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Word: fraction (number-forming element)

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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.

9 thoughts on “fraction (number-forming element)

  1. Luciano Montanaro says:

    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.

    • De'vID says:

      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.

      • Luciano Montanaro says:

        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.

      • janSIy says:

        How is this any different than the ambiguity in English of “twenty three hundreths”?

  2. Andrew Miller says:

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

    • De'vID says:

      True. Having vatlhvI’ is already slightly confusing.

  3. Daniel Dadap says:

    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. Edward Bailey says:

    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?

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