‘Anumeric’ people: What happens when a language has no words for numbers?


This is a really interesting article on large numbers of people in the world who are "anumeric." Their language and practices do not include words for numbers.

Here is an interesting quote:

So, how did we ever invent “unnatural” numbers in the first place?

The answer is, literally, at your fingertips. The bulk of the world’s languages use base-10, base-20 or base-5 number systems. That is, these smaller numbers are the basis of larger numbers. English is a base-10 or decimal language, as evidenced by words like 14 (“four” + “10”) and 31 (“three” x “10” + “one”).