What’s your favourite? Photo by Claudecf
This week’s New Scientist tipped me off that I’d missed an important press release. Prof. Dan Everett at the University of Manchester has press release that I missed. He has a paper out in the new edition of Current Anthropology that claims the Pirahã are a tribe that has no words for numbers or even a concept of counting. That seems to dovetail nicely with my own thoughts that mathematics is social as well as real. Nevertheless is it profoundly strange. The final sentence is also something I agree with on translation.
The relevant extract from the CA press release is below the fold. Prof. Everett has put a couple of brief items on the Pirahã, one in English and one in Italian, on the web and has also a short discussion on the LanguageLog.