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Title: Number as a cognitive technology: Evidence from Pirahã language and cognition      
dateReleased:
04-23-2017
privacy:
information not available
aggregation:
instance of dataset
dateCreated:
07-17-2015
refinement:
curated
ID:
doi:10.17910/B7F59F
creators:
Frank, Michael C.
availability:
available
types:
other
description:
Does speaking a language without number words change the way speakers of that language perceive exact quantities? The Pirahã are an Amazonian tribe who have been previously studied for their limited numerical system [Gordon, P. (2004). Numerical cognition without words: Evidence from Amazonia. Science 306, 496–499]. We show that the Pirahã have no linguistic method whatsoever for expressing exact quantity, not even “one.” Despite this lack, when retested on the matching tasks used by Gordon, Pirahã speakers were able to perform exact matches with large numbers of objects perfectly but, as previously reported, they were inaccurate on matching tasks involving memory. These results suggest that language for exact number is a cultural invention rather than a linguistic universal, and that number words do not change our underlying representations of number but instead are a cognitive technology for keeping track of the cardinality of large sets across time, space, and changes in modality.
accessURL: https://doi.org/10.17910/B7F59F
storedIn:
Databrary
qualifier:
not compressed
format:
HTML
accessType:
landing page
authentication:
none
authorization:
none
abbreviation:
NYU
homePage: http://www.nyu.edu/
ID:
SCR:011458
name:
New York University
abbreviation:
Databrary
homePage: http://databrary.org/
ID:
SCR:010471
name:
Databrary

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