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No = zero ?

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  • Leonardo Castro
    While developing a new conlang, I came to the question of whether or not the words no and zero can be the same word (when zero is not refering to the
    Message 1 of 17 , May 17, 2013
      While developing a new conlang, I came to the question of whether or
      not the words "no" and "zero" can be the same word (when "zero" is not
      refering to the number per se) or if there are subtle logical
      distinctions between these concepts.

      Do you feel that the sentences in the following pairs have different senses ? :

      "No car was sold."
      "Zero car was sol."

      "Nothing happens." (~ "No thing happens.")
      "Zero thing happens."

      "No one knows that day and hour."
      "Zero one (person) knows that day and hour."

      ---

      If there's absolutely no difference, shouldn't "zero" be called "no"
      in some languages? And is there need to have both the adverb and the
      number?

      Naturally, zero is important in the positional notation of numbers,
      but maybe it only means "nothing in this position" so that it's again
      equivalent to "no".

      Até mais!

      Leonardo
    • David Peterson
      One of the words for no in ASL comes from zero. It s not used as a modifier like that, though (at least not to my knowledge). Evolutionarily speaking,
      Message 2 of 17 , May 17, 2013
        One of the words for "no" in ASL comes from zero. It's not used as a modifier like that, though (at least not to my knowledge). Evolutionarily speaking, though, it's zero that would come from "no", not the other way around.

        David Peterson
        LCS President
        president@...
        www.conlang.org

        On May 17, 2013, at 1:05 PM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

        > While developing a new conlang, I came to the question of whether or
        > not the words "no" and "zero" can be the same word (when "zero" is not
        > refering to the number per se) or if there are subtle logical
        > distinctions between these concepts.
        >
        > Do you feel that the sentences in the following pairs have different senses ? :
        >
        > "No car was sold."
        > "Zero car was sol."
        >
        > "Nothing happens." (~ "No thing happens.")
        > "Zero thing happens."
        >
        > "No one knows that day and hour."
        > "Zero one (person) knows that day and hour."
        >
        > ---
        >
        > If there's absolutely no difference, shouldn't "zero" be called "no"
        > in some languages? And is there need to have both the adverb and the
        > number?
        >
        > Naturally, zero is important in the positional notation of numbers,
        > but maybe it only means "nothing in this position" so that it's again
        > equivalent to "no".
        >
        > Até mais!
        >
        > Leonardo
      • Njenfalgar
        2013/5/17 Leonardo Castro ... I think that s just one more case of different languages carving up semantic space in different ways. In
        Message 3 of 17 , May 17, 2013
          2013/5/17 Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>

          > While developing a new conlang, I came to the question of whether or
          > not the words "no" and "zero" can be the same word (when "zero" is not
          > refering to the number per se) or if there are subtle logical
          > distinctions between these concepts.
          >
          > Do you feel that the sentences in the following pairs have different
          > senses ? :
          >
          > "No car was sold."
          > "Zero car was sol."
          >
          > "Nothing happens." (~ "No thing happens.")
          > "Zero thing happens."
          >
          > "No one knows that day and hour."
          > "Zero one (person) knows that day and hour."
          >
          > ---
          >
          > If there's absolutely no difference, shouldn't "zero" be called "no"
          > in some languages? And is there need to have both the adverb and the
          > number?
          >
          > Naturally, zero is important in the positional notation of numbers,
          > but maybe it only means "nothing in this position" so that it's again
          > equivalent to "no".
          >
          > Até mais!
          >
          > Leonardo
          >

          I think that's just one more case of different languages carving up
          semantic space in different ways.

          In Dutch, for example, there is no one word for "no". Instead there is
          "geen" (There are no cars. = Er zijn geen auto's.), "geen enkele" (No car
          was sold. = Geen enkele auto raakte verkocht.) and prefix "n-" (no-one =
          niemand). Zero is a separate word in Dutch (nul).

          Vietnamese does it differently, using simple negation with "không" or
          "chẳng" in the first expample (Đây không có xe ôtô. Chẳng có xe ôtô.),
          "không một ... nào" (not one ... any) in the second example (Không một xe
          nào đã được bán.) and a variety of strategies, including "không", in the
          third case (không ai, ai ... đâu, chẳng ... ai, etc.). Zero can be "không"
          as well, when used as a number on its own (usually as a compound "số
          không", lit. number zero). In numbers it will be "lẻ" or "linh" (101 = một
          trăm lẻ một).

          Greets,
          David

          --
          Yésináne gika asahukúka ha'u Kusikéla-Kísu yesahuwese witi nale lálu wíke
          uhu tu tinitíhi lise tesahuwese. Lise yésináne, lina, ikéwiyéwa etinizáwa
          búwubúwu niyi tutelíhi uhu yegeka.

          http://njenfalgar.conlang.org/
        • Mechthild Czapp
          I would like to give a few examples where 0 and no are distinct: The area code for Cologne is 0 2 2 1. *The area code for Cologne is no 2 2 1. Der Film endet
          Message 4 of 17 , May 17, 2013
            I would like to give a few examples where 0 and no are distinct:

            The area code for Cologne is 0 2 2 1.
            *The area code for Cologne is no 2 2 1.

            Der Film endet um 0 Uhr.
            The film ends at zero o'clock. (not really commonly said, in English, but in German, Null Uhr (literally: zero hour) does not sound as wonky).
            *The film ends at no o'clock.

            Does this make sense?

            Va'il veka.

            Am 17.05.2013 um 21:05 schrieb Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>:

            > While developing a new conlang, I came to the question of whether or
            > not the words "no" and "zero" can be the same word (when "zero" is not
            > refering to the number per se) or if there are subtle logical
            > distinctions between these concepts.
            >
            > Do you feel that the sentences in the following pairs have different senses ? :
            >
            > "No car was sold."
            > "Zero car was sol."
            >
            > "Nothing happens." (~ "No thing happens.")
            > "Zero thing happens."
            >
            > "No one knows that day and hour."
            > "Zero one (person) knows that day and hour."
            >
            > ---
            >
            > If there's absolutely no difference, shouldn't "zero" be called "no"
            > in some languages? And is there need to have both the adverb and the
            > number?
            >
            > Naturally, zero is important in the positional notation of numbers,
            > but maybe it only means "nothing in this position" so that it's again
            > equivalent to "no".
            >
            > Até mais!
            >
            > Leonardo
          • Padraic Brown
            ... English seems to like plurals here: No cars were sold. Zero cars were sold. Nothing happened. (Though to keep with the plurals: No events
            Message 5 of 17 , May 17, 2013
              --- On Fri, 5/17/13, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

              > While developing a new conlang, I
              > came to the question of whether or
              > not the words "no" and "zero" can be the same word (when
              > "zero" is not
              > refering to the number per se) or if there are subtle
              > logical
              > distinctions between these concepts.
              >
              > Do you feel that the sentences in the following pairs have
              > different senses ? :
              >
              > "No car was sold."
              > "Zero car was sol."
              >
              > "Nothing happens." (~ "No thing happens.")
              > "Zero thing happens."

              English seems to like plurals here:

              "No cars were sold."
              "Zero cars were sold."

              "Nothing happened." (Though to keep with the plurals: "No events
              happened.")
              "Zero events happened."

              I guess our nominative sifral is identical to the nominative plural: -s.

              For me, the distinction isn't one of amount, because the "amount" in
              question for both is "0"; but of our perspective on the situation. Both involve the number "0", but "no cars" means I'm looking at the matter in
              general, non-specific terms. Cars is a class, rather than a set of
              individuals; "zero cars" means I'm looking at a specific quantity,
              and the thing quantified happens to be cars. So, unspecified mass v.
              specific quantity.

              > "No one knows that day and hour."
              > "Zero one (person) knows that day and hour."

              Again, "No people know..." / "Zero people know..."

              > If there's absolutely no difference, shouldn't "zero" be called "no"
              > in some languages? And is there need to have both the adverb and the
              > number?

              There is indeed a subtle difference. This of course doesn't mean there
              can be no languages in which "zero" and "none" are the same word!

              > Naturally, zero is important in the positional notation of
              > numbers,
              > but maybe it only means "nothing in this position" so that
              > it's again equivalent to "no".

              Padraic

              > Leonardo

              Padraic
            • Leonardo Castro
              ... Yes, this is a case of what I referred to as referring to the number per se , that is, to the digit (maybe to the signifier instead of the signified ).
              Message 6 of 17 , May 17, 2013
                2013/5/17 Mechthild Czapp <rejistania@...>:
                > I would like to give a few examples where 0 and no are distinct:
                >
                > The area code for Cologne is 0 2 2 1.
                > *The area code for Cologne is no 2 2 1.

                Yes, this is a case of what I referred to as "referring to the number
                per se", that is, to the digit (maybe to the "signifier" instead of
                the "signified").

                >
                > Der Film endet um 0 Uhr.
                > The film ends at zero o'clock. (not really commonly said, in English, but in German, Null Uhr (literally: zero hour) does not sound as wonky).
                > *The film ends at no o'clock.

                Good point!

                Thinking of the Aztec ordinal zero ("zeroth") used to time counting, I
                think that "zero o'clock" could be interpret as "no hour passed since
                the start of the day".

                >
                > Does this make sense?
                >
                > Va'il veka.
                >
                > Am 17.05.2013 um 21:05 schrieb Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>:
                >
                >> While developing a new conlang, I came to the question of whether or
                >> not the words "no" and "zero" can be the same word (when "zero" is not
                >> refering to the number per se) or if there are subtle logical
                >> distinctions between these concepts.
                >>
                >> Do you feel that the sentences in the following pairs have different senses ? :
                >>
                >> "No car was sold."
                >> "Zero car was sol."
                >>
                >> "Nothing happens." (~ "No thing happens.")
                >> "Zero thing happens."
                >>
                >> "No one knows that day and hour."
                >> "Zero one (person) knows that day and hour."
                >>
                >> ---
                >>
                >> If there's absolutely no difference, shouldn't "zero" be called "no"
                >> in some languages? And is there need to have both the adverb and the
                >> number?
                >>
                >> Naturally, zero is important in the positional notation of numbers,
                >> but maybe it only means "nothing in this position" so that it's again
                >> equivalent to "no".
                >>
                >> Até mais!
                >>
                >> Leonardo
              • Elyse M Grasso
                ... Some (mostly historical?) dialects of English use nought (nothing) as equivalent to zero. The game Americans call tic-tac-toe is noughts and crosses in
                Message 7 of 17 , May 17, 2013
                  On 05/17/2013 02:26 PM, Padraic Brown wrote:
                  > --- On Fri, 5/17/13, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >> While developing a new conlang, I
                  >> came to the question of whether or
                  >> not the words "no" and "zero" can be the same word (when
                  >> "zero" is not
                  >> refering to the number per se) or if there are subtle
                  >> logical
                  >> distinctions between these concepts.
                  >>
                  >> Do you feel that the sentences in the following pairs have
                  >> different senses ? :
                  >>
                  >> "No car was sold."
                  >> "Zero car was sol."
                  >>
                  >> "Nothing happens." (~ "No thing happens.")
                  >> "Zero thing happens."
                  > English seems to like plurals here:
                  >
                  > "No cars were sold."
                  > "Zero cars were sold."
                  >
                  > "Nothing happened." (Though to keep with the plurals: "No events
                  > happened.")
                  > "Zero events happened."
                  >
                  > I guess our nominative sifral is identical to the nominative plural: -s.
                  >
                  > For me, the distinction isn't one of amount, because the "amount" in
                  > question for both is "0"; but of our perspective on the situation. Both involve the number "0", but "no cars" means I'm looking at the matter in
                  > general, non-specific terms. Cars is a class, rather than a set of
                  > individuals; "zero cars" means I'm looking at a specific quantity,
                  > and the thing quantified happens to be cars. So, unspecified mass v.
                  > specific quantity.
                  >
                  >> "No one knows that day and hour."
                  >> "Zero one (person) knows that day and hour."
                  > Again, "No people know..." / "Zero people know..."
                  >
                  >> If there's absolutely no difference, shouldn't "zero" be called "no"
                  >> in some languages? And is there need to have both the adverb and the
                  >> number?
                  > There is indeed a subtle difference. This of course doesn't mean there
                  > can be no languages in which "zero" and "none" are the same word!
                  >
                  >> Naturally, zero is important in the positional notation of
                  >> numbers,
                  >> but maybe it only means "nothing in this position" so that
                  >> it's again equivalent to "no".
                  > Padraic
                  >
                  >> Leonardo
                  > Padraic
                  >
                  Some (mostly historical?) dialects of English use nought (nothing) as
                  equivalent to zero. The game Americans call tic-tac-toe is noughts and
                  crosses in Britain.

                  Oddly, 'ought' which should be the opposite of 'nought', is (or was)
                  also used for zero. I have never heard it used for any function except
                  dates: "the year of ought six"

                  ==
                  Elyse Grasso
                • Zach Wellstood
                  For what it s worth, łaá siri has had this built into it for quite some time. It was something I knew I wanted to incorporate, but haven t focused on it as
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 17, 2013
                    For what it's worth, łaá siri has had this built into it for quite some
                    time. It was something I knew I wanted to incorporate, but haven't focused
                    on it as much as I ought to. But anyway...

                    There are a small group of verbs which I call "static descriptives"
                    because they deal mostly with being in a state of something ("to be tall,"
                    "to be fat," "to be numerous," etc.) These select few static descriptives
                    can be used as prefixes as well as verb roots -- when used as prefixes,
                    they indicate that the noun is in a state of the prefix.

                    An example which is unrelated to the zero/no thing is:
                    -raa'raa, "to be small"
                    raa'-łasa-layaa, "a small sun"

                    With this in mind, łaá siri operates on base-5, and the first five numerals
                    operate as [somewhat static-descriptive-like] verbs ("to form a quantity of
                    x").

                    The verb root for "zero" is <-tłaa>.
                    Since łaá siri has no explicit negative particles for verbal negation and
                    the like, this verb root is frequently compounded to mean "no(thing)":

                    tłaa-łasa-łá, "chicken / small fowl" (no-flight.creature-animate)
                    tłaay-aá, "nobody" (no.being-sentient)

                    To say "there are no cars," there are two conceivable ways.

                    'arlayaa laayu'aa'tłaa
                    animal.for.riding-inanimate proximity-detrans-visual-zero
                    "I see that the cars are zero." (roughly)

                    OR

                    laayu'aa'tłaa lasi 'arlayaa laa'aa'saá
                    proximity-detrans-vis-zero COMP animal.for.riding-inanimate
                    proximity-vis-true
                    "I see that there are cars that are zero." (roughly again)

                    I'm not sure if these examples are clear, but I would be happy to clarify.


                    Zach
                    http://lhaasiri.tumblr.com



                    On Fri, May 17, 2013 at 4:26 PM, Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...> wrote:

                    > --- On Fri, 5/17/13, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > While developing a new conlang, I
                    > > came to the question of whether or
                    > > not the words "no" and "zero" can be the same word (when
                    > > "zero" is not
                    > > refering to the number per se) or if there are subtle
                    > > logical
                    > > distinctions between these concepts.
                    > >
                    > > Do you feel that the sentences in the following pairs have
                    > > different senses ? :
                    > >
                    > > "No car was sold."
                    > > "Zero car was sol."
                    > >
                    > > "Nothing happens." (~ "No thing happens.")
                    > > "Zero thing happens."
                    >
                    > English seems to like plurals here:
                    >
                    > "No cars were sold."
                    > "Zero cars were sold."
                    >
                    > "Nothing happened." (Though to keep with the plurals: "No events
                    > happened.")
                    > "Zero events happened."
                    >
                    > I guess our nominative sifral is identical to the nominative plural: -s.
                    >
                    > For me, the distinction isn't one of amount, because the "amount" in
                    > question for both is "0"; but of our perspective on the situation. Both
                    > involve the number "0", but "no cars" means I'm looking at the matter in
                    > general, non-specific terms. Cars is a class, rather than a set of
                    > individuals; "zero cars" means I'm looking at a specific quantity,
                    > and the thing quantified happens to be cars. So, unspecified mass v.
                    > specific quantity.
                    >
                    > > "No one knows that day and hour."
                    > > "Zero one (person) knows that day and hour."
                    >
                    > Again, "No people know..." / "Zero people know..."
                    >
                    > > If there's absolutely no difference, shouldn't "zero" be called "no"
                    > > in some languages? And is there need to have both the adverb and the
                    > > number?
                    >
                    > There is indeed a subtle difference. This of course doesn't mean there
                    > can be no languages in which "zero" and "none" are the same word!
                    >
                    > > Naturally, zero is important in the positional notation of
                    > > numbers,
                    > > but maybe it only means "nothing in this position" so that
                    > > it's again equivalent to "no".
                    >
                    > Padraic
                    >
                    > > Leonardo
                    >
                    > Padraic
                    >
                    >


                    --
                    raa'lalí 'aa! - [sirisaá! <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conlang>]
                  • Harald S.
                    Hello everybody! :-) Delurking after about ten years of only reading the conlang list, I want to point out the interesting fact that in German (as has already
                    Message 9 of 17 , May 17, 2013
                      Hello everybody! :-)

                      Delurking after about ten years of only reading the conlang list, I want to point out the interesting fact that in German (as has already been mentioned in this thread) "Null" is the word for zero but actually comes from Latin where "nullus/nulla/nullum" means no one or nothing, respectively. The Catholic church liked to say about itself: Extra ecclesiam nulla salus - Outside of the church (there is) no salvation. But, having the german meaning of "zero" in mind, it could also be interpreted as: Outside of the church there are zero salvations.

                      So, I guess, if you search for a natlang precedent of merging "zero" and "no one/none", you may find it in Latin.

                      Cheers,
                      Harald
                    • Roger Mills
                      Well, in Kash not is _ta_ (tak before a vowel)  and zero happens to be derived: _tanda_
                      Message 10 of 17 , May 17, 2013
                        Well, in Kash "not" is _ta_ (tak before a vowel)  and "zero" happens to be derived: _tanda_ < ta+N+ta. This was deliberate on my part :-)  "No" (opposite of "yes") is also related, _tayi_

                        --- On Fri, 5/17/13, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...> wrote:

                        From: Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>
                        Subject: No = zero ?
                        To: CONLANG@...
                        Date: Friday, May 17, 2013, 4:05 PM

                        While developing a new conlang, I came to the question of whether or
                        not the words "no" and "zero" can be the same word (when "zero" is not
                        refering to the number per se) or if there are subtle logical
                        distinctions between these concepts.

                        Do you feel that the sentences in the following pairs have different senses ? :

                        "No car was sold."
                        "Zero car was sol."

                        "Nothing happens." (~ "No thing happens.")
                        "Zero thing happens."

                        "No one knows that day and hour."
                        "Zero one (person) knows that day and hour."

                        ---

                        If there's absolutely no difference, shouldn't "zero" be called "no"
                        in some languages? And is there need to have both the adverb and the
                        number?

                        Naturally, zero is important in the positional notation of numbers,
                        but maybe it only means "nothing in this position" so that it's again
                        equivalent to "no".

                        Até mais!

                        Leonardo
                      • Herman Miller
                        ... Tirelat uses the same word muh for zero and no when used with countable nouns. (Which makes me think that I must have had a different word in mind
                        Message 11 of 17 , May 17, 2013
                          On 5/17/2013 4:05 PM, Leonardo Castro wrote:
                          > While developing a new conlang, I came to the question of whether or
                          > not the words "no" and "zero" can be the same word (when "zero" is not
                          > refering to the number per se) or if there are subtle logical
                          > distinctions between these concepts.

                          Tirelat uses the same word "muh" for "zero" and "no" when used with
                          countable nouns. (Which makes me think that I must have had a different
                          word in mind for "no" with uncountable nouns, but I don't know what it
                          is. I'll have to make a new one.)
                        • Leonardo Castro
                          ... I suspected that and I have even considered the nul- stem for zero/negative (now I m tending towards hal ), but I know little Latin and didn t know the
                          Message 12 of 17 , May 17, 2013
                            2013/5/17 Harald S. <wortwerfer@...>:
                            > Hello everybody! :-)
                            >
                            > Delurking after about ten years of only reading the conlang list, I want to point out the interesting fact that in German (as has already been mentioned in this thread) "Null" is the word for zero but actually comes from Latin where "nullus/nulla/nullum" means no one or nothing, respectively. The Catholic church liked to say about itself: Extra ecclesiam nulla salus - Outside of the church (there is) no salvation. But, having the german meaning of "zero" in mind, it could also be interpreted as: Outside of the church there are zero salvations.
                            >
                            > So, I guess, if you search for a natlang precedent of merging "zero" and "no one/none", you may find it in Latin.

                            I suspected that and I have even considered the "nul-" stem for
                            zero/negative (now I'm tending towards "hal"), but I know little Latin
                            and didn't know the difference between "nullus", "nihil" and others.
                            Right now, I have googled for it: apparently, "nul-" is "no" and
                            "nihil" is "nothing".

                            BTW, I started thinking about it after I realized that I created a
                            system to distinguish between the numbers "digits" and the quantities
                            they represent by using specific suffixes. Then, I noted that I could
                            put numbers and numbers together in the same class:

                            halau / halai / halou: zero (=no), zeroth, 0
                            kunau / kunai / kunou : one, first, 1
                            titau / titiu / titou : two, second, 2
                            pekau / pekiu / pekou : few, one of the first ones, "digit few"
                            kopau / kopiu / kopou : all, last (=final), "digit all"

                            etc.

                            >
                            > Cheers,
                            > Harald
                          • C. Brickner
                            I don’t understand the rationale of using the contemporary meaning of a German word to translate a third-century Latin phrase. ‘Nullus’ is not
                            Message 13 of 17 , May 17, 2013
                              I don’t understand the rationale of using the contemporary meaning of a German word to translate a third-century Latin phrase. ‘Nullus’ is not translated as zero. Since the concept of zero was unknown to the Romans, that translation was not used by them. And, as far as I know, it is not used that way by the modern Catholic Church. At least, the word is not given that translation in the Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin.

                              One can’t merge ‘zero’ and ‘none’ in a Latin word when one of the concepts didn’t exist in Latin.

                              Charlie

                              ----- Original Message -----
                              Hello everybody! :-)

                              Delurking after about ten years of only reading the conlang list, I want to point out the interesting fact that in German (as has already been mentioned in this thread) "Null" is the word for zero but actually comes from Latin where "nullus/nulla/nullum" means no one or nothing, respectively. The Catholic church liked to say about itself: Extra ecclesiam nulla salus - Outside of the church (there is) no salvation. But, having the german meaning of "zero" in mind, it could also be interpreted as: Outside of the church there are zero salvations.

                              So, I guess, if you search for a natlang precedent of merging "zero" and "no one/none", you may find it in Latin.

                              Cheers,
                              Harald
                            • George Corley
                              ... But, does zero always have to mean the mathematical concept of zero. I would argue that zero used as a quantifier could very well have the same
                              Message 14 of 17 , May 17, 2013
                                On Fri, May 17, 2013 at 9:35 PM, C. Brickner <tepeyachill@...>wrote:

                                > I don’t understand the rationale of using the contemporary meaning of a
                                > German word to translate a third-century Latin phrase. ‘Nullus’ is not
                                > translated as zero. Since the concept of zero was unknown to the Romans,
                                > that translation was not used by them. And, as far as I know, it is not
                                > used that way by the modern Catholic Church. At least, the word is not
                                > given that translation in the Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin.
                                >
                                > One can’t merge ‘zero’ and ‘none’ in a Latin word when one of the concepts
                                > didn’t exist in Latin.
                                >

                                But, does "zero" always have to mean the mathematical concept of zero. I
                                would argue that "zero" used as a quantifier could very well have the same
                                meaning as quantifier "no". The Romans did not have the concept of zero as
                                it is used in place-value numeral systems, but I really don't think that
                                quantifier "zero" has that meaning tied up in it.
                              • Douglas Koller
                                ... To that end, Géarthnuns has the ordinal word vlézöfíb (I believe I ve mentioned this in list antiquity). It covers things that are perceived as
                                Message 15 of 17 , May 17, 2013
                                  > Date: Fri, 17 May 2013 17:29:53 -0300
                                  > From: leolucas1980@...
                                  > Subject: Re: No = zero ?
                                  > To: CONLANG@...

                                  > 2013/5/17 Mechthild Czapp rejistania@...:

                                  > > Der Film endet um 0 Uhr.
                                  > > The film ends at zero o'clock. (not really commonly said, in English, but in German, Null Uhr (literally: zero hour) does not sound as wonky).
                                  > > *The film ends at no o'clock.

                                  > Good point!

                                  > Thinking of the Aztec ordinal zero ("zeroth") used to time counting, I
                                  > think that "zero o'clock" could be interpreted as "no hour passed since
                                  > the start of the day".

                                  > > Does this make sense?

                                  To that end, Géarthnuns has the ordinal word "vlézöfíb" (I believe I've mentioned this in list antiquity). It covers things that are perceived as falling between zero and one on a mental number line. The "first century" is "kashadsömöths vlézöfíth", which means in Géarthnuns, *now* is the"twentieth century", lining up with it's being *20*13, and making Yours Truly a lot happier (who cares if no one else uses it? having the years of the "*eighteenth* century" all start with "17-" used to drive me utterly daft). So newborns are in their vlézöfíth year and midnight to one is the vlézöfín hour. Too, what Europeans would call the ground, rez-de-chaussée floor is the vlézöfík floor and anything before a written Chapter or Article One would be the vlézöfík chapter/article. Since it deals conceptually with a space *between* points on a line and not the points themselves, I've never thought of it in terms of "zero-eth", though I suppose it could be glossed that way (albeit "vlézö-" has no connection to "zero"). In the lexicon, it's glossed as "first", "preliminary", and "introductory". Ordinals and cardinals walk in apparent harmony in the Lao Kou universe and all is well with the world :)

                                  Kou
                                • BPJ
                                  ... In general I think nothing is more more often, and more sensibly, associated with zero than the mere negation is. Many European languages derive their
                                  Message 16 of 17 , May 18, 2013
                                    2013-05-17 22:36, Elyse M Grasso skrev:

                                    > Some (mostly historical?) dialects of English use nought (nothing)
                                    > as equivalent to zero. The game Americans call tic-tac-toe is
                                    > noughts and crosses in Britain.
                                    >
                                    > Oddly, 'ought' which should be the opposite of 'nought', is (or
                                    > was) also used for zero. I have never heard it used for any
                                    > function except dates: "the year of ought six"

                                    In general I think 'nothing' is more more often, and more
                                    sensibly, associated with 'zero' than the mere negation is. Many
                                    European languages derive their word for 'zero' from the Latin
                                    word for 'none'. Sanskrit uses _śūnyam_ 'empty, void' for 'zero'
                                    as a 'value', but the digit is _bindu_ 'dot', which is just what
                                    it looks like in the Indic scripts. So I'd advise you to use
                                    'none/nothing/void' for 'zero' if you don't want a dedicated word
                                    for it, if only to avoid strange ambiguities.

                                    /bpj
                                  • Anthony Miles
                                    In general I think nothing is more more often, and more sensibly, associated with zero than the mere negation is. Many European languages derive their word
                                    Message 17 of 17 , May 20, 2013
                                      In general I think 'nothing' is more more often, and more
                                      sensibly, associated with 'zero' than the mere negation is. Many
                                      European languages derive their word for 'zero' from the Latin
                                      word for 'none'. Sanskrit uses _śūnyam_ 'empty, void' for 'zero'
                                      as a 'value', but the digit is _bindu_ 'dot', which is just what
                                      it looks like in the Indic scripts. So I'd advise you to use
                                      'none/nothing/void' for 'zero' if you don't want a dedicated word
                                      for it, if only to avoid strange ambiguities.

                                      /bpj

                                      R: In Siye, the word for 'nothing' or 'zero' is 'uku'. This is homophonous with 'uku', 'fish'. Thus, 'zero' in Siye is not written as a circle, but looks like the Jesus fish on the bumper stickers of American cars.
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