Note: As noted on the index of this wikibook, you will need the D'ni font to view characters correctly.
The D'ni used a base-25 numeric system. This means that one symbol is used to represent each numeral from 0 through 24. In the same way that another digit is added to integers at each power of 10 in the base-10 (or decimal) system the modern world uses, so does a base-25 system add another of its numerals at each power of 25.
We can see similarities between the D'ni letter and number systems. Supposedly, letters were evolved from numbers as they grew more calligraphed.
Appearance of D'ni Numerals
The appearance of each numeral follows the logic of five: Every fifth number (i.e. 5, 10, 15, 20) is created by rotating the symbols representing 1 through 4 counterclockwise. This is done respectively; or as the table below shows, each pair of un-rotated and rotated numerals are in the same position on their separate axes, and meet each other directly across a grid, such that the symbol for 5 is a rotated 1, 10 is a rotated 2, etc...
Following this concept of a grid, the remaining numerals are created by combining the standard numerals where they meet on the grid.
- e.g. By combining the numeral for 5 ( 5 ) with the numeral 2 ( 2 ), you create the numeral for 7 ( 7 ).
Pronunciation of D'ni Numerals
In D'ni, like in most languages, there exists not only a symbol to represent its numerals, but also a spoken word for each numeral. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, and 20 each have their own word (see table). The names of the numerals that are created by combining those standard numerals follow the same logic of combination across the grid. The D'ni word for "and," ga, is inserted between the two standard numerals, always remembering to express the 5-numeral first, then the 1, 2, 3 or 4.
- e.g. 7 is called "vagabrí," which means 'five (vat) and (ga) two (brí)'.
It is also worth mentioning that the corresponding "five," i.e. 5, 10, 15, or 20, is abbreviated when compounded with 1, 2, 3, or 4 to form the numerals of its row.
- e.g. "Híbor" (15) is abbreviated to "hí" when combined with "brí" (2) to form "hígabrí" (17).
The key to understanding how to construct numbers greater than 24 in D'ni is remembering that the D'ni numeral system is very similar to the decimal system in its basest aspects. For instance, like our decimal system, the D'ni numeral system works on a basis of place value.
Place value refers to the location of a numeral relative to another in a number, and the inherent value of the power associated with that location by which the number is multiplied.
For example, in the decimal number 4,321, (from right to left) the 1 takes the "ones" place, the 3 takes the "tens" place, the 2 takes the "hundreds" place, and the 4 takes the "thousands" place. Mathematically, these places are expressed in powers. The "ones" place is represented by 100. (Here, it is important to remember the mathematical rule which states that anything to the 0-power equals one.) The "tens" place is represented by 101, the "hundreds" place by 102, the "thousands" place by 103, etc. Thus, the underlying mathematical principal behind our example, and all decimal system numbers is as follows: (1×100)+(2×101)+(3×102+(4×103)=4,321. Of course, since most of us grow up knowing this concept intrinsically, if not literally, we have no need of parsing it out in this way; however, it is important to understand these concepts when trying to understand a place value numeric system of a different base, such as that of D'ni.
With D'ni, it is the same basic concept, except that instead of using 10, we use 25, because it is a base-25 system. Past the first 25 numerals which represent the first place value, there are only 5 other known place values The place values, from right to left, are as follows:
- The first place value is represented mathematically by 250.
- The second place value is represented mathematically by 251.
- The third place value is represented mathematically by 252.
- The fourth place value is represented mathematically by 253.
- The fifth place value is represented mathematically by 254.
- The sixth place value is represented mathematically by 255.
In this way, we can translate the D'ni numbers into a decimal system numbers, which are typically easier for us to use:
- @73 and
- (3×250)+(7×251)+(12×252)=(3)+(175)+(7500)=7678 and
Pronunciation of Greater Number Place Values
Just like how in our decimal system, we speak our place values (e.g. "four thousand three hundred twenty one"), so did the D'ni speak their place values. Remember that past the 25 numerals, there are only 5 known spoken place values.
Also note that just like in English, in D'ni, a place value that has no value, i.e. a value of 0( : or rún), is not spoken.
- "sí" is the spoken form of the 251 place value. So...
- 25 (1x251): fasí ( 10 ) (There is a special character for 25 that can be used by itself, but it is rarely used: ; )
- 50 (2x251): brísí( 20 ),
- 75 (3x251): sensí ( 30 ), etc.
- "ra" is the spoken form of the 252 place value. So...
- 625 (1x252): fara ( 100 ),
- 1250 (2x252): bríra ( 200 ),
- 1875 (3x252): senra ( 300 ),
- "lan" is the spoken form of the 253 place value. So...
- 15,625 (1x253): falan ( 1000 ),
- 31,250 (2x253): brílan ( 2000 ),
- 46,875 (3x253): senlan ( 3000 ), etc.
- "mel" is the spoken form of the 254 place value. So...
- 390,625 (1x254): famel ( 10000 ),
- 781,250 (2x254) brímel ( 20000 ),
- 1,171,875 (3x254): senmel ( 30000 ), etc.
- "blo" is the spoken form of the 255 place value. So...
- 9,765,625 (1x255): fablo ( 100000 ),
- 19,531,250 (2x255): bríblo ( 200000 ),
- 29,296,875 (3x255): senblo ( 300000 ), etc.
The numbers from 0 to 25 are used for expressions like ‘little’, ‘very’, ‘much’ etc.… the larger the number, the greater the emphasis... e.g. tägan shem b’fasí ‘I love you to 25/absolutely’. To exaggerate, numbers greater than 25 are used, like 'I love you to 50!!!'
For expressions like '[number] of the...' English as well as most languages uses the genitive. This is not the case with D'ni which uses the preposition teh which has the usage of the Latin ablative.
An expression like 'one of the caves' would be 'one to the caves' (fah tregalpotí). Similarly fa terthtes is translated as 'One of a group'
Some special constructions exist (Kor’fa, Lísan, etc.) but ordinality is expressed by adding the '-ec' suffix to the cardinal number. Thus, ‘second rock’ is prad bríec, ‘third master’ is nava senec, etc.