The Syntax of Po Tangle Numerals

Mary Chimaobi Amaechi 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1University of Ilorin, Nigeria
Corresponding Author : Mary Chimaobi Amaechi, Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, University of Ilorin P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria. Phone: +2348066392599; Email:

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jun 12, 2014; Revised: Jul 30, 2014; Accepted: Aug 28, 2014

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


This paper examines the endangered numerals of Po Tangle [taŋglɛ], a minority language spoken in four local government areas in Gombe State, north eastern Nigeria. The emphasis is on the cardinal whole numbers. The study explores the structure of complex numerals which are derived from simple lexical ones using syntactic coordination and complementation. The study adopts the packing strategy framework of Hurford (1975, 1987, 2003, 2007). This framework adopted applies very widely to numeral systems that uses syntactic constructions to signal multiplication and addition. It is found out that there is no overt marker for multiplicative arithmetic operation but there are two distinct markers for additive arithmetic operation, salai and ka, while the former is used for lower complex numerals in the base of ten, the latter is found in higher complex numerals of bases hundred and thousand.

Keywords: Po Tangle; numeral; packing strategy; syntax; connectives; phrase structure rules



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