# What is the relationship between language culture and cognition

This conceptualization of the interface between language and cognition may furnish a perspective on the crossroads between language, culture, and cognition. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to . standing of the relationship among language, culture, and cognition. By recognizing that the study of language, culture, and cognition has been in order to advance our understanding of the relationship among language, culture, .

It is therefore assumed that participants have an introductory knowledge about the discipline. To ensure that we all start on the same wavelength, students for the masters class are advised to read one of the following books before hand: Duranti, Alesandro Linguistic anthropology.

Routledge Palmer, Gary Towards a theory of Cultural linguistics. Chicago University Press They should also read one of the following: Michael AgarHarper Collins Guy Deutscher, through the laguage glas, Heinemann, Students are expected to read the assigned literature which will be discussed in class followed by a foreshadowing of issues in the next set of readings to be discussed in class the following week for details, see overview.

Registration Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply. When registering, students that are registered for the specialisation that this course belongs to, or the Research Master, take priority.

The deadline for registration is August Then we would repeat this process for a set of size three.

**Week 2 Culture and Cognition**

We would then ask the participant to do the same thing as Mike: If a participant made an error e. Most participants understood right away, but a couple of participants made an error, and needed a second demonstration. Everyone understood after the second demonstration. We would then put sets of 2, 3, 4 objects out for matching, then some sets between 5 and 10 items 5, 7, 10 in one group; 6, 8, 9 in the other.

## Language, Culture and Cognition: Linguistics

Almost all participants got almost all trials correct. This is comparable to the number of errors that MIT undergrads made on similar tasks that we ran later Frank et al. His participants probably thought that they were doing an approximate matching task rather than an exact matching task. The task was to put the balloons in front of where the spools were.

This task is easy if one can count: Without being able to count, however, this is a complex visual memory task. This task is most easily solved by counting and then putting the same number. The task was to put the same number in a horizontal line in front of the participant, in the same orientation as in all other matching and counting tasks. Like Gordon, we found that Piraha participants performed these tasks as if doing approximate matching.

They were always correct on 2 and 3, mostly correct on 4, and made more errors as the numbers got larger, but they always put out the approximately right number. This result ends up being unsurprising now that we know that there are no count words in Piraha, so that the task must be solved approximately.

Video of a Piraha participant doing a counting task: However, there are some serious problems with this interpretation. First, there was no independent evidence that the participants run by Frank et al knew how to count. None of them knew any count words, and they all did the counting tasks using approximate number.

Not one of them could perform any of the counting tasks. Second, because they performed the matching tasks as approximate matching tasks, there is no way to know that they actually understood the intended instructions. It is only when they succeed on these kinds of tasks that we can interpret the other results.

When they fail this task, it is possible that they understood the task to be an approximate matching task.

See also Frank et al. This shows that the existence of an exact counting system does not replace the approximate matching system: In one of our first experiments there, we investigated how children learn number words.

### Language, Culture and Cognition: Linguistics, ~ e-Prospectus, Leiden University

Beyondthey use Spanish words. An interesting question is how these number words are learned. It has been shown that children in industrialized nations learn to count between 3 and 4 years old. A classic method of testing what number meanings kids know is the give-N task Wynn, In this task, a participant is given a set of identical objects: Then the participant is asked to give some number back.

A participant is said to be a 1-knower if they correctly return one object when asked for one, but consistently fail on higher numbers. A participant is said to be a 2-knower when they can do one and two, but not three or higher. Interestingly, it appears that children in industrialized nations go through a stage of being a 0-knower where they fail on all give-N numbersthen go through a stage of being a 1-knower, then a 2-knower, then a 3-knower, sometimes a 4-knower, and then know all the numbers up to ten and sometimes more, depending on how well they know the count list.

Most interestingly, there is never a 5-knower: This fascinating result has suggested to researchers that some inference takes place at this stage.

Piantadosi et al provide a model in which the learner is provided with knowledge of sets, and knowledge of the meanings 1, 2, and 3, and knowledge of the count list. This learner is then exposed to pairs of words for numbers and their cardinalities how many are in a setand it learns the count list in much the same way that children do: An open question for this research program had been whether it is the amount of data that solely determined the order of number learning, or whether the age of the child and hence their working memory ability might interact in some way.

## The relationship between culture and cognition / language

In particular, it was an open question whether children who were exposed to less counting data might go through different stages of number learning, perhaps missing the 3- or 4-knower stages, or even going through 5- or 6-knower stages. Children learn to count in the same stages, but learn their counting skills at an average age of 8 rather thanas in industrialized countries.

This result shows that it is the amount of data that is relevant to the learning task. The solid ranges show the mean ages plus and minus one standard deviation; the dotted lines show the minimum and maximum ages for each level.

Thanks to Meghan Goldman and Barbara Sarnecka for compiling and sharing the data from the industrialized populations. Mastery of the logic of natural numbers is not the result of mastery of counting: These two types of knowledge develop in childhood, but their connection is poorly understood. By taking advantage of this variation, we sought to better understand how counting and exact equality relate to each other, while controlling for age and education.

However, some children who have mastered counting lack an understanding of exact equality, and some children who have not mastered counting have achieved this understanding. These results suggest that understanding of counting and of natural number concepts are at least partially distinct achievements, and that both draw on inputs and resources whose distribution and availability differ across cultures.

Applications of learning to count: