Cognitive Science 40 (6):n/a-n/a (2016)

Mangarevan traditionally contained two numeration systems: a general one, which was highly regular, decimal, and extraordinarily extensive; and a specific one, which was restricted to specific objects, based on diverging counting units, and interspersed with binary steps. While most of these characteristics are shared by numeration systems in related languages in Oceania, the binary steps are unique. To account for these characteristics, this article draws on—and tries to integrate—insights from anthropology, archeology, linguistics, psychology, and cognitive science more generally. The analysis of mental arithmetic with these systems reveals that both types of systems entailed cognitive advantages and served important functions in the cultural context of their application. How these findings speak to more general questions revolving around the theoretical models and evolutionary trajectory of numerical cognition will be discussed in the.
Keywords Representational effects  Mental arithmetic  Numerical cognition  Culture  Distributed cognition  Anthropology  Verbal numeration systems  Cognitive evolution
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DOI 10.1111/cogs.12337
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