Numbers in Selaru

How to count in Selaru (tel Masylarkwe), a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in the Tanimbar Islands in southern Malaysia.

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Numeral Cardinal
1 sasam
2 enaru (ru)
3 enatelw (telw)
4 ena’at (‘at)
5 enasim (sim)
6 nem
7 itw
8 walw
9 siw
10 hean
11 hean a kresi sasam
12 hean a kresi enaru
13 hean a kresi enatelw
14 hean a kresi ena’at
15 hean a kresi enasim
16 hean a kresi nem
17 hean a kresi itw
18 hean a kresi walw
19 hean a kresi siw
20 hean ru
21 hean ru a kresi sasam
22 hean ru a kresi enaru
23 hean ru a kresi enatelw
24 hean ru a kresi ena’at
25 hean ru a kresi enasim
26 hean ru a kresi nem
27 hean ru a kresi itw
28 hean ru a kresi walw
29 hean ru a kresi siw
30 hean telw
40 hean ‘at
50 hean sim
60 hean nem
70 hean itw
80 hean walw
90 hean siw
100 atkwe sasam
200 atkwe enaru
211 atkwe enaru ksala hean a kresi sasam
300 atkwe enatelw
400 atkwe ena‘at
500 atkwe enasim
600 atkwe nem
700 atkwe itw
800 atkwe walw
900 atkwe siw
1,000 ribunke sasam


The versions of the numbers 2-5 in parentheses are the truncated or stem forms. This form is used in specified noun phrases and for modifying the value of another decimal (e.g. 20 = two 10's). The terms a kresi (used for numbers in the 10s) or ksala (used for numbers in the 100s) simply mean 'add'. This system can be used for almost all counting processes (though much of it is now being replaced by Indonesian). There are a few noun types which are counted with other types of systems. Ears of corn and coconuts are just a few examples of nouns which have their own counting system (for numbers one to ten).

Source: An Introduction To The Grammar Of Selaru by David Forrest Coward

Information compiled by Wolfgang Kuhl

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

Information about Selaru | Numbers | Tower of Babel

Numbers in Malayo-Polynesian languages

Alorese, Ambel, Araki, Bambam, Balinese, Banjarese, Batak (Toba), Batuley, Bengkulu, Biak, Bugis, Chamorro, Fordata, Iban, Indonesian, Javanese, Kei, Kembayan, Kerinci, Komering, Lamaholot, Lampung, Madurese, Malagasy, Malay, Minangkabau, Moma-Kulawi, Motu, Paku, Selaru, Sumbawa, Sundanese, Tado-Lindu, Tokodede, Ulumandaʼ, Urak Lawoi’, Wamesa, Wandamen, Yakan, Yamdena

Numbers in other languages

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