Conventional Meaning: Numerical symbols vs. number terms

Team: Petra B. Schumacher (InfoPer2, Cologne) and Ira Noveck (CNRS, Lyon)

To explore the differences between verbally expressed and mathematically expressed numerals (“five” vs “5”), we will carry out reaction time and electrophysiology studies in order to determine not only the rates of exactly readings, but the speeds at which exactly readings emerge across cases. The second line of research is to employ the paradigm of Spychalska, Kontinen, Noveck, Roesch & Werning (under revision) in order to investigate the ERP signatures linked to the two numeral expressions. Given the earlier findings, an EEG study would be an ideal way to determine whether Hindu-Arabic numerals prompt exactly readings more than their verbally expressed equivalents. Overall, this research will help us to better understand conventionalization of numeral expressions. It will represent a starting point to reflect upon conventionalization in language and to start identifying commonalities and differences in the processing of conventional meaning.