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The Name of the Number

The Name of the Number by Michael A. B. Deakin; David Leigh-Lancaster
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The Name of the Number We’re used to the idea that ‘closely related’ languages have words that are similar to English. For example, the word for ‘three’ in Latin, French, Italian and German is ‘tres’, ‘trois’, ‘tre’ and ‘drei’. But did you know that the word for ‘three’ in Sanskrit is ‘trayah’? How can words from completely different languages and cultures be so similar? Why do unrelated languages like English, Japanese and Chinese all possess a ‘base ten’ counting system? Did you know that the Latin root of the word ‘calculate’ means ‘pebble’? The Name of the Number looks at the history and anthropology of the expression of numbers throughout the ages and across different cultures. It deals with the different ways that number representation has been structured, the history and prehistory of number concepts, and the evolution of numerical representation (in word and symbol). These themes are explored through the various expressions of number-concepts in different cultures in different places and times.
Australian Council for Educational Research; February 2007
126 pages; ISBN 9781429483148
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Title: The Name of the Number
Author: Michael A. B. Deakin; David Leigh-Lancaster