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Tuvaluan numbers

0 leai 30 tolu sefulu
1 tasi 11 sefulu tasi 40 fá sefulu
2 lua 12 sefulu lua 50 lima sefulu
3 tolu 13 sefulu tolu 60 ono sefulu
4 14 sefulu fá 70 fitu sefulu
5 lima 15 sefulu lima 80 valu sefulu
6 ono 16 sefulu ono 90 iva sefulu
7 fitu 17 sefulu fitu 100 selau
8 valu 18 sefulu valu 1,000 afe
9 iva 19 sefulu iva 10,000 sefulu afe
10 sefulu 20 lua sefulu 1 million miliona

The system is decimal and totally regular except that the Samoan words "ma le" are inserted in combinations like 101-109 (e.g. selau ma le tasi = 101, lua afe ma le iva = 2009). Sefulu is abbreviated to fulu in rapid speech by some speakers.

The ordinal numbers are formed with the definite article singular te before and the particle o after the number: te lima o fale = the fifth house (lit.: the [number] five of the houses). Sole exception: the first = te fale muamua, not *te tasi o fale!

There are special counting systems for persons, fish, coconuts and fathoms - all decimal, too - but they are gradually falling out of use.

Grammatically speaking, numbers are (stative) verbs in Tuvaluan and behave as such, i.e. they can be preceded by verbal particles: tálá e fá - (it is) four dollars.

Tuvaluan numbers and notes provided by Emanuel Fuchs

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact me.

Information about the Tuvaluan language

Numbers in Malayo-Polynesian languages
Cebuano, Cuyonon, Hawaiian, Ibaloi, Iloko, Javanese, Malagasy, Malay and Indonesian, Maranao, Masbateño, Minangkabau, Rapa Nui, Tagalog, Tausūg, Tetum, Tuvaluan, Yakan

Numbers in other languages

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