Article published in:Writing and the Mind
Edited by David R. Olson and Marcelo Dascal †
[Pragmatics & Cognition 21:3] 2013
► pp. 552–572
Constraint, cognition, and written numeration
The world’s diverse written numeral systems are affected by human cognition; in turn, written numeral systems affect mathematical cognition in social environments. The present study investigates the constraints on graphic numerical notation, treating it neither as a byproduct of lexical numeration, nor a mere adjunct to writing, but as a specific written modality with its own cognitive properties. Constraints do not refute the notion of infinite cultural variability; rather, they recognize the infinity of variability within defined limits, thus transcending the universalist/particularist dichotomy. In place of strictly innatist perspectives on mathematical cognition, a model is proposed that invokes domain-specific and notationally-specific constraints to explain patterns in numerical notations. The analysis of exceptions to cross-cultural generalizations makes the study of near-universals highly productive theoretically. The cross-cultural study of patterns in written numbers thus provides a rich complement to the cognitive analysis of writing systems.
Keywords: cognitive anthropology, numerals, constraints, writing, number systems
Published online: 24 July 2015
Brooks, D.R. and Wiley, E.O.
Brown, C.H. and Witkowski, S.R.
de Cruz, H., Neth, H., and Schlimm, D.
Evans, N. and Levinson, S.C.
Frank, M.C., Everett, D.L., Fedorenko, E., and Gibson, E.
Levinson, S.C. and Evans, N.
Mandler, G. and Shebo, B.J.
Miller, K.F. and Jianjun Zhu
Nevins, A., Pesetsky, D., and Rodrigues, C.
Nissen, H.J., Damerow, P., and Englund, R.K.
Prince, A. and Smolensky, P.
Schlimm, D. and Neth, H.
Walker, W. and Sarbaugh, J.
Wohlgemuth, J. and Cysouw, M.
Cited by 1 other publications
Beller, Sieghard, Andrea Bender, Stephen Chrisomalis, Fiona M. Jordan, Karenleigh A. Overmann, Geoffrey B. Saxe & Dirk Schlimm
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 18 april 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.