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  • Print publication year: 1975
  • Online publication date: January 2010

13 - Numerals

Summary

Notation

Numbers could be written in words, or in large or small Roman numerals, often inserted between stops:

·XXX. furent an conte Savari,

Et. xxxij. a Gaion le hardi. (= 31, 32) (Ay. 1517–18)

The two methods were frequently combined:

Mil CCIIIIxxet dis et ouit. (= 1298) (SB.75)

The following examples from Aymeri show some of the variations found in practice:

Roman numerals are often replaced by words in edited texts.

Cardinal numbers

1–10: un, dous or dens, trois, quatre, cine, sis, set, uit, nnef, diz. 11–20: onze, doze, treze, quatorze, qninze, seze, diz et set, diz et nit, diz et nnef, vint. 30–100: trente, qnarante, cinqnante, seissante, set ante, nit ante, nonante, cent. 1000: mil, milie, mile.

Treis is an early or dialectal form of trois.

Twenty or multiples of twenty can be used as a base, up to nineteen times twenty, e.g. vint et doze (32), dons vinz et diz (50); thus:

Dis et sept vinz litres. ℒ(17 × 20) = ℒ340. (SB.5oa)

Mill is more often used for the singular, especially in dates (see examples below), and milie or mile, usually uninflected, for plurals. There is no fixed rule, however, hence plus de vint mile (Ch.N.268), but plus de ·XX·. mill(Rol.258).

Multiples of ioo can also be used for numbers over iooo, e.g. seze cenz livres (SB.39).