Language name and locationː Aari, Central Omo Zone, Ethiopia [Refer to Ethnologue]言名称和分布地区阿里语, 埃塞俄比亚高原南端中北部奥莫地区


1. wólːáq

21.  bondéke wólːaq/ʔéwólːáqbab ʔits wólːaq

2. qastːén

22.  bondéke qastːén

3. makːén

23.  bondéke makːén

4. ʔoydːí

24.  bondéke ʔoydːí

5. dónqː

25.  bondéke dónqː

6. láː

26.  bondéke láː

7. tabzá

27.  bondéke tabzá

8. qastːaː́ntámːers (lit: two less than ten )

28.  bondéke qastːaː́ntámːers

9. wolqáːntámːers (lit:one less than ten )

29.  bondéke wolqáːntámːers

10. támːá

30.  bondéke támːá/ʔéwólːáqbab ʔitske támːá

11. támːéke wólːáq

40.  ʔéqastːénbaːb ʔits ( 20 x 2 )

12. támːéke qastːén

50.  ʔéqastːénbaːb ʔitske

13. támːéke makːén

60.  ʔémakːénbaːb ʔits ( 20 x 3 )

14. támːéke ʔoydːí

70.  ʔémakːénbaːb ʔitske

15. támːéke dónqː

80.  ʔéʔoydːíbaːb ʔits ( 20 x 4 )

16. támːéke láː

90.  ʔéʔoydːíbaːb ʔitske

17. támːéke tabzá

100. ʔédónqːbaːb ʔits /máto <Amharic

18. támːéke qastːaː́ntámːers

200. ʔétámːábaːb ʔits /qastːén máto

19. támːéke wolqáːntámːers

1000. wólːáq ʃíí  <Amharic

20. bondá / ʔéwólːáqbab ʔits 

2000.qastːén ʃíí


Linguist providing data and dateː Ms. Carolyn Ford, SIM International, Ethiopia, November 25, 1995, May 25, 2007
供资料的语言学家: Ms. Carolyn Ford, 1995 年 11月 25 日, 2007 年 5 月 25 日.


Other comments: Aari is an Omotic language spoken by approximately 290,000 speakers in north central Omo zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region, south tip of Ethiopia plateau. Aari has a numeral system based on twenty. The first word for twenty means ' size' or ' stocky ',  the second word ' ʔéwólːáqbab ʔits ' means 'person-one to-eat  ' and forty can be expressed by '  ʔéqastːénbaːb ʔits ', which means 'person-two to-eat  ', but nowadays, they often use Amharic numerals for large numbers. Aari has two tonesː high tone = v́, low tone (unmarked).

The Aari numeral system is decimal and there are many complex numerals, which derived from more than base form. The following are basic numerals starting from number one to ten.

  1. wollaχ                            ‘one’

    qastən                            ‘two’

     makkən                          ‘three’

     ojidi                               ‘four’

     donq                              ‘five’

     laa                                  ‘six’

     təbza                              ‘seven’

     qastən  təmmərs             ‘eight’

     wolχan təmmərs             ‘nine’

     təmma                            ‘ten’

The numerals (qastən təmmərs) ‘eight’ and (wolχan təmmərs) ‘nine’ are both respectively formed from (qastən) ‘two’ and (təmmərs).Also, (wolχan) ‘one’ and (təmmərs). In each case, the second word is the same. Thus, (qastən təmmərs) can be interpreted as ‘two more to ten’ and (wolχan təmmərs) ‘one more to ten’

Numerals (11-19) can form with the combination of (təmma) ‘ten’ and lower numerals. Look the following numerals (11-19)

  1. təmma    wolaχ                                       ‘eleven’

     təmma    qastən                                     ‘twelve’

  təmma     makkən                                   ‘thirteen’

  təmma     ojidi                                         ‘fourteen’

  təmma     donq                                        ‘fifteen’

  təmma     laa                                           ‘sixteen’

  təmma     təbza                                       ‘seventeen’

  təmma   qastən     təmmərs                     ‘eighteen’

  təmma   wolχan  təmmərs                       ‘nineteen’

Numeral twenty (20) has a lexical form (boonda) ‘one full person’. The other decimal numbers from thirty to one hundred formed as follow:

  3.a.   boonda         - kə      təmmə - k                         ‘thirty’

   a full person – CONJ  ten – CONJ

   ‘one full person and ten’

b.   e – qastən- baβ         its                                    ‘forty’

  person – two-father  eat

  ‘eat two persons owner’

c.    e-  qastən- baβ        its – kə    təmmə -k          ‘fifty’

     Person - two -father eat–CONJ ten- CONJ

  ‘eat owner of two persons and ten’

d.   e – makkən- baβ        its                                  ‘sixty’

  person – three-father eat

 ‘eat owner of three persons ’

e.   e – makkən- baβ      its -  kə    təmmə -k          ‘seventy’

  person-three-father  eat–CONJ ten - CONJ

  ‘eat owner of three  persons and ten’

f.   e –  ojidi -  baβ       its                                      ‘eighty’

 person-four-fatherr  eat

 ‘eat owner of four persons’

g.   e  –  ojidi - baβ      its – kə     təmmə-k             ‘ninety’

  person-four-father  eat-CONJ  ten- CONJ

  ‘eat owner of four persons and ten’

h.   e – donq  -  baβ     its                                      ‘one hundred’

  person-five-father eat

  ‘eat owner of five persons ’

As you have seen the above examples numerals start from thirty and the above describing by changing the numbers, which come before person. For instance, one full person represents the numeral ‘twenty’. In Aari numbering system one full person related with the number of fingers, which one person has (both hand and leg fingers). Therefore, numerals starting from thirty and the above expressed by relating with the number of ‘full person eat’ and numerals begin (40) and above use (its) ‘eat’ as in (e-qastən-baβ its) ‘eat father of two persons’ represents numeral 40 (forty), (e-makkən-baβ its) ‘eat father of three persons’ represents numeral 60 (sixty). In all examples, ‘baβ’ stands for the meaning ‘father’. Again, odd numerals such as 30, 50, 70, 90 and the like take conjunction (-kə) which is suffixed on the word (its) ‘eat’ and then add the numeral (təmma) ‘ten’ with the conjunction (-k) but in case of 30 (thirty) we cannot get the word (its) consider the following examples.

4.  a.  boonda – kə           təmmə - k                                ‘thirty’

full person -CONJ   ten –CONJ

‘one full person and ten’

    b.   e – qastən -  baβ    its – kə       təmmə - k              ‘fifty’

  person-two-father eat – CONJ   ten - CONJ

 ‘eat owner of two persons and ten’

    c.   e – makkən- baβ     its – kə        təmmə -k             ‘seventy’

 person-three-father eat – CONJ   ten – CONJ

‘eat owner of three persons and ten’

    d.   e  –  ojidi - baβ       its – kə       təmmə - k             ‘ninety’

 person-four-father  eat - CONJ  ten - CONJ

‘eat owner of four persons and ten’

The above odd numerals take lower numerals next to numeral (təmma) ‘ten’ and conjunction (-kə). Look the following examples of numerals from 51-59 (fifty - one up to fifty – nine).

5. a.  e – qastən -  baβ    its – kə    təmmə - kə  wolaχ                ‘fifty one’

 person-two-father eat-CONJ ten - CONJ    one

 ‘eat two persons and ten plus one’

   b.   e – qastən - baβ      its – kə      təmmə - kə  qastən ‘fifty two’

 person-two-father  eat-CONJ   ten - CONJ       two

 ‘eat owner of  two persons and ten plus two’

    c.   e – qastən - baβ     its – kə      təmmə - kə  makkən         ‘fifty three’

  person-two-father  eat -CONJ  ten - CONJ   three

 ‘eat owner of  two persons and ten plus three’

    d.   e – qastən - baβ     its – kə  təmmə - kə   ojidi                 ‘fifty four’

     person-two-father  eat-CONJ  ten – CONJ  four

     ‘eat owner of  two persons and ten plus four’

e.   e – qastən -  baβ     its – kə    təmmə - kə  donq              ‘fifty five’

      person-two-father  eat-CONJ  ten – CONJ   five

     ‘eat owner of two persons and ten plus five’

f.   e  – qastən  - baβ     its  – kə    təmmə - kə  laa                ‘fifty six’

      person-two-father  eat-CONJ  ten - CONJ    six

     ‘eat owner of two persons and ten plus six’

g.   e  –  qastən -   baβ   its  – kə   təmmə - kə  təbza             ‘fifty seven’

      person- two-father eat-CONJ  ten -  CONJ  seven

      ‘eat owner of two persons and ten plus seven’

h.   e  –  qastən -  baβ  its – kə   təmmə-kə qastən təmmərs    ‘fifty eight’

  person-two-father  eat–CONJ ten – CONJ eight

  ‘eat owner of two persons and ten plus eight’

i.   e – qastən  -  baβ   its – kə   təmmə-kə  wolχan təmmərs    ‘fifty nine’

 person-two-father  eat-CONJ ten - CONJ  nine

 ‘eat owner of two persons and ten plus nine’


The following are some numerals above 100 (one hundred)

6.a.  e  –  donq  - baβ     its – kə    təmmə-k                      ‘one hundred ten’

        person-two-father  eat-CONJ  ten-CONJ

        ‘eat owner of  five persons and ten’

 b. e  –  donq-  baβ      its – kə     boondə - k                    ‘one hundred twenty’

     person-two-father  eat-CONJ  twenty-CONJ

     ‘eat owner of five persons and twenty’

 c. e  – donq - baβ its – kə    boondə - kə   təmmə-k    ‘one hundred thirty’

    person-two-father  eat-CONJ twenty-CONJ  ten-CONG

    ‘eat owner of five persons and twenty plus ten’

d. e  –  təbza   -   baβ     its                                          ‘one hundred forty’

    person-seven-father eat

    ‘eat owner of seven persons’

e. e  –  təbza  -   baβ     its – kə   təmmə -k                  ‘one hundred fifty’

    person-seven-father eat-CONJ ten-CONJ

    ‘eat owner of seven persons and ten’

f. e – qastən təmmərs- baβ   its                                   ‘one hundred sixty’

   person  -   eight – father  eat

   ‘eat owner of eight persons’

g. e – qastən təmmers-baβ  its – kə  təmm-ək            ‘one hundred seventy’

    person  -  eight  –  father eat-CONJ ten-CONJ

    ‘eat owner of eight persons and ten’

h. e – wolχan təmmərs - baβ  its                                ‘one hundred eighty’

    person   -   nine  - father    eat

    ‘eat owner of nine persons’

i. e - wolχan təmmərs - baβ  its – kə   təmmə -k          ‘one hundred ninety’

   person   -   nine  -  father   eat-CONJ ten-CONJ

   ‘eat owner nine persons and ten’

j. e – təmma- baβ    its                                               ‘two hundred’

   person-ten-father  eat

   ‘eat owner of ten prsons’

All numerals started from forty- (40) and the above have (e-) at their beginning position. In this context (e-) stands for ‘a person’ but it omits the consonant (-d) from the normal expression. Therefore, in a word level ‘ed’ represents the word ‘person’.