a- stem in sg., du., and pl.; an indeclinable use is known only in the instrumental case, five times in the RV, e.g., satam utibhis ‘with 100 helps’. ‘1,000’ is sahasra- n. collective nominal -a- stem; attested in the sg. and pl.; there is also an indeclinable use of sahasram, many times in the instrumental. The counted things are expressed in the gen. sg., gen. pl., or appositionally in the same case.

Numbers intermediate between 20 and 100 are, in principle, expressed by dvandva (copulative) compounds formed by prefixing the accented unit to the decade, e.g., in the RV trayas-trimsat- ‘33’, catustrimsat- ‘34’. For ‘36’, a complexive compound with -ais used: sattrimsa-. Other examples in the RV: ekam ca ... vimsatim ca, trih sapta-, and trisapta- ‘21’, tri-ekadasa- ‘33’, trih sastis ‘180’, saptatm ca sapta ca ‘77’, caturbhis ... navatm ca (inst.) ‘94’, navatir nava, nava ... navatim ‘99’, etc.

 
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