Anumeric People: How Would It Feels When a Language Has no Words For Numbers?

Sep 03, 2019 Kayode Oseh

Most of us cannot imagine a world without numbers. If there were no numbers, it going to be very difficult living our everyday lives.... why wouldn't it be difficult? when we cannot even know the exact quantity of things; We cannot even say how many kids we have, or tell the amount of time we've spent doing our daily activities, or even tell how many times we've eating. It very obvious that life is going to be difficult for us if there where no ways of quantifying things.

While it may look totally impossible for us to live our daily lives without any means of attributing numbers to things, the Munduruku people and the Piraha tribe of Amazonia in Brazil, are the only few people in the world that have no words for numbers. Just like how you can tell how many kids you have or how many times you have eating for the day, or how many babes or boyfriends you've made in the last two weeks, the Munduruku and the Piraha people can not just in any way say "how many" to things.


When researchers tested these anumeric tribes to know how they use numbers for things or how they calculate or quantify things, it turns out that these people don't even have any single words for numbers rather they just use the word few, many, small, and little, without using the numeric like 1,2,3,4.....and so on.

The situations of these people when it comes to the use of numbers, have actually opened the minds of many people in the world as to how numbers have really shaped our society and brought understanding towards a lot of things. All thanks to the Roman and Arabic numerals we all are familiar with today.



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