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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

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Information about the Tuvaluan language

Numbers in Malayo-Polynesian languages

Numbers in other languages