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ERIC Number: EJ945120
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Numerosity and Number Signs in Deaf Nicaraguan Adults
Flaherty, Molly; Senghas, Ann
Cognition, v121 n3 p427-436 Dec 2011
What abilities are entailed in being numerate? Certainly, one is the ability to hold the exact quantity of a set in mind, even as it changes, and even after its members can no longer be perceived. Is counting language necessary to track and reproduce exact quantities? Previous work with speakers of languages that lack number words involved participants only from non-numerate cultures. Deaf Nicaraguan adults all live in a richly numerate culture, but vary in counting ability, allowing us to experimentally differentiate the contribution of these two factors. Thirty deaf and 10 hearing participants performed 11 one-to-one matching and counting tasks. Results suggest that immersion in a numerate culture is not enough to make one fully numerate. A memorized sequence of number symbols is required, though even an unconventional, iconic system is sufficient. Additionally, we find that within a numerate culture, the ability to track precise quantities can be acquired in adulthood. (Contains 3 tables and 8 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nicaragua