Naming the Living Things: Linguistic, Experiential and Cultural Factors in Wichí and Spanish Speaking Children

in Journal of Cognition and Culture
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

This work focuses on the underlying conceptual structure of children’s category of living things from a cross-cultural, cross-linguistic perspective. School-aged children (n = 129) from three Argentinean communities (rural Wichí-speaking, rural Spanish-speaking, urban Spanish-speaking) were asked to generate the names of living things. Analyses were focused on the typicality, semantic organization, and hierarchical level of the names mentioned. We identified convergences among the names generated by children in all three communities, as well as key differences: the typicality, habitats and hierarchical level of the categories mentioned varied as a function of children’s language and their direct experience with the natural world. These findings provide evidence concerning the role of language, culture and experience in shaping children’s folkbiological concepts.

Naming the Living Things: Linguistic, Experiential and Cultural Factors in Wichí and Spanish Speaking Children

in Journal of Cognition and Culture

Sections

References

  • AnggoroF. K.WaxmanS. R.MedinD. L. Naming practices and the acquisition of key biological concepts: Evidence from English and Indonesian Psychological Science 2008 19 314 319

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AtranS. Cognitive foundations of natural history: Towards an anthropology of science 1990 Cambridge Cambridge University Press

  • AtranS. Folkbiology and the anthropology of science: Cognitive universals and cultural particulars Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1998 21 547 609

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AtranS.MedinD. L. The Native Mind and the Cultural Construction of Nature 2008 Cambridge, MA MIT Press

  • AtranS.MedinD.LynchE.VapnarskyV.UcanEk’E.SousaP. Folkbiology doesn’t come from folkpsychology: Evidence from Yukatek Maya in cross-cultural perspective Journal of Cognition and Culture 2001 1 3 42

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AstutiR.SolomonG. E. A.CareyS. Constraints on conceptual development: a case study of the acquisition of folkbiological and folksociological knowledge in Madagascar Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development 2004 277

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BackscheiderA. C.ShatzM.GelmanS. A. Preschooler’s ability to distinguish between living kinds as a function of regrowth Child Development 1993 64 1242 1257

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BailensonJ.ShumM.AtranS.MedinD.ColeyJ. A bird’s eye view: Triangulating biological categorization and reasoning within and across cultures and expertise levels Cognition 2002 84 1 53

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BangM.MedinD.AtranS. Cultural mosaics and mental models of nature Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2007 104 13868 13874

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bécue BertautM. Análisis de Datos Textuales 1991 Paris Cisia

  • BenzécriJ. P. L’Analyse des Données II. Correspondances 1976 Paris Dunod

  • BenzécriJ. P. Pratique de l’analyse des données Linguistique et lexicologie 1981 3 Paris Dunod

  • BerlinB.BreedloveD. E.RavenP. H. General principles of classification and nomenclature in folk-biology American Anthropologist 1973 75 214 242

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CroweS. J.PrescottT. J. Continuity and change in the development of category structure: Insights from the semantic fluency task International Journal of Behavioral Development 2003 27 467 479

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeeseJ. The Structure of Associations in Language and Thought 1965 Baltimore, MD Johns Hopkins University Press

  • DehghaniM.BangM.MedinD. L.MarinA.LeddonE.WaxmanS. Epistemologies in the Text of Children’s Books: Native and non-Native Authored Books International Journal of Science Education 2013 35 2133 2151

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EvansE. M.LegareC.RosengrenK. S. TaylorR.FerrariM. Engaging multiple epistemologies Epistemology and Science Eduation: Understanding the Evolution vs Intelligent Design Controversy 2011 London Routledge 111 140

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GolluscioL. Clases de sustantivos y sistema cultural: la posesión en wichí Signo y Seña 1993 3 221 239

  • GrubeD.HasselhornM. Children’s freelisting of animal terms: developmental changes in activating categorical knowledge Zeitschrift für Psychologie 1996 204 119 134

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HenleyN. M. A psychological study of the semantics of animal terms Journal of Verbal 1969 Learning and Verbal Behavior 8 176 184

  • HerrmannP.WaxmanS. R.MedinD. L. Anthropocentrism is not the first step in children’s reasoning about the natural world Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2010 107 9979 9984

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • InagakiK.HatanoG. Young children’s understanding of the mind-body distinction Child Development 1993 64 1534 1549

  • JipsonJ. L.GelmanS. A. Robots and rodents: Children’s inferences about living and nonliving kinds Child Development 2007 78 1675 1688

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JohnsonS.CareyS. Knowledge enrichment and conceptual change in folkbiology: Evidence from Williams Syndrome Cognitive Psychology 1998 37 156 200

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JohnsonK. E.MervisC. B. Microgenetic analysis of first steps in children’s acquisition of expertise on shorebirds Developmental Psychology 1994 30 418 435

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KailR.NippoldM. A. Unconstrained retrieval from semantic memory Child Development 1984 55 944 951

  • LebartL.SalemA.BerryL. Exploring textual data 1998 Dordrecht Kluwer

  • LeddonE. M.WaxmanS. R.MedinD. L. Unmasking “alive”: Children’s appreciation of a concept linking all living things Journal of Cognition and Development 2008 9 461 473

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LucarielloJ.KyratzisA.NelsonK. Taxonomic knowledge: What kind and when? Child Development 1992 63 978 998

  • MedinD. L.LynchE. B.ColeyJ. D.AtranS. Categorization and reasoning among tree experts: Do all roads lead to Rome? Cognitive Psychology 1997 32 49 96

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MedinD. L.RossN.AtranS.BurnettR.BlokS. Categorization and Reasoning in Relation to Culture and Expertise Psychology of Learning and Motivation 2002 41 1 41

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MedinD. L.RossN.AtranS.CoxD.ColeyJ.ProffittJ.BlokS. Folkbiology of Freshwater Fish Cognition 2006 99 237 273

  • MontaniR. Formas y significados de los diseños de los bolsos enlazados por los Wichí del Gran Chaco Arte Moderno Referentes Precolombinos y Objetos Etnográficos 2007 12 35 66

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MorineauA. Note sur la caracterisation statististique d’une classe et les valeurs-test Bulletin Technical du Centre de Statistiques et d’Information Appliqué 1984 2 20 27

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MurtaghF. Correspondence Analysis and Data Coding with R and Java 2005 London Chapman and Hall

  • NeelyJ. H. HumphreysG. W. Semantic priming effects in visual word recognition: A selective review of current findings and theories Basic Processes in Reading 1991 Hillsdale, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 264 336

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • OpferJ. E. Life, liveliness, and living kinds: How young children think about the biological world [Review of Young children’s naive thinking about the biological world] International Journal of Behavioral Development 2003 27 375 380

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • OpferJ. E.SieglerR. S. Revisiting preschoolers’ living things concept: A microgenetic analysis of conceptual change in basic biology Cognitive Psychology 2004 49 301 332

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ProffittJ. B.ColeyJ. D.MedinD. L. Expertise and category-based induction Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition 2000 26 811 828

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RossN. O.MedinD. L. Ethnography and experiments: cultural models and expertise effects elicited with experimental research techniques Field Methods 2005 17 131 149

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RossN.MedinD. L.ColeyJ. D.AtranS. Cultural and Experiential Differences in the development of folkbiological induction Cognitive Development 2003 18 25 47

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RosengrenK. S.GutiérrezI. T.MillerP. J. Encountering death: The use of multiple explanatory models by your children and their parents Using religion and science to explain the riddles of existence: The case of origins disease and death 2009 Symposium conducted at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development Denver co In Legare C. H. (Chair)

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • StormC. The semantic structure of animal terms: A developmental study International Journal of Behavioral Development 1980 3 381 407

  • SuárezM. E. El análisis de las narrativas en etnobotánica: El “Yuchán” (CEIBA CHODATII, BOMBACACEAE) en el discurso de los Wichís del Chaco semiárido salteño, Argentina Boletín Soceta Argentinos Botanicos 2009 44 405 419

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SuárezM. E. MessineoC.ScarpaG. F.TolaF. Fitonimia wichí de especies arbóreas y arbustivas del Chaco Semiárido salteño Léxico y categorización etnobiológica en grupos indígenas del Gran Chaco 2010 Santa Rosa Instituto de Lingüística, Facultad de Ciencias Humanas, Universidad Nacional de La Pampa

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SuárezM. E. Fitonimia wichí de plantas herbáceas y bejucos Revista Bonplandia 2011a 20 185 202

  • SuárezM. E. Léxico etnobotánico y representaciones wichís sobre la vegetación del bosque Actas del X congreso Argentino de Antropología Social. Facultad de Filosofía y Letras 2011b Universidad de Buenos Aires

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • StavyR.WaxN. Children’s conceptions of plants as living things Human Development 1989 32 88 94

  • TarlowskiA. If it’s an animal it has axons: Experience and culture in preschool children’s reasoning about animates Cognitive Development 2006 21 249 265

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TavernaA. S.WaxmanS. R.MedinD. L.PeraltaO. A. Core Folk-biological concepts: New evidence from Wichí children and adults Journal of Cognition and Culture 2012 12 339 358

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TerrazaJ. Grammaire du wichi: phonologie et morphosyntaxe 2009 Montréal Doctoral Thesis, Université du Québec à Montréal 295 pp

    • Export Citation
  • UyedaK. M.MandlerF. Prototypicality norms for 28 semantic categories Behavior Research Methods and Instrumentation 1980 12 587 595

  • VidalA.NercesianV. Sustantivo y Verbo en wichí Hacia una taxonomía de clases de palabras 2005 Liames 5 San Pablo Universidad de Estadual de Campinos 7 24

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • VidalA.NercesianV. HaspelmathM.TadmorU. Loanwords in Wichí, a Mataco-Mataguayan language of Argentina Handbook of Loanword Typology 2009 The Hague Mouton de Gruyter 1015 1034

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WaxmanS. R.MedinD. L. MiyakeN. Core knowledge Naming and the Acquisition of the Fundamental (Folk)biologic Concept ‘Alive’ 2006 Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Cognitive Science Mahwah, NJ LawrenceErlbaum Associates 53 55

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WaxmanS. R.MedinD. L.RossN. Folkbiological reasoning from a cross-cultural developmental perspective: Early essentialist notions are shaped by cultural beliefs Developmental Psychology 2007 43 294 308

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WilbertJ.SimoneauK. Folk literature of the Mataco Indians 1982 Los Angeles, CA UCLA, Latin American Center

  • Winkler-RhoadesN.MedinD. L.WaxmanS. R.WoodringJ.RossN. O. Naming the animals that comes to mind: Effects of culture and experience on category influence Journal of Cognition and Culture 2010 10 205 220

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Figures

  • View in gallery
    Projection of living things names identified by clusters on first factorial plane. Domestic animals such as dog, cat, horse were in the point 0, suggesting they were named by children from all three communities.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 73 71 4
Full Text Views 188 188 4
PDF Downloads 12 12 0
EPUB Downloads 14 14 0