Number Mistakes', Language and Numeracy
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Dear fellow linguists,
we would be grateful for your help on two questions regarding
language and numeracy.
NAMES FOR 'NUMBER MISTAKES'
We are looking for names of mistakes regarding numbers, esp.
confusion of digits. Examples of such terms are German
''Zahlendreher'' and Spanish ''baile de números'', which (at least
prototypically) refer to mistakes such as (saying, writing) ''34'' instead
Do you know such a term in any languages? We would be interested in
the following aspects:
- (What is the term, and in which language/s is it used?)
- What do these terms prototypically or normatively refer to?
Is there an extension of the concept (such as 'general number
mistake'), at least in less formal registers?
- Is the term register-specific?
- In what order with respect to the ‘digits’ are names of numbers
expressed in the respective language/s (and, if the number
names are not based on the decimal system, what is the base)?
- (Hints to lexicon entries are also appreciated very much,
and even more so authentic examples or pointers to them.)
We would also welcome corresponding comments on ''Zahlendreher''
and ''baile de números''.
LITERATURE ON LANGUAGE AND NUMERACY
We would also appreciate pointers to research literature on the relation
between linguistic structure and number mistakes. We are aware of the
work by Nuerk and others (e.g. Zuber et al. 2009), but we have not
been able to find articles with a more linguistic focus, or comparing
Of course, we gladly provide more research context if you are
Grateful for any hints.
Benedikt Loewe, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Bernhard Fisseni, Universiteit van Amsterdam / Universitaet Duisburg-
Bernhard Schroeder, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen
J. Zuber, S. Pixner, K. Moeller, H.-C. Nuerk. 2009. On the language
specificity of basic number processing: Transcoding in a language with
inversion and its relation to working memory capacity. Journal of
Experimental Child Psychology 102 (2009), 60-77.
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