One two many

This article may be of interest to you. Especially if you are a linguist.
Researchers discovered the Piraha tribe of Brazil, with a population of 200, have no [counting] words beyond one, two and many.

Posted by dustin on August 20, 2004 with category tags of

"The results of these studies show that the Piraha's impoverished counting system truly limits their ability to enumerate exact quantities when set sizes exceed two or three items,"

He's a friend of my boss', and we were actually just talking about this. She's getting a copy of his article, which is good because it's only available to paid subscribers of Science.

It's a chicken-and-egg argument, really. Do they not understand large numbers because they don't have words for them, or do they not have words for them because they don't understand large numbers. Personally, I prefer the latter argument...
   comment by Mariana (#35) on August 20, 2004

I count beers in the same way...

   comment by vinny9 (#33) on August 21, 2004


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