Year of publication
- 2003 (2) (remove)
- Are hedgehogs like pigs, or tortoises like toads? : language-specific effects of compound structure on conceptualisation (2003)
- How far can language-specific structures influence conceptualisation? After a period of time where the discussion of any ‘Whorfian’ effects tended to be considered of little scientific merit, the recent decade has seen a renewed interest in this question. In particular, studies have aimed to tease apart ‘thinking for speaking’ from general cognition (cf. Slobin 1996, Stutterheim & Nüse 2002) and have shown that language-specific differences can often be observed in verbalisation as well as in the preverbal preparation phase of speech production, rather than in non-linguistic tasks.
- Iconic and non-iconic stages in number development : the role of language (2003)
- Is language the key to number? This article argues that the human language faculty provides the cognitive equipment that enables humans to develop a systematic number concept. Crucially, this concept is based on non-iconic representations that involve relations between relations: relations between numbers are linked with relations between objects. In contrast to this, language-independent numerosity concepts provide only iconic representations. The pattern of forming relations between relations lies at the heart of our language faculty, suggesting that it is language that enables humans to make the step from these iconic representations, which we share with other species, to a generalised concept of number.