Topics in Cognitive Science 7 (4):552-569 (2015)

Authors
Dirk Schlimm
McGill University
Abstract
The domain of numbers provides a paradigmatic case for investigating interactions of culture, language, and cognition: Numerical competencies are considered a core domain of knowledge, and yet the development of specifically human abilities presupposes cultural and linguistic input by way of counting sequences. These sequences constitute systems with distinct structural properties, the cross-linguistic variability of which has implications for number representation and processing. Such representational effects are scrutinized for two types of verbal numeration systems—general and object-specific ones—that were in parallel use in several Oceanic languages. The analysis indicates that the object-specific systems outperform the general systems with respect to counting and mental arithmetic, largely due to their regular and more compact representation. What these findings reveal on cognitive diversity, how the conjectures involved speak to more general issues in cognitive science, and how the approach taken here might help to bridge the gap between anthropology and other cognitive sciences is discussed in the conclusion
Keywords Language  Culture  Numerical cognition  Anthropology  Distributed cognition  Representational effects  Oceanic languages
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DOI 10.1111/tops.12165
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References found in this work BETA

The Weirdest People in the World?Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):61-83.
Core Systems of Number.Stanislas Dehaene, Elizabeth Spelke & Lisa Feigenson - 2004 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (7):307-314.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Role of Culture and Evolution for Human Cognition.Andrea Bender - 2020 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (4):1403-1420.
Diversity as Asset.Andrea Bender, Sieghard Beller & Nancy J. Nersessian - 2015 - Topics in Cognitive Science 7 (4):677-688.

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