August 25, 2004

Think of a number

Linguistic determinism is real? So suggests a newly published study which investigated a Brazilian tribe whose language does not define numbers above two. The tribe's language only has words for the numbers "one" and "two"; everything else is "many". When asked to tell the difference between a row of four objects and a row of five, they could not do so effectively.

Experts agree that the startling result provides the strongest support yet for the controversial hypothesis that the language available to humans defines our thoughts.
See the New Scientist article.

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