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6.2: §124. A Table of Greek and Latin Number Words

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  • §124. A Table of Greek and Latin Number Words

    1, 2, 3
    1st, 2nd, 3rd
    Other1 Cardinal Ordinal Other
    1/2 demi-2 semi- hemi-
    1 un(i)- prim- singul- hen- prot(o)- mon(o)-
    1-1/2 sesqui-
    2 duo secund- bi-, bin- dy- deuter(o)- di-
    3 tri- terti- ter-, tern- tri- trit(o)- tri-
    4 quadr(i)-
    quart- quarter(n)- tetr(a)-
    5 quinqu(e)- quint- quin- pent(a)-
    6 sex- sext- sen- hex(a)-
    7 septem- septim- septen- hept(a)-
    8 octo- octav- octon- oct(o)-,
    9 novem- non- noven- enne(a)-
    10 decem-
    decim- den- dec(a)-
    100 cent(i)- centesim- centen- hecaton: HECT(O)-3
    1000 mill(i)- millesim- millen- chili(o): KILO-3


    1 The “other” Latin numeral forms include adverbs (“twice,” ”thrice,” etc.) and distributives (“one each,” “two each,” etc.). Note these additional sequences:

    primarius, secundarius, tertiarius, quartilis, . . . decimalis
    singularis, binarius, ternarius, quaternarius, quinarius, . . . centenarius, millenarius
    simplex, duplex, triplex, quadruplex, quintuplex (“twofold,” “threefold,” etc., < plicare)

    The Latin word for “half” was dimidium, which became demi- through French. The regular combining prefix in Latin was semi- (not an independent word). In musical notation, a 64th note is a hemidemisemiquaver—the shorter the note, the longer the word.

    3 The forms DECI-, HECT(O)- and KILO- are metric prefixes, adopted from French. In the metric system (SI = Système International), units of measure are divided by Latin prefixes, and multiplied by Greek. See §128.

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