el foldybread (itsmagnetic) wrote in linguaphiles,
el foldybread

Numbers & Recursion

So, in an effort to use my 'dicking-around-on-the-internet' time more productively, I decided I'd read about various different linguistics topics with which I don't feel familiar enough.  After jumping from one article to another and so on I ended up at the article on Pirahã.  The following sentence caught my eye:
"...since numerals and counting are based on recursion in the language according to some researchers, then the absence of recursion in their language predicts a lack of counting."
I'd never encountered the idea that numerals/counting are based on recursion, and unfortunately that statement wasn't referenced in the article.  I can kind of understand why that might be, but am kind of shaky and would like to read some more on the topic.  Would anyone either be able to point me in the right direction or explain the idea a little more here?
Tags: numbers

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