Man’s language ability is due to a more general, deep-seated cognitive ability characteristic of the species. It is argued that man’s ability for mathematical thinking is a product of the same species-specific form of cerebration as language. The basis for mathematical constructs seems to be contained in the basis for language constructs; apparently, for every mathematical notion there is a homologous one in the sphere of language, the former always being more restricted and well defined than the latter. Mathematical ability may therefore be regarded as a special case of the more general ability that also generates language, and this point is further emphasized by certain similarities in the formal structure of mathematics (arithmetic in particular) and language. Taking advantage of the commonalities between language and arithmetic, it is possible to use the latter to illustrate important general characteristics of the former.
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