N2 01_Numeral Noun (indefinite)

The value of this property is “yes” if at least one numeral can precede the noun and the noun phrase is an indefinite noun phrase.

The following contexts test whether a noun phrase is indefinite:

1. It can occur in an existential context:

There are three chairs in the house.

In this context “three chairs” is an indefinite noun phrase.

2. If a language does not have a clearly marked existential construction, the following scenario can be used to elicit an indefinite noun phrase:

Context: You and your friend are driving on a road, and it is getting dark. All of a sudden your friend shouts:

Watch out! There are two children on the road!

In this context “two children” is an indefinite noun phrase.
(adapted from Violeta Vázquez-Rojas 2011)

General Note on Word Order Properties: A "yes" value for N2 01_Numeral Noun (indefinite) does not exclude a "yes" value for N2 02_Noun Numeral (indefinite).

The property is NA if the language has no Numerals or if Numerals can never be part of the Noun Phrase.

English is ‘yes’ for Numeral Noun (indefinite):

There are four lemon trees in the garden.

Shupamem (Grassfield Bantu) is “yes” for Numeral Noun (indefinite) (Vázquez-Rojas 2011, ex. 17 and this database)

‘Watch out! . . . ’
pɛ̀ʔ pón pâː mfɨ màːnʒé!
two child.PL be ADP road
"There are two children on the road!"

#pón pàː pâː mfɨ màːnʒé!
child.PL AGR two be ADP road
"There are two children on the road!"

Comment: The # sign indicates that noun numeral order is infelicitous in this context. This order is felicitous in contexts that call for definite noun phrases ("the two children are on the road")

Reference: Violeta Vázquez-Rojas (2011), Definite and indefinite numeral phrases in Shupamem , in Neil Myler and Jim Wood. NYUWP, Vol3, 3, 231-244.

French is ‘yes’ for Numeral Noun (indefinite):

Attention! ll y a deux enfants sur la route.
Careful! 3S LOC has.3S two children on the road
"There are two children on the road!"
Contributed by: Hilda Koopman
Language Value Contributor Comments
   =Hoan No Chris Collins
   Acehnese Yes Julie Legate
+ Afrikaans Yes Theresa Biberauer
  Words: tien volstruise
  Gloss: ten ostriches
  Translation: ten ostriches
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   Agni indénié No Amoikon Dyhié ASSANVO
+ Albanian Yes Dalina Kallulli
  Words: Në rrugë ka dy pemë.
  Gloss: in street has two trees
  Translation: There are two trees in the street
  Contributor: Dalina Kallulli
   American Sign Language Yes Natasha Abner
+ Amharic Yes Girma Demeke
  Words: hulät mäs'haf
  Gloss: two book
  Translation: 'two books'
  Contributor: Girma Demeke
+ Ancient Greek Yes Richard Faure
  Words: tría tálanta arguríou Euthúnō phuláttein édōken
  Gloss: 3 talent-ACC.PL money-GEN E-DAT keep-INF give-PST.3SG
  Translation: He gave in trust three talents of silver to Euthynus
  Comment: Isocrate 21.2
  Contributor: Richard Faure
+ Arabic, Gulf Yes Dimitrios Ntelitheos
  Words: Ahmed qaraa thalath keteb
  Gloss: Ahmed read.PST three book.PL
  Translation: Ahmed read three books
  Contributor: Shaikha Saeed
   Armenian (Eastern) Yes Sona Haroutyunian
   Babanki No Pius Akumbu
   Bafut No Pius Tamanji
   Bambara No Hilda Koopman
   Bandial No Wolfgang Berndt
   Bardi Yes Claire Bowern
   Basaa Yes Paul Roger Bassong for numbers >9.
   baule-kôdeh No Andréa ALLA
   Beng No Denis Paperno
   Bengali Yes Priyanka Biswas
   Bole No Alhaji Gimba
   Brazilian Portuguese Yes Bruna Moreira
   Burmese No Timothy Ho
+ Calabrian (Northern) Yes Giuseppina Silvestri
  Words: Hajə vistə tre kkanə
  Gloss: have.1sg seen three dogs
  Translation: I have seen three dogs
  Contributor: Giuseppina Silvestri
+ Cantonese (Guangzhou) Yes Zixian Qiu
  Words: fong leoibin jau saam zoeng dang
  Gloss: room inside have three CLF chair
  Translation: There are 3 chairs inside the room.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Catalan Yes Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw No Pam Munro
+ Cypriot Greek Yes Marios Andreou
  Words: En tria mora mes tin stratan.
  Gloss: are three children in the street
  Translation: There are three children in the street.
  Contributor: Marios Andreou
   Czech Yes Pavel Caha
   Dagaare No Adams Bodomo
   Danish Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Dholuo No Hilda Koopman
   Dida Lakota (diéko) No Gohon Fabienne Stéphanie Attéby
   Digo No Steve Nicolle
   Digor Ossetic Yes David Erschler
+ Dutch Yes Hilda Koopman
  Words: Pas op! Er lopen twee kinderen op de weg
  Gloss: lit.Fit up! There walk.pl two children on the road
  Translation: Watch out! There are two kids on the road
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
   Eastern Armenian Yes Karine Megerdoomian
   English Yes Katie Redderson-Lear
   English (Singapore) Yes Adam Chong
   Ewe No Chris Collins
   Faroese Yes Hjalmar Páll Petersen
+ Fijian Yes Zhenyu Sun
  Words: E dua na gone
  Gloss: a boy
  Translation: ‘a boy’
  Contributor: Zhenyu Sun
+ Finnish Yes Anders Holmberg
  Words: kolme taloa
  Gloss: three house-PART
  Translation: three houses
  Comment: From two up the head noun is partitive singular.
  Contributor: Anders Holmberg
+ French Yes Vincent Homer
  Words: Il y a deux lampes sur le bureau.
  Gloss: 3SG there have-PRS two lamp-PL LOC DEF-DET.M desk.
  Translation: There are two lamps on the desk.
  Contributor: Hannah Kim
   Frisian (West Frisian) Yes Jarich Hoekstra
   Ga No Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu
   galician Yes Naír García
   Garifuna Yes Pam Munro
   georgian Yes Lea Nash
   German Yes Viola Schmitt
   Ghɔmáĺá' No Francine Moguo
+ Gothic Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
  Words:  af þizaiei uswarp sibun unhulþons
  Gloss: from who.DAT.F.SG cast-out.3.SG.PRF seven devil.ACC.PL
  Translation: out of whom he had cast seven devils
  Comment: Mark 16:9
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Greek Yes Arhonto Terzi
  Words: Prosoxi! Ine dio skilia sto dromo!
  Gloss: attention. are two dogs in.the street
  Translation: Attention! There are two dogs in the street
  Contributor: Arhonto Terzi
   Greek (Calabria) Yes Cristina Guardiano
+ Greek (Cappadocian) Yes Petros Karatsareas
  Words: eci so spitʃ inde ðoðeka peðʝa (Dawkins 1916: 306)
  Gloss: DEM.DIST PREP.ART.DEF.N.SG.ACC house(N).SG.ACC COP.PRS.3PL twelve boy(N).PL.NOM
  Translation: in that house there are twelve boys
  Contributor: Petros Karatsareas
   Greek (Homer) Yes Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Medieval) Yes Io Manolessou
   Greek (Pontic) Yes Cristina Guardiano and Dimitris Michelioudakis
   Guébie No Hannah Sande
   Gungbe (Porto-Novo) No Enoch Oladé Aboh
+ Haitian Yes Michel DeGraff
  Words: Gen twa chèz nan kay la.
  Gloss: EXIST three chairs in house DET
  Translation: there are three chairs in the house
  Contributor: Michel DeGraff
  Words: Atansyon! Gen 2 timoun sou wout la.
  Gloss: Attention! There are two children on road Det
  Translation: Watch out! There are two kids on the road
  Contributor: Michel DeGraff
+ Hakka Yes Iris Wu
  Words: si kai ngin
  Gloss: four CLF person
  Translation: four people
  Contributor: Iris Wu
   Hausa No Michael A. Estrada
+ Hebrew Yes Ur Shlonsky
  Words: yeš šloš.im kisa'.ot b.a bayt
  Gloss: be thirty.pl chair-pl in.the house
  Translation: 'there are 30 chairs in the house
  Contributor: Ur Shlonsky
+ Hebrew (Biblical) Yes Massimo Gargiulo
  Words: yesh chamishim tzaddiqim betok ha'ir (Gen 18,24)
  Gloss: be fifty.PL righteous.PL within the city
  Translation: there are fifty righteous within the city
  Contributor: Massimo Gargiulo
   Hindi Yes Gurprit Bains
+ Hungarian Yes Anna Szabolcsi
  Words: hat asztal
  Gloss: six table
  Translation: `six tables'
  Comment: In the presence of a numeral the noun does not carry a plural marker: *hat asztal-ok.
  Contributor: Anna Szabolcsi
   Ibibio No Willie Willie
   Icelandic Yes Jim Wood
   Igbo Yes Gerald Nweya
   Iha No Mark Donohue
   imbabura quichua Yes UCLA Linguistics 210
   Indonesian Yes Mark Donohue
   Iron Ossetic Yes David Erschler
+ Italian Yes Cristina Guardiano
  Words: nella casa ci sono tre sedie
  Gloss: In the house there are three chairs
  Translation: there are three chairs in the house
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) Yes Adam Ledgeway
   Italian (Reggiano) Yes Giovanni Roversi
   Japanese Yes Jun Yashima
   K'iche' Yes Pam Munro
   Kannada (Bengaluru-Mysore) Yes Amrit Amritavalli
   Khasi Yes Gracious Temsen
   KiLega No Kasangati Kinyalolo
   Kinande No Patricia Schneider-Zioga and Philip Mutaka
   Kiyaka No Lukowa Kidima
   Kom No Richard Kwamong
+ Korean Yes Grace Lee
  Words: twusalam wass.e.yo
  Gloss: two person came. e. formal
  Translation: Two people came
  Comment: 두사람 왔어요
  Contributor: Grace Lee
   Kuot Yes Eva Lindström
   Kurdish (Sorani) Yes Yadgar Karimi
+ Kusaal No Hasiyatu Abubakari
  Words: *ata yiya
  Gloss: three house.NC(PL)
  Translation: 'three houses'
  Contributor: Hasiyatu Abubakari
   Kusunda Yes Mark Donohue
   Laal No Florian Lionnet
   Lango No Arwa Rangwala
+ Lao Yes Alif Silpachai
  Words: naj heuan nii mii juu sip haung
  Gloss: in house TOP have DUR ten room
  Translation: In the house, there are ten rooms
  Contributor: Alif Silpachai
+ Latin Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
  Words: unus homo
  Gloss: one.NOM.M man.NOM.SG
  Translation: one man
  Comment: Serv.A.9.780.1
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Latin (Late) Yes Chiara Gianollo
+ Lebanese Arabic Yes Lina Choueiri
  Words: tlet wleed
  Gloss: three child.PL
  Translation: Three children
  Contributor: Lina Choueiri
   Lithuanian Yes Felix Thies
   Maasai (Kisongo) No Hilda Koopman
   Mada Yes Bebey Théodore
   Malagasy No Hilda Koopman
   Malayalam Yes Mythili Menon
+ Mandarin Yes Arthur Wang
  Words: fangjian li you san zhang yizi
  Gloss: room in have three CLF chair
  Translation: There are three chairs in the room.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
+ Maori Yes Zhenyu Sun
  Words: E rua haaroa
  Gloss: num 2 hour
  Translation: ‘2 hours’
  Contributor: Zhenyu Sun
+ Marshallese Yes Heather Willson Sturman
  Words: E-or ruo armej ilo mweo.
  Gloss: 3sg-exist two person in the.house
  Translation: There are two people in the house.
  Contributor: Heather Willson Sturman
   Miya No Michael A. Estrada
   Moroccan Arabic Yes Arwa Rangwala
   Muyang No Bebey Théodore
+ Nahuatl (Central Huasteca) Yes John Garcia
  Words: oncah eyi amochtli no-chan
  Gloss: EXISTENTIAL ‘be’ three books 1SG.P-house
  Translation: "there are three books at my house"
  Comment: Language Consultant: Eduardo de la Cruz
  Contributor: John Garcia
   Nahuatl (Classical) Yes John Garcia
   Navajo Yes Hilda Koopman
   Nawdm No Hannah Kim
   nda'nda' Yes Christelle Niguieu Toukam
   Neapolitan Yes Giuseppe Samo
   Nepali Yes Mark Donohue
   Norwegian Yes Marit Julien
   Nupe No Jason Kandybowicz
   Nweh No Hilda Koopman
   Okinawan Yes Ken Hiraiwa
+ Old English Yes Willem Koopman
  Comment: Examples with numerals are hard to find in existential contexts but it seems reasonable to set this to yes
  Contributor: Willem Koopman
   Old French Yes Heather Burnett
   Old Norse Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Old Saxon Yes George Walkden
  Words: Thar sâtun tuênie man bi uuege
  Gloss: there sat two.NOM men.NOM by way.DAT
  Translation: There two men sat by the road
  Comment: (Heliand 3548)
  Contributor: George Walkden
   Oluwanga No Dimitrios Ntelitheos
   Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
   One Yes Mark Donohue
+ panjabi Yes Gurprit Bains
  Words: dekh ke do kuRiyan ne
  Gloss: watch ptcp two girls are
  Translation:  Watch out, there are two girls.
  Comment: This is how it translates into English. But there is no expletive 'there' in Panjabi.
  Contributor: Gurprit Bains
   Papuan Malay Yes Mark Donohue
   Pashto Yes David Pate
   Pima Yes Marcus Smith
   Polish Yes Barbara Tomaszewicz
+ Portuguese Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
  Words: Há quatro pessoas no jardim
  Gloss: there is four persons in.the.M garden
  Translation: There are four persons in the garden
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Q'anjob'al Yes Kathleen O'Flynn
   Romanian Yes Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian Yes Denis Paperno
   Samoan Yes Hilda Koopman
   San Dionisio Ocotepec Zapotec Yes George Aaron Broadwell
   Sandawe No Helen Eaton
   Sasak Yes Nur Ahmadi and Eli Asikin-Garmager
   Scottish Gaelic Yes David Adger
   Senaya Yes Laura McPherson
   Shupamem Yes Abdoulaye Laziz Nchare
+ Sicilian Yes Cristina Guardiano
  Words: mi ligghìi tri llìbbra
  Gloss: to.me I.read three books
  Translation: I read three books
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Skou No Mark Donohue
   Slovenian Yes Franc Marušič
   Spanish Yes Victoria Mateu
+ Swedish Yes fredrik heinat
  Words: Det är två kakor i burken.
  Gloss: there are two cookies in jar.DEF
  Translation: There are two cookies in the jar.
  Contributor: fredrik heinat
   Swiss German Yes Cecile Meier
+ Tagalog Yes Edith Aldridge
  Words: Na-ka-kita=ako nang dalawa-ng bata.
  Gloss: PERF-INTR-see=1.S.ABS OBL two-LK child
  Translation: I saw two children.
  Contributor: Edith Aldridge
   Taiwanese Southern Min Yes Arthur Wang
+ Teramano Yes Iara Mantenuto
  Words: tʃi ʃta tri sidʒdʒə dentra la kasə
  Gloss: there are three chairs in the house
  Translation: there are three chairs in the house
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
   Thai No Peter Jenks
+ Tigre Yes Zhenyu Sun
  Words: 'ənās salas wal 'alaw 'əlu
  Gloss: man three son were to-him
  Translation: 'A man had three sons.'
  Contributor: Zhenyu Sun
   Tocharian A Yes Bernhard Koller
   Tocharian B Yes Bernhard Koller
   Tommo-So No Laura McPherson
   Triqui, Copala Yes George Aaron Broadwell
   Tukang Besi No Mark Donohue
   Tuki (Tukombo) No Edmond Biloa
   Tupi (Ancient) Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish Yes Murat Kural
   Tuvan Yes Mark Donohue
   Twi No Cansada Martin
   Ukrainian Yes Roksolana Mykhaylyk
   Vata No Hilda Koopman
+ Vietnamese Yes Binh Ngo
  Words: Hôm qua Lan mua hai cái bàn
  Gloss: Yesterday Lan buy two CL table
  Translation: "Lan bought two tables yesterday."
  Contributor: Binh Ngo
   Vlaški-Žejanski-Istro-Romanian Yes Zvjezdana Vrzic
   Welsh Yes David Willis
+ West Flemish Yes Liliane Haegeman
  Words: drie boeken
  Gloss: three book-pl
  Translation: three books
  Contributor: Liliane Haegeman
   Western Armenian Yes Hrayr Khanjian
+ Wolane Yes Hannah Kim
  Words: šɛšt sɛb-čɛ mɛt-u
  Gloss: three person-PL come:PV-3p
  Translation: 'three people came' (230).
  Comment: It should be noted that there is no special morphological marker of indefiniteness in Wolane. (228)
  Contributor: Hannah Kim
   Wolof Yes Mariame Sy
   Wuhu Chinese Yes Zhuo Chen
   Xhosa No Xiujie Ma
   Yémba No Elsie Mawamba
   Yoruba No Johnson Folorunso Ilori
+ Zamboageño Chabacano Yes Grace Gaspardo
  Words: Cuidao! Tiene dos bata na calle.
  Gloss: careful! have two child on street
  Translation: Watch out! There are two children on the road.
  Contributor: Grace Gaspardo
   Zulu No Claire Halpert