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

言名称和分布地区米安明语, 巴布亚新几内亚西部省, 桑道恩省及南高地省


1. ele-yem (litː 'left thumb')

21. ban-milim ('forearm-other side')

2. asu (litː 'two')

22. gong-milim ('wrist-other side')

3. asu-matna (litː 'two-one more')

23. kweit-awol-milim (hand-thumb-other s.)

4. asu-ke asu ke ('two-and two-and')


5. asu-ke asu ke mak-e ('2, 2, other')


6. asu-ke asu ke asu-ke ('2, 2, 2')


7. ban-lim (litː 'forearm-on')


8. hetlefab (litː 'inner elbow')


9. tumin (litː 'shoulder joint')


10. nakal or kwing-lim ('shoulder-on')


11. tam-lim (litː 'side of face-on')


12. klon-lim (litː 'ear-on')


13. kin-lim (litː 'eye-on')


14. munung-lim (litː 'nose-on')


15. kin-milim (litː 'eye-other side')


16. klon-milim (litː 'ear-other side')


17. tam-milim ('side of face-other side')


18. nakal-milim 'shoulder-other side')


19. tume-milim ('shoulder-joint-other s.')


20. hetlefav-milin (inner elbow-other s.)



Linguist providing data and dateː Mr. Jean Smith, Wycliffe International, May 28, 2011.

提供资的语言: Mr. Jean Smith, 2011 年 5 月 28 日.


Other comments: Mianmin or Bimin is spoken by approximately 2,200 speakers in Western province, Sandaun province and Southern Highlands province, Papua New Guinea. Mianmin has a body-part tally system the first six numbers word belong to a 2-cycle numeral systems and do not denote the names of the body-parts. There are, nevertheless, tallied on the fingers belong with the thumb of the left hand and (presumably) proceeding along the index, middle, ring, and little fingers, 6 being tallied on the left wrist. Although Smith and Weston give no data beyond the tally word for 23, it seems likely that the original Mianmin systems possessed a 27-cycle and utilized 13 body-parts on the left-hand side of the body, the nose, which is the mid-point of the cycle (lying one the body's vertical axis of symmetry) and then a further 13 body-part one the right-hand side of the body, the symmetrical counterparts of the first 13.

   Smith and Weston ( 1974, p.50) note that: 'counting begins with the left thumb, followed by the fingers of the left hand; then up to the left-hand side of the body and down the right. In coming down the right side, people become vague in their counting,' and the word for 'many' homon' is used in the preference. In fact, homon is commonly used for anything over five.

   Jean Smith (2011) told me actually the only one that I can remember using the word for wrist as six was the pastor. The younger people just did not use the counting system at all and most of them did not know it. They compromised with the asuke asuke make system instead. However, I do doubt that the asuke asuke system had any place in the former counting system since it doesn't use the names of the fingers.

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