1. shoal22 Member

    uk english
    I'm trying to find the etymology of numbers from onze - quinze. The first half appears self evident but is the -ze representative of dix or something else?Logically it should be dix but why?
  2. valerie Senior Member

    France, French & Spanish
    to me -ze is not an implicit representation of ten. Nor is it totally evident to anybody that on- means un, dou- means deux, etc..

    I just want to say that this etymology is not known by everybody, it is not crystalclear to french speaking people, OK let's not generalize, to me
  3. shoal22 Member

    uk english
    Valerie, thanks for the reply although it doesn't get me any further. My assumption is that the words must bear some relation to the number e.g. Latin duodecim is two + ten and the French dix-sept etc is equally obvious.
  4. Focalist Senior Member

    European Union, English
    onze to seize are the descendants of the Latin numbers


    which, as you surmise, are compounds 1+10, 2+10 etc. (the -decim, as in decimal, standing for 10)

    The transition from, say, quindecim to quinze took place as follows (in approximate order of evolution):

    1. the -m was lost in Vulgar Latin -- quindeci
    2. the -c- shifted from a "k" to an "s" sound
    3. the -e- of the decim part was elided next -- quindci
    4. the final -i became -e
    5. by now you have a word that already sounds something like quindse
    6. and so on, through the various historical sound shifts that produced modern French, to "quinze"

    You could say that in all these words the "-ze" is the relic of the original "decim".

  5. shoal22 Member

    uk english
    F, thanks very much for that input

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