What's the interrogative for numerical order?

Textkit is a learning community- introduce yourself here. Use the Open Board to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other.
Post Reply
User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1338
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul
Contact:

What's the interrogative for numerical order?

Post by mingshey » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:23 am

How do you ask a question when you want to know the numerical order of something in a sequence or succession, in English, and in Greek?

In my native tongue we use the same ending for ordinal at the end of the word that corresponds to "how many". For example "How-many-th son are you?" or "How-many-th president is Lincoln?". But I have never heard of a general question word for asking such a thing in English, or in Greek.

"ποσό-τος(?) βασιλεῦς ?στιν ? Ἀγαμέμνων;"
"τέτα?τός ?στιν."

Twpsyn
Textkit Member
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:30 am
Location: Head: in the clouds

Post by Twpsyn » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:12 pm

In English you can say 'which in order', though that sounds stilted. 'Which' works too, I guess. There is no word that fills the gap precisely. I don't know about Greek.

annis
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 3399
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Contact:

Re: What's the interrogative for numerical order?

Post by annis » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:56 pm

mingshey wrote:How do you ask a question when you want to know the numerical order of something in a sequence or succession, in English, and in Greek?
Greek, of course, does have this. :) You almost got it: πόστος.

I'm disappointed in Smyth for this. He should say something about this word in his section on numerals, I'd think. I had to resort to Kühner.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1338
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul
Contact:

Post by mingshey » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:43 pm

Great thanks! I'm happy to learn that Greek has the word for it. :D

But it doesn't sem to be retained in Modern Greek. Or had some other word taken its place? Or it's almost out of use that the editors held it from the dictionary?

-----------

I understand that in English you don't ask much about order of something, or you must have invented -- or retained -- some simple word for it.

I first thought of "what -- by order", but "by order" meant a totally different thing. "-- by sequence" or "-- by succession" sounded something remote.

So,
"Which president in order is Lincoln?"
would be okay for that?

Bert
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1890
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 2:28 am
Location: Arthur Ontario Canada

Post by Bert » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:51 am

The how-many-eth president is Lincoln?

Everyone would understand it but I would not call it book English.

User avatar
mingshey
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1338
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:38 am
Location: Seoul
Contact:

Post by mingshey » Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:46 am

I see. Browsing my German dictionary I found that in German they say "wievielte" or "wievielste(expecting more than 20)", literally meaning "how-many-eth". I wonder if there wasn't an Anglo-Saxon equivalent?

ThomasGR
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:49 pm

Post by ThomasGR » Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:44 am

In modern Greek one has to be more descriptive when asking the numerical order. Like Ποιας διαδοχής είναι, ποιας κατάταξης.

ingrid70
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2002 6:29 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Post by ingrid70 » Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:14 am

In Dutch we can say 'hoeveelste' as in German. I've always considered it a lack in the language of the English, who have more different numbers than names as it comes to kings, that you can't easily say: Henry the so-many-eth (Henry de zoveelste) when you're not sure which of the eight it is.

Checking my English history ruler:
William I-IV
Henry I-VIII
Stephen (just one)
Richard I-III
John (also just one)
Edward I-VII
James I-II
Charles I-II
George I-VI

OK, I admit, 9 names, up to number 8...

Ingrid

Post Reply