I know of four types of numbers:

-cardinal (e.g. one, 5, ninteen)

-ordinal (e.g. 1st, second, 23rd)

-nominal (e.g. player 5, zip code: 87558)(i.e used define a term rather than give a relative position.)

-and a fourth that indicates how many times something has been done. (E.g. Once, twice)

Each of these types of numbers, other than the fourth category, can be written as neumerals or spelled out, but what is the name of the fourth category?

  • I don't think that it has a specific name, since there are only three words (once, twice, thrice) that fall under the category. Also note that all three come from the Anglo-Saxon genitive of the corresponding cardinals; i.e. once literally means of one (time). – Anonym Apr 16 '16 at 16:36
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    Cardinal, ordinal and nominal. mathsisfun.com/numbers/cardinal-ordinal-nominal.html – Lambie Apr 16 '16 at 16:40
  • @Lambie If nominal is a name I don't see how it fits. – Al Maki Apr 16 '16 at 16:49
  • "How many times it has been done" is still a cardinal. We don't really have a third system in English. Once, twice, maybe thrice, but then what? 27 times, the same construction as 27 apples. – GEdgar Apr 16 '16 at 16:53
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    @Lambie I think perhaps you should recheck your own reference. It states A Nominal Number is a number used only as a name, or to identify something (not as an actual value or position). Examples: the number on the back of a footballer ("8"); a postal code ("91210"), a model number ("380") Those do not correspond to OP's 3rd category (once, twice, ...) – TrevorD Apr 16 '16 at 17:05

From Wiktionary:

adverbial number ‎(plural adverbial numbers)

  1. (grammar) A word that expresses a countable number of times

"Twice" is an adverbial number, while "two" is a cardinal number.

Wikipedia has a discussion of adverbial number in, of all languages, Romanian.

  • And Icelandic has þrisvar for thrice. – tchrist Apr 16 '16 at 20:46

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