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Encyclopedia > Numerical prefix

A numerical prefix is a prefix that denotes a number, which is usually a multiplier for the thing being prefixed. Numerical prefixes are usually derived from the words for numbers in various languages, most commonly Greek and Latin, although this is not necessarily the case. In linguistics, a prefix is a type of affix that precedes the morphemes to which it can attach. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ...


Numerical prefixes occur in five contexts:

  • They occur in 19th, 20th and 21st century coinages, mainly the terms that are used in relation to or that are the names of technological innovations, such as hexadecimal and bicycle.
  • They occur in constructed words such as systematic names. Systematic names use numerical prefixes derived from Greek, with one principal exception, nona-.
  • They occur as prefixes to units of measure in the SI system. See SI prefixes.
  • They occur as prefixes to units of computer data. See binary prefixes.
  • They occur in words in the same languages as the original number word, and their respective derivatives. (Strictly speaking, some of the common citations of these occurrences are not in fact occurrences of the prefixes. For example: millennium is not formed from milli-, but is in fact derived from the same shared Latin root – mille.)

Because of the common inheritance of Greek and Latin roots across the Romance languages, the import of much of that derived vocabulary into non-Romance languages (such as into English via Norman French), and the borrowing of 19th and 20th century coinages into many languages, the same numerical prefixes occur in many languages. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... 20XX redirects here. ... There are millions of possible objects that can be described in science, too many to create common names for every one. ... Look up si, Si, SI in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An SI prefix (also known as a metric prefix) is a name or associated symbol that precedes a unit of measure (or its symbol) to form a decimal multiple or submultiple. ... In computing, binary prefixes are often used to quantify large numbers where powers of two are more useful than powers of ten. ... The Romance languages, also called Romanic languages, are a subfamily of the Italic languages, specifically the descendants of the Vulgar Latin dialects spoken by the common people evolving in different areas after the break-up of the Roman Empire. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. ... A loanword (or a borrowing) is a word taken in by one language from another. ...


Numerical prefixes are not restricted to denoting integers. Some of the SI prefixes denote negative powers of 10, i.e. division by a multiple of 10 rather than multiplication by it. Several common-use numerical prefixes denote vulgar fractions. In arithmetic, a vulgar fraction (or common fraction) consists of one integer divided by a non-zero integer. ...


Words comprising non-technical numerical prefixes are usually not hyphenated. This is not an absolute rule, however, and there are exceptions. (For example: quarter-deck occurs in addition to quarterdeck.) There are no exceptions for words comprising technical numerical prefixes, though. Systematic names and words comprising SI prefixes and binary prefixes are not hyphenated, by definition. There are millions of possible objects that can be described in science, too many to create common names for every one. ... An SI prefix (also known as a metric prefix) is a name or associated symbol that precedes a unit of measure (or its symbol) to form a decimal multiple or submultiple. ... // In computing, binary prefixes can be used to quantify large numbers where powers of two are more useful than powers of ten (such as computer memory sizes). ...


Nonetheless, for clarity, dictionaries list numerical prefixes in hyphenated form, to distinguish the prefixes from words with the same spellings (such as duo- and duo).


Several technical numerical prefixes are not derived from words for numbers. (mega- is not derived from a number word, for example.) Similarly, some are only derived from words for numbers inasmuch as they are word play. (peta- is word play on penta-, for example. See its etymology for details.) This article is about Word play. ...


The root language of a numerical prefix need not be related to the root language of the word that it prefixes. Some words comprising numerical prefixes are hybrid words. Etymologically, a hybrid word is a word that has one part derived from one language and another part derived from a different language. ...


In certain classes of systematic names, there are a few other exceptions to the rule of using Greek-derived numerical prefixes. The IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry, for example, uses the numerical prefixes derived from Greek, except for the prefix for 9 (as mentioned) and the prefixes from 1 to 4 (meth-, eth-, prop-, and but-), which are not derived from words for numbers. These prefixes were invented by the IUPAC, deriving them from the pre-existing names for several compounds that it was intended to preserve in the new system: methane (via methyl which is in turn from the Greek word for wine), ethane (from ethyl coined by Justus von Liebig in 1834), propane (from propionic which is in turn from pro- and the Greek for word for fat), and butane (from butyl which is in turn from butyric which is in turn from the Latin word for butter). The IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry is a systematic method of naming organic chemical compounds as recommended by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). ... Freiherr Justus von Liebig (May 12, 1803 in Darmstadt, Germany – April 18, 1873 in Munich, Germany) was a German chemist who made major contributions to agricultural and biological chemistry, and worked on the organization of organic chemistry. ...


Table of non-technical numeric prefixes

This also includes the technical numeric prefixes used for systematic names. For tables of other technical numeric prefixes, see SI prefixes and binary prefixes.
Number Derived from number words in[1] English[2]
Greek Latin Old English Sanskrit[3]
¼ quarter-
½ hemi- semi-/demi- half-
1 mono- uni- eka- one-
sesqui- one and a half-
2 di- duo-/bi- twi- dvi-
3 tri- tre-/ter- tri-
4 tetra-/tetr- quadri-/quadr- chatur-
5 penta-/pent- quinque-/quinqu- panch-
6 hexa-/hex- sexa-/sex-[4] shat-
7 hepta-/hept- septua- sapta-
8 octa-/octo-/oct-[5] ashta-
9 ennea- nona-/non- navam-
10 deka-/deca- deci- dasham-
11 hendeca- undec- ekadasham-
12 dodeca- duodec- dvadasham-
13 triskaideka- trayodasham-
14 chaturdasham-
15 pent(a)deca- panchadasham-
16 hexadeca-
20 icosa- vigen-
100 hecto-/hect- centi-
1000 chilia-/kilo- milli- sahastram-
10000 myria- dashsahastram-

There are millions of possible objects that can be described in science, too many to create common names for every one. ... An SI prefix (also known as a metric prefix) is a name or associated symbol that precedes a unit of measure (or its symbol) to form a decimal multiple or submultiple. ... // In computing, binary prefixes can be used to quantify large numbers where powers of two are more useful than powers of ten (such as computer memory sizes). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Old English (also called Anglo-Penis[1], Englisc by its speakers) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...

Notes

  • ^  Sometimes the prefixes are cited as though they were the original words themselves. The prefixes derived from Greek are not only in the wrong alphabet, but also differ from the actual corresponding Greek words. See the individual word etymologies for the actual number words.
  • ^  The prefixes in this column are also unbound morphemes.
  • ^  See Mendeleev's predicted elements for the most common use of these numerical prefixes.
  • ^  Greek hexa-/hex- is often used for words for 6 even when Latin sexa-/sex- would be more etymologically appropriate because of the similarity to English “sex”.
  • ^  The distinction between Latin and Greek is blurred in the case of 8. Unlike the other numbers, there was little divergence between Latin and Greek in the words for 8. Whilst octa- is primarily of Greek derivation, octo- and oct- can be considered to be derived from both Greek and Latin.

In morpheme-based morphology, a morpheme is the smallest lingual unit that carries a semantic interpretation. ... Professor Dimitri Mendeleev published the first Periodic Table of the Atomic Elements in 1869 based on properties which appeared with some regularity as he laid out the elements from lightest to heaviest. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Further reading

  • Stephen Chrisomalis. Numerical Adjectives, Greek and Latin Number Prefixes. The Phrontistery.

  Results from FactBites:
 
FR-2.1 (830 words)
A hydrocarbon parent component that consists of four or more ortho-fused benzene rings in a straight linear arrangement is named from the numerical prefix (ref 10) denoting the number of benzene rings followed by the ending '-acene' (derived from anthracene).
A hydrocarbon parent component that consists of a monocyclic hydrocarbon with an even number of carbon atoms and benzene rings ortho-fused to alternate sides is named from the numerical prefix (ref 10) denoting the number of benzene rings followed by the ending '-phenylene'.
A hydrocarbon parent component that consists of a monocyclic hydrocarbon with an even number of carbon atoms and with naphthalene ring systems 2,3-fused to alternate sides is named from the numerical prefix (ref 10) denoting the number of naphthalene units followed by the ending 'naphthylene'.
Numerical Terms (1010 words)
Numerical terms are used in chemical names for indicating a number of identical structural units in a compound.
The use of these numerical terms for expressing identical substituents to a parent structure, and their modifications for use with "complex" substituents, is described in Rule A-2.5.
However, the multiplying prefixes "bis-", "tris-", etc., are used instead of "di-", "tri-", etc., when the use of the latter would result in a potential ambiguity; for example, tris(decyl) is used to describe three decyl substituents because tridecyl is the name for a thirteen carbon acyclic substituent.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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