Numbers that Chumburung people count on

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Numbers are not very metaphorical according to Dobrovol’skij and Piirainen (2005). Nevertheless they can have both figurative and symbolic significance. Inspired by them, and remembering Comrie’s comment (2005) that linguists often do not record the full numerical system in a language, I investigate the Chumburung language of Ghana. The integers from one to ten are taken in order. two fits Lakoff’s more is better metaphor. three and four provide symbolism for the difference between male and female. There are two kinds of week in Chumburung, one with six and one with seven days, which govern some ritual activities. Numbers larger than ten are then studied, in particular because of a changing monetary system, to see whether any might be endangered.


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