Ways of counting in Micronesia
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonHistoria Mathematica. 2021, 56, 40-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hm.2021.04.002
In many languages in Micronesia, clever ways of extending their counting systems to numbers far beyond imagination were developed in precolonial times. Here, we provide an exhaustive overview of these systems, highlight their characteristics, and account for some of their most intriguing features. Based on a critical assessment of the available data and the in-depth analysis of both paradigmatic cases and peculiarities, we draw inferences about some more general patterns that suggest a rather long tradition of specific ways of counting both in Micronesia and the area beyond.