Pirahã - a language without numbers, colors, tenses?

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Senior Member
Spanish - Canary Islands
Por casualidad he encontrado un artículo sobre la lengua que habla la tribu de los pirahas, en el Amazonas. En esta lengua no existen los números ni los colores, ni tampoco tiempos verbales, y pese a los intentos por enseñarles los números, los hablantes de esta lengua no han sido capaces de aprender a contar hasta más de tres, ni a sumar. Incluso carecen de palabras que impliquen contar, como "todo" o "cada". Al parecer todo esto carece de sentido para ellos.

Dejo aquí el enlace de la noticia: http://www.proel.org/articulos/piraha.html

¿Podría tal vez considerarse que las primeras lenguas fueron algo similar?
  • Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    For those who'd like to read something similar in English, this link should be interesting.

    I'm impressed by this kind of language. What I find most astonishing is this from Wikipedia:

    They use only approximate measures, and in tests were unable to consistently distinguish between a group of four objects and a similarly-arranged group of five objects. When asked to duplicate groups of objects, they duplicate the number correctly on average, but almost never get the number exactly in a single trial.
    Being (correctly) concerned that, because of this cultural gap, they were being cheated in trade, the Pirahã people asked Daniel Everett, a linguist that was working with them, to teach them basic numeracy skills. After eight months of enthusiastic but fruitless daily study, the Pirahã concluded that they were incapable of learning the material, and discontinued the lessons. Not a single Pirahã had learned to count up to ten or even add 1 + 1.
    Here (pdf) is the article by Daniel Everett about this funny language.
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