La Section de la langue Jèrriaise

Numbers and how they change

When actually counting out loud the numerals 1 to 10 are pronounced as follows:

ieune, deux, trais, quat', chîn, six, sé, hui, neu, dgix.

Some of the cardinal numbers make use of a special form when they precede a noun.


CHÎNQ becomes CHÎN before a noun beginning with a consonant, but with a longer vowel pronunciation, e.g.


chn masons five houses
chn louis five pounds (sterling)
chn nouvieaux pnns five new pence
chn minnutes five minutes
chn vaituthes five cars
chn milles five miles
chn pids five feet


But when preceding a vowel the form generally used is CHÎNQ, e.g.


chnq hommes five men
chnq armouaithes five cupboards
chnq onches five ounces
oulle a chnq ans she's five


However, before a front vowel (i.e. 'eu' especially) or 'i' followed by another vowel the form used is CHÎNTCH', e.g.


chntch'heuthes five o'clock, five hours
chntch'irs five eyes

It should also be noted that occasionally before a vowel the form used is CHN-S (with the 's' acting as liaison) e.g.


chn-s hommes five men
chn-s ouothelles five ears
chn-s ouasieaux five birds



The numeral six has the special form SIEX used before a noun (SIEX is pronounced - and may be spelled - long as SIÊX) e.g.


siex chent'nirs six centeniers
siex vaques six cows
siex vaituthes six cars
six heuthes six o'clock, six hours
il a vngt-six ans he's twenty six


Note that this form is also used in combined forms like vîngt-six/vîngt-siex....


The numeral NEUF has the form NEU before a consonant, and before a vowel is pronounced 'NEUV'. E.g.


neu soudards nine soldiers
neu pommirs nine apple-trees
neuf ans nine years
neuf heuthes nine o'clock, nine hours



Before a noun DGIX takes the special form DGIEX (which like siex is pronounced long). E.g.


dgiex mais ten months
dgiex hardelles ten girls
dgiex ds ten fingers
il a dgix ans he's ten
dgix-sept seventeen
dgix-huit eighteen
dgix-neuf nineteen
l'amour est pus fort qu dgix boeufs love is stronger than ten oxen


When counting, the feminine form of 'one' is used, i.e. IEUNE and in combined forms like vîngt'tch'ieune (21), trente tch'ieune (31) and so on.

When not followed by a noun, iun and ieune are used to mean one:


iun tchi 'tait l one who was there
iun iun one by one
j'en acatis iun I bought one
iun d'ches jours one of these days
ieune d'ses fil'yes one of her daughters
ieune des pus belles fil'yes one of the prettiest girls


But before masculine nouns, the masculine form un is used.


un j'va one horse
un ti one tool


And before feminine nouns, eune is used:

eune heuthe one o'clock, one hour
eune vaque one cow
eune tsse d'the one cup of tea


But combined forms follow the pattern vîngt'tch'iuns/vîngt'tch'ieunes (21), trente tch'iuns/trente tch'ieunes (31) and so on.


vngt'tch'iuns soudards twenty-one soldiers
septante tch'iuns louis seventy-one pounds
vngt'tch'ieunes boutelles twenty one bottles
chent iuns dalmtiens hundred and one dalmatians

The form HUIPTANTE is often now replaced by the form QUATRE-VÎNGTS.



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