Language name and location: Abau, Papua New Guinea [Refer to Ethnologue]

言名称和分布地区阿鲍语, 巴布亚新几内亚桑道恩省锡皮克河及绿河地区


1. kamon *


2. kres *


3. kres kamon *


4. iha ihaaw or iha yorpow lopa

24.  hand hand=equal four fingers or ha

5. iha sirom

25.  hand one 

6. iha sirom pruw non   

26.  hand one navel

7. iha sirom mu nareysar non

27.  hand one breast two

8. iha sirom mu nareysar pruw non

28.  hand one breast two navel

9. iha sirom iha ihaaw or iha sirom iha y.

29.  hand one hand hand or hand one has

10. iha seys

30.  hands two

11. iha seys pruw non

40.  hands two breasts two

12. iha seys mu nareysar


13. iha seys mu nareysar pruw non


14. iha s. mu nareysar pruw nehe namon


15. iha seys sune sirom  


16. iha seys sune sirom mu pruw non


17. iha seys sune sirom mu nareysar 


18. iha s. s. sirom mu nareysar pruw non


19. i. s. s. s. m. nareysar pruw nene namon


20. iha seys sune seys

2000. hands two foot two


Linguist providing data and dateː Mr. Arjen Lock, SIL International, Papua New Guinea. June 28, 2010. Reference: Glendon A. Lean: Counting Systems of Papua New Guinea, volume 13, West Sepik (Sadaun ) Province. Lae, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Papua New Guinea University of Technology. 1991.

供资料的语言 学家: Mr. Arjen Lock, 2010 年 6 月 28 日.


Other comments: Abau is spoken by approximately 7,500 speakers in Sepik and Green rivers, Green River district, Sandaun province, Papua New Guinea. Abau numerals 1, 2 and 3 depend on the object being counted. When tallying various objects the Abau people use an unusual system which is essential a digit tally one but which also uses the navel, breast, and the eye as tally points for

certain numbers. The first three words are in fact numerals which denote numerals only

and are not the names of the body parts. There are distinct words for 1 and 2, and 3 has the construction '2+ 1''. Tallying starts on the little finger of the left hand and proceeds in order to the index finger at a tally of 4; this is 'yorpow lopa', i.e, 'thumb not' or the fingers of the hand excluding the thumb. 5 is 'yorbou non', i.e, 'thumb with

or the finger of the hand including the thumb. The tally words for 6, 7, and 8 are:

6: 'iha sirom pruw non': 'hand one navel with', 7. 'iha sirom mu nareysar non': 'hand one breast two', 8. 'iha sirom mu nareysar pruw non': hand one breast two navel with'.

In tallying 9 and 10 the right hand is used rather than non-digit body parts: 9: 'iha sirom iha ihaaw': 'hand one hand finger only', i.e, one hand and the fingers of one hand excluding the thumb. 10. 'iha seys': 'hand(s) two'. The tally words for 11, 12, 13 and 14 are: 11. ' iha seys pruw non': 'hand(s) two navel with', 12. 'iha seys mu nareysar': 'hand(s) two breast two', 13. 'iha seys mu nareysar pruw non': 'hand(s) two breast two navel with', 14. 'iha seys mu nareysar pruw nehe namon': 'hand(s) two breast two navel', for 15, however, we have: 'iha seys sune sirom': 'hand(s) two foot one'. Tallying 20 following the pattern we usually have for a digit-tally system: 'iha seys sune seys': 'hand(s) two feet two'. In tallying 40 this pattern is continued: 'iha seys sune seys ur prein-so iha seys sune seys', i.e. 'hand(s) two feet two man, one's hand(s) two feet two' or hand two breast two. The system thus possesses a 20-cycle ( or 'man' cycle) which may be seen explicitly in the tally word for 100:  'ur iha sirom': 'man hand one' or 'man five' or hands two foot two.

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