# Word: fraction (number-forming element)

Category:

##### Description/Reason:

marker for denominator in a fraction; generalization of {vatlhvI'} "percent" to numbers other than 100. Examples: "one third", "three quarters", "nine tenths", "1/81".

Merged from another suggestion by admin: Can this be used to express ratios as well?

Comment below with feedback and suggestions.

#### Responses

1. I started thinking that {vatlhvI'} could be generalized, but now I am not sure. Maybe as {SaDvI'}?
But in a conversation, a fraction or a ratio could be expressed as "one in ten", "two parts in five" or "two apples for each pear".
I don't suppose that {wa'maHDaq wa'} could be used, it is too literal. We also do not have a word for "part".
Well, there is {SubmaH} for fraction or ratio…
I don't think we can use something like {cha' SubmaH wa'} for "one part/fraction of two", as the noun-noun construct seems to imply a possessive "of", not a partitive one.

1. It might be possible to generalise vatlhvI' to the other powers-of-ten number-forming elements, but it can't generalise to completely arbitrary numbers because of ambiguity. For example, cha'maH wej vatlhwI' is 23% or 23/100. But if we allowed -vI' to be appended to any number, you could have wej vatlhvI' ("one 300th") and then cha'maH wej vatlhvI' might mean 20/300 instead of 23/100. So you can't have that.

1. Yes, that is why I developed some reservation as well.

Maybe there could be a counter suffix for "parts of" or viceversa "from a total of", if we want to keep the numerator/denominator reversal of the division.

Like

cha'<parts-of-suffix> wa'maH

or

wa'maH<partitioning-of-suffix> cha'

In this way, the suffix would disambiguate.

2. How is this any different than the ambiguity in English of "twenty three hundreths"?

2. I don't like vI' for this since it already means decimal point. A unique morpheme should express fractions.

1. True. Having vatlhvI' is already slightly confusing.

3. If this word makes its way to Maltz will it be clear that we're not necessarily asking for it to come in the form of a number-forming element? I'd personally be happy with any kind of construction that allows for expressing functions (for example a verb, or a verbless word formula with maybe one noun-noun for the nomination and another for the denominator, or whatever Maltz can end up remembering)

4. It is not necessary for the written form to be unambiguous. If I write "one hundred twenty-fifths," I could mean 100/25, 1/125, or n/125. If I were careless and left off the hyphen, it could also mean 120/5. In speech, we avoid ambiguity with stress and phrasing, and in writing, we resort to fraction notation.

I dislike the idea that -vI' cannot combine with numbers other than the element vatlh. Why should Klingons attach the particular importance to the number 100 that we do?