N2 04_Noun Numeral (definite)

The property Noun Numeral (definite) is “yes” if at least one numeral can follow the noun and the noun phrase is a definite noun phrase.

The following contexts test if a Noun Numeral noun phrase is definite:

1. Context: Aba sent us four packages last week (four packages is new information)

This can be continued with Noun Numeral referring to "the four packages":

............. arrived yesterday

If "Noun Numeral" in this context refers to the four packages Aba sent it is a definite noun phrase.

2. Context: Walking with a friend past a building with three murals (and two posters) on them (murals are wall paintings), you ask your friend about the three murals:

What do you think about …………………….. ?

"Noun Numeral" in this context refers to the three murals, and is a definite noun phrase
(Wang and McCready 2005)

3. Continuation of the discourse in 1 or 2 with Noun Numeral ("packages four", "murals three"), as a subject or object of a clause:
……………………………… are heavy
……………………………… go well together

My sister opened …………………………… immediately
My brother painted ……………………………… on the building

General Note on Word Order Properties:
A "yes" value for the property Noun Numeral (definite) does not exclude a "yes" value for the Numeral Noun (definite) order.

NA for this property means that the language has no Numerals or that Numerals can never be part of the Noun Phrase.


English is "no" for the property Noun Numeral (definite).

* (the) letters four finally arrived yesterday

Shupamem is "yes" for the property Noun Numeral (definite):

Mápón tɨɣə́tə́ kpà lɛ́rwà
wrote four letter.PL
'Mapon wrote four letters.'

lɛ́rwà pí kpà mɛ́ː nkùr
letters AGR four arrived yesterday
'The four letters arrived yesterday.'

b. #kpà lɛ́rwà mɛ́ː nkùr
four letters arrived yesterday
'Four letters arrived yesterday.'

Comment: The # sign is used to indicate that the Numeral Noun order is infelicitous in this context. This sentence is fine if does not refer to the same letters Mapon wrote
Vázquez-Rojas(2011), "Definite and indefinite numeral phrases in Shupamem", in Neil Myler and Jim Wood. NYUWP, Vol3, 3, 231-244. (ex20).
Also: Abdoulaye Nchare Laziz (this database)

Gungbe (Porto Novo) is “yes” for this property.

Wémà ɛ̀nɛ̀ lɛ́ ( lɔ́ ) kò wá
letter four PL (Det) already come
'The four letters already arrived.'
(example from Enoch Aboh)

Kilega is ‘yes’ for this property:

(Context: Abba sent four letters last week)

tú-t-o tu-kwé tú-nazi tw-ík-il-e wálúbí
13RED-13-D(em) 13-letter 13-four 13SM:A-arrive-PERF-FV one.day.period.from.the.present
‘Th(os)e four letters arrived yesterday.’
Comment: kakwé (pluriel tukwé) means coded message.

In a context where four letters and two chairs were sent, this can be continued with the following question:

émbe bi-kizí na bí-by-o bisúmbí bí-bílí ?
EVID 8-WH with 8Red-8-D(em) 8.chair 8-two
‘what about th(os)e two chairs?’

Comment: In these contexts the D/Demonstrative appears to be required.
(example from Kinyalolo Kasangati)
Contributed by: Hilda Koopman
Language Value Contributor Comments
+ =Hoan Yes Chris Collins
  Words: ma i ʘkoa ʘ’ú ʘkoa/qaẽ ha
  Gloss: 1SG PST kill duiker two/three this
  Translation: “I killed these two/three duikers” (Collins and Gruber: 150).
  Comment: The examples are from the grammar by Collins, Chris and Gruber, Jeff. 2012. A Grammar of ǂHȍã.
  Contributor: Hannah Kim
  Words: ’àm kı́- ǃkôa qaẽ
  Gloss: 1SG.GEN PL- house three
  Translation: “my three houses” (Collins and Gruber: 103).
  Comment: The examples are from the grammar by Collins, Chris and Gruber, Jeff. 2012. A Grammar of ǂHȍã.
  Contributor: Hannah Kim
   Acehnese No Julie Legate
   Afrikaans No Theresa Biberauer
+ Agni indénié Yes Amoikon Dyhié ASSANVO
  Words: àkɔ́ nzà̰ mɔ́
  Gloss: Poulet trois Défi+PL
  Translation: Les trois poulets.
  Comment: Le contexte de défini est marqué par la présence du spécificateur fonctionnel [nɛ̰̀] après le nom. Au pluriel, [nɛ̰̀] devient [mɔ́].
  Contributor: Amoikon Dyhié ASSANVO
+ Albanian No Dalina Kallulli
  Words: *Pakot tre arritën dje
  Gloss: parcels.the three arrived yesterday
  Translation:  The three parcels arrived yesterday
  Comment: This is fine with a comma intonation between pakot and tre
  Contributor: Dalina Kallulli
   Amharic No Girma Demeke
   Ancient Greek No Richard Faure
+ Arabic, Gulf Yes Dimitrios Ntelitheos
  Words: Ahmed qaraa al-keteb th-thalatha
  Gloss: Ahmed read.PST DET-book.PL DET-three
  Translation: Ahmed read the three books
  Contributor: Shaikha Saeed
   Armenian (Eastern) No Sona Haroutyunian
   Babanki Yes Pius Akumbu
   Bafut No Pius Tamanji
   Bambara Yes Hilda Koopman
   Bandial Yes Wolfgang Berndt
   Bardi Yes Claire Bowern
   Basaa No Paul Roger Bassong
   baule-kôdeh Yes Andréa ALLA
   Beng Yes Denis Paperno
+ Bengali Yes Priyanka Biswas
  Words: chele chO-Ta
  Gloss: boy six-CLF
  Translation: the six boys
  Contributor: Priyanka Biswas
   Bole Yes Alhaji Gimba
   Brazilian Portuguese No Bruna Moreira
   Burmese Yes Timothy Ho
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
+ Cantonese (Guangzhou) No Zixian Qiu
  Words: *go seon sei fung camyat dou-zo
  Gloss: the letter four CLF yesterday arrive-PFV
  Translation: lit. The four letters arrived yesterday.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Catalan No Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw Yes Pam Munro
+ Cypriot Greek No Marios Andreou
  Words: *Ta grammata tessera irtasin extes.
  Gloss: the letters four arrived yesterday
  Translation: The four letters arrived yesterday.
  Contributor: Marios Andreou
+ Dagaare Yes Adams Bodomo
  Words: a bibiiri bata na la ka n bUOrO
  Gloss: def child.PL three DEM foc COMP 1SG want.IMP
  Translation: It is those three children that I am looking for.
  Contributor: Adams Bodomo
   Danish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Dholuo Yes Hilda Koopman
  Words: barupe angwen go nyo o.bir.o nyoro
  Gloss: letter.PL four those PAST(yesterday) arrived yesterday
  Translation: those four letters arrived yesterday
  Comment: In this context, the Dem (go) is required; the plural gi (plural) is not sufficient (see next example))
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
  Words: pichni adek gi ineno nade
  Gloss: pictures three PL.def 2S.see how
  Translation: what do you think about the three paintings
  Comment: In this context, the (definite) plural article is natural
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
+ Dida Lakota (diéko) Yes Gohon Fabienne Stéphanie Attéby
  Words: wɛ̰́nɛ̰́ sɔ́ ā
  Gloss: woman.PL two DEF
  Translation: the two women
  Comment: ALS4 workshop 2016
  Contributor: Gohon Fabienne Stéphanie Attéby
+ Digo Yes Steve Nicolle
  Words: atu osi a-iri
  Gloss: CL2.people CL2-all CL2-two
  Translation: all two people; both of the people
  Comment: Digo does not have a definite article.
  Contributor: Steve Nicolle
   Digor Ossetic No David Erschler
   Dutch No Hilda Koopman
   Eastern Armenian No Karine Megerdoomian
   English No Katie Redderson-Lear
   English (Singapore) No Adam Chong
   Ewe Yes Chris Collins
   Faroese No Hjalmar Páll Petersen menninir fimm komu í gjár men-five came yesterday (this is possible, but marked)
+ Fijian Yes Zhenyu Sun
  Words: na vale e tolu
  Gloss: DEF house 3S three
  Translation: ‘three houses’
  Contributor: Zhenyu Sun
   Finnish No Anders Holmberg
   French No Vincent Homer
   Frisian (West Frisian) No Jarich Hoekstra
   Ga Yes Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu
   galician No Naír García
   Garifuna No Pam Munro
   georgian No Lea Nash
   German No Viola Schmitt
   Ghɔmáĺá' Yes Francine Moguo
+ Greek No Arhonto Terzi
  Words: *Ta demata tria eftasan xtes
  Gloss: the parcels three arrived yesterday
  Translation: The three parcels arrived yesterday
  Contributor: Arhonto Terzi
   Greek (Calabria) No Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Petros Karatsareas
   Greek (Homer) Yes Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Medieval) No Io Manolessou
   Greek (Pontic) No Cristina Guardiano and Dimitris Michelioudakis
   Guébie Yes Hannah Sande
+ Gungbe (Porto-Novo) Yes Enoch Oladé Aboh
  Words: Wémà ɛ̀nɛ̀ lɛ́ ( lɔ́ ) kò wá
  Gloss: Letter four PL (Det) already come
  Translation:  'The four letters already arrived.'
  Contributor: Enoch Oladé Aboh
   Haitian No Michel DeGraff
   Hakka No Iris Wu
+ Hausa Yes Michael A. Estrada
  Words: huluna ukun
  Gloss: cap.PL three.Definite article
  Translation: the three caps
  Contributor: Michael A. Estrada
+ Hebrew No Ur Shlonsky
  Words: Context: Aba šalax la-nu xavila axat etmol.
  Gloss: Dad sent to-us package one yesterday
  Translation: 'Dad sent us one package yesterday.'
  Comment: (ambiguous can also men send us a package) See next example for continuation
  Contributor: Ur Shlonsky
  Words: Continuation : ha xavila higi'a be šalom.
  Gloss: the package arrived in peace
  Translation: 'the package arrived safely.'
  Comment: The (definite) contiunation cannot include the number one. This is why this property is set to no. We take the (N Num) in the context 'Dad sent us one package yesterday), to be a specific indefinite
  Contributor: Ur Shlonsky
+ Hebrew (Biblical) Yes Massimo Gargiulo
  Words: ue'achare hashebuim shishim ushenaim (Dan 9,26)
  Gloss: after the weeks.DEF sixty and two
  Translation: after sixtytwo weeks
  Comment: In 9,25 the weeks are mentioned. Numerals compounded of tens and units take the object numbered either after them in the singular , or before them in the plural, especially in the later Books (Gesenius)
  Contributor: Massimo Gargiulo
   Hindi No Gurprit Bains
   Hixkaryana No Laura Kalin
   Hungarian No Anna Szabolcsi
   Ibibio Yes Willie Willie
   Icelandic Yes Jim Wood
   Igbo Yes Mary Amaechi
   Iha Yes Mark Donohue
   imbabura quichua No UCLA Linguistics 210
   Indonesian Yes Mark Donohue
   Iron Ossetic No David Erschler
+ Italian No Cristina Guardiano
  Words: * i pacchi quattro sono arrivati ieri
  Gloss: the packages four are arrived yesterday
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) No Adam Ledgeway
   Italian (Reggiano) No Giovanni Roversi
   Japanese No Ken Hiraiwa
   K'iche' No Pam Munro
   Khasi No Gracious Temsen
   KiLega Yes Kasangati Kinyalolo
   Kinande Yes Patricia Schneider-Zioga and Philip Mutaka
+ Kiyaka Yes Lukowa Kidima
  Words: bifúndá byá bíyá bitúdídí
  Gloss: 8.package 8.A 8.four 8SA.tul.ili (=arrive.PERF)
  Translation: The four packages have arrived
  Comment: byá (agr.a) (a=associative marker) must be present in definite N Num (but is absent in Noun Numeral (Indef)). PERFECT is natural in this context, (I see: the four packages have arrived). This is suggestive of the use of perfect as evidential.
  Contributor: Lukowa Kidima
   Kom Yes Richard Kwamong
   Korean No Grace Lee
   Kuot No Eva Lindström
   Kurdish (Sorani) No Yadgar Karimi
   Kusaal Yes Hasiyatu Abubakari
   Kusunda No Mark Donohue
   Laal Yes Florian Lionnet
   Lango Yes Arwa Rangwala
   Lao Yes Alif Silpachai
   Latin Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Latin (Late) Yes Chiara Gianollo
   Lebanese Arabic Yes Lina Choueiri
   Lithuanian No Felix Thies
   Maasai (Kisongo) Yes Hilda Koopman
   Mada Yes Bebey Théodore
   Malagasy Yes Hilda Koopman
   Malayalam Yes Mythili Menon
+ Mandarin No Arthur Wang
  Words: *na xin si feng zuotian dao-le
  Gloss: the letter four yesterday arrive-PFV
  Translation: lit: The four letters arrived yesterday.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
+ Maori Yes Zhenyu Sun
  Words: te maaripi kotahi
  Gloss: the knife one
  Translation: ‘one knife’
  Contributor: Zhenyu Sun
+ Marshallese Yes Heather Willson Sturman
  Words: Kuuj ko ruo r-ar cross iaļ eo.
  Gloss: cat the.pl.nh two 3pl-pst cross path the.sg
  Translation: The two cats crossed the path.
  Contributor: Heather Willson Sturman
   Miya Yes Michael A. Estrada
+ Moroccan Arabic Yes Arwa Rangwala
  Words: ir.rijaal it.tlata
  Gloss: DEF.man.PL DEF.three
  Translation: the three men
  Contributor: Arwa Rangwala
+ Muyang Yes Bebey Théodore
  Words: Bezza kru ni tó bú a magma
  Gloss: Children ten DEF 3pl be at home
  Translation: The ten chidren are at home
  Contributor: Bebey Théodore
+ Nahuatl (Central Huasteca) No John Garcia
  Words: yalhwaya ahci-co ama-meh nahui *
  Gloss: yesterday arrived-DIR paper-PL four
  Translation: “the four paper arrived yesterday*”
  Comment: Context was "Maria sent us four papers." Language Consultant: Eduardo de la Cruz
  Contributor: John Garcia
   Nahuatl (Classical) No John Garcia
+ Nawdm Yes Hannah Kim
  Words: kɔ̀fín(e) ʔèré tèndɛ́ bòlːé ěː bɛ́ tàːmán.
  Gloss: village+cm(ga)-pl cm(ga)-pl+two+cm(ga)-pl we+n-rel+de-past burn-perf it(ga)-pl+spec be close
  Translation: The two villages we burned are close (39).
  Comment: All setting and examples come from the database from a two quarter fieldmethods class at UCLA in 1998. (Albro, 1998)
  Contributor: Hannah Kim
   nda'nda' Yes Christelle Niguieu Toukam
   Neapolitan No Giuseppe Samo
   Nepali No Mark Donohue
   Norwegian No Marit Julien
+ Nupe Yes Jason Kandybowicz
  Words: eci guwo nana-zi ya
  Gloss: yam ten DEM-PL fall
  Translation: 'These ten yams fell.'
  Contributor: Jason Kandybowicz
   Nweh Yes Hilda Koopman
   Okinawan No Ken Hiraiwa
   Old English No Willem Koopman instances in the prose are dubious
   Old French No Heather Burnett
+ Old Saxon Yes George Walkden
  Words: Than aftar theru menegi gengun Iohannes endi Petrus, thie gumon tuên
  Gloss: then after the.DAT crowd.DAT went John and Peter the men.NOM two.NOM
  Translation: Then John and Peter, the two men, went after the crowd
  Comment: (Heliand 4936–4937)
  Contributor: George Walkden
   Oluwanga Yes Dimitrios Ntelitheos
+ Oluwanga (Eji) Yes Ceciliane Odangah
  Words: Y –a -rera tsi-barua tsi-taru tsi-lya
  Gloss: 3sg-PST-bring Agree.-letter Agree.-three Agree-Dem
  Translation: 3sg-PST-bring 10-letter 10.-three 10-Dem
  Comment: tsilya’is a special kind of demonstrative that shows definiteness/familarity. It is different from the demonstrative pronoun ‘those’ used to point out things
  Contributor: Ceciliane Odangah
   One Yes Mark Donohue
   panjabi No Gurprit Bains
   Papuan Malay No Mark Donohue
   Pashto No David Pate
   Pima No Marcus Smith
   Polish Yes Barbara Tomaszewicz check?
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Q'anjob'al No Kathleen O'Flynn
   Romanian Yes Monica Alexandrina Irimia The order is only possible if a demonstrative is present: drumurile acestea trei - these three roads
   Russian No Denis Paperno
   San Dionisio Ocotepec Zapotec No George Aaron Broadwell
   Sandawe Yes Helen Eaton
   Sasak No Nur Ahmadi and Eli Asikin-Garmager
   Scottish Gaelic No David Adger
   Senaya No Laura McPherson
   Shupamem Yes Abdoulaye Laziz Nchare
+ Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
  Words: * mi ligghìi i/ssi lìbbra tri
  Gloss: to.me I.read the/those books three
  Translation: I read the/those three books
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
  Words: * i lìttri kwàttru arruvàrru ajèri
  Gloss: the letters four arrived yesterday
  Translation: the four letters arrived yesterday
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Skou Yes Mark Donohue
   Slovenian No Franc Marušič
   Spanish No Victoria Mateu
+ Swedish No fredrik heinat
  Words: *De kakorna två är i burken.
  Gloss: the cookies.DEF two are in jar.DEF
  Translation: The two cookies are in the jar.
  Comment: This order between noun and numeral isn't possible.
  Contributor: fredrik heinat
  Words: Festen varade i dagarna tre.
  Gloss: party.DEF lasted in days.DEF three
  Translation: The party lasted three days.
  Comment: The use of a numeral after a definite noun indicating time, has an archaic ring to it. The standard expression would involve an indefinite noun: i tre dagar 'for three days'
  Contributor: fredrik heinat
   Swiss German No Cecile Meier
   Tagalog No Edith Aldridge
   Taiwanese Southern Min No Arthur Wang
+ Teramano No Iara Mantenuto
  Words: *so maɲatə li pizzə tre
  Gloss: I.am eaten the pizzas three
  Translation: I ate three pizzas
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
  Words: *li pizzə tre arrivitə
  Gloss: the pizzas three arrived
  Translation: the three pizzas arrived
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
   Thai Yes Peter Jenks
   Tigre No Zhenyu Sun
+ Tommo-So Yes Laura McPherson
  Words: Jàndúlu tààndú(-go) bándáŋkálá=nɛ=kɔ́-ɛ̀n.
  Gloss: donkey 3(-ADV) courtyard=OBL=be.PROX-3PL
  Translation: ‘Three donkeys are in the courtyard’ (167: 257b).
  Comment: From A Grammar of Tommo So by Laura Mcpherson (2012).
  Contributor: Hannah Kim
   Triqui, Copala No George Aaron Broadwell
   Tukang Besi Yes Mark Donohue
+ Tuki (Tukombo) Yes Edmond Biloa
  Words: vadzu vaaba va-mu n(a) ondzoo
  Gloss: 2.children 2.two 2.be on road
  Translation: The two children are on the road
  Contributor: Edmond Biloa
   Tupi (Ancient) Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish No Murat Kural
   Tuvan No Mark Donohue
   Twi Yes Cansada Martin
   Ukrainian No Roksolana Mykhaylyk
   Vata Yes Hilda Koopman
   Vietnamese No Binh Ngo
   Vlaški-Žejanski-Istro-Romanian No Zvjezdana Vrzic
   Welsh No David Willis
   West Flemish No Liliane Haegeman
   Western Armenian No Hrayr Khanjian
   Wolof No Mariame Sy
   Wuhu Chinese No Zhuo Chen
   Xhosa Yes Xiujie Ma
   Yémba Yes Elsie Mawamba
+ Yoruba Yes Johnson Folorunso Ilori
  Words: Bàrúwá fún wa ní àpò méjìlá; àpò méjìlá náà kún dáadáa
  Gloss: Baruwa give 2pl-obj foc sack twelve; sack twelve def be-full well
  Translation: 'Baruwa gave us twelve sacks; the twelve sacks are very full.'
  Contributor: Johnson Folorunso Ilori
   Zamboageño Chabacano No Grace Gaspardo
   Zulu Yes Claire Halpert