How a language developed 11 letters and no numbers

10/20/2013 | Slate

The indigenous Pirahã tribe of Brazil has one of the most unusual languages in the world that relies on a wide variety of stresses and tones to make the most of its three vowels and eight consonants. The tongue's most surprising characteristic, however, is its complete lack of numbers. Research has shown the Pirahã simply never have developed the need to count quantities but instead describe things in terms of relative amounts.

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