Language and Number/Numerical Cognition
Readings: Gordon (2004), Casasanto (2005), Frank et al. (2008)
- How does the Pirahã counting system differ from English (is it accurate to call it a “counting system”? Do any of the Pirahã number words refer to exact quantities?
- Why did Gordon test the Piraha in multiple ways?
- Are nonhuman animals capable of estimating quantities?
- Does Gordon’s study unequivocally demonstrate an effect of language on numeric cognition?
- What does Casasanto mean by “crying Whorf”?
- What are the two major shortcomings with Gordon’s study of the Pirahã that Casasanto points out?
- Why does Casasanto suggest using a “control group” for the Pirahã? What are his and Gordon’s arguments for and against the use of a control group?
Frank et al (2008)
- What are the motivations for Frank et al.’s experiments?
- Do Frank et al. address Casasanto’s critique?
- Do Frank et al. find different results from Gordon? (hint: No, not really)