The development of compound numerals in English Biblical translations

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The history of the English compound numerals from 21 to 99 remains vague. The three basic types in the order in which they appeared are: the Old English (OE) type such as <i>one and twenty</i>, the middle type such as <i>twenty and one</i> and the modern type such as <i>twenty-one</i>. An analysis of data collected from eight English Bibles, the Vulgate and the Hebrew Bible demonstrates that the changes were caused and accelerated by successive biblical translations and not just by the language history of the time. The middle type was introduced into biblical English from the Latin of the Vulgate, where it appeared through the faithful translation of the Hebrew middle type. The modern type in English Bibles originates in the Latin modern type in the Vulgate.


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