The work of Glendon Lean on the counting systems of Papua New Guinea and Oceania

  title={The work of Glendon Lean on the counting systems of Papua New Guinea and Oceania},
  author={Kay Owens},
  journal={Mathematics Education Research Journal},
  • K. Owens
  • Published 1 April 2001
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics Education Research Journal
Glendon Lean collated data on nearly 900 counting systems of Papua New Guinea, Oceania, and Irian Jaya (West Papua). Lean’s data came from a questionnaire completed by students and talks with village elders. He read old documents written in English, German, and Dutch. He made comparisons between older and new accounts of the counting systems and compared neighbouring counting systems from both Austronesian and non-Austronesian languages. His work drew attention to the rich diversity of the… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

An Overview of the Studies, Papua New Guinea, Oceania, Languages and Migrations
This multidisciplinary study draws on archaeological information, linguistics, and an understanding of mathematics. A summary of the background archaeology for New Guinea and Oceania provides some
Rewriting the History of Number from Papua New Guinea and Oceania Evidence
This chapter provides ways in which Papua New Guinea and Oceania Indigenous knowledges can expand understandings of a sense of number, patterns of number systems, groupings and place value, parts and wholes, multiplicative thinking, representations of number and large number lores based on Lean’s study of the history of number.
Two key mathematical concepts, the line and the number, are considered in terms of the cultural context of several examples from the many cultures of Papua New Guinea. This paper highlights how the
Revising the history of number: how Ethnomathematics transforms perspectives on indigenous cultures
Many accounts of the history of number rely on written evidence such as clay, stone, and wood engravings or paintings. However, some of the oldest cultural groups (between 5 000 and 30 000 years old)
Culture at the forefront of mathematics research at the University of Goroka: The Glen Lean Ethnomathematics Centre
Ethnomathematics is fundamental to the development of mathematics. People in different societies have developed mathematics and so a record of what has and is being developed and used in Papua Ne Gui
The Traditional Ecological Knowledge of the Solega: A Linguistic Perspective
This book covers the ethnobiology and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of the Solega people of southern India. Solega TEK is shown to be a complex, inter-related network of detailed
Wallacea, a Linguistic Area
Wallacea is home to languages of the Austronesian language family, and to languages from multiple Papuan, or non-Austronesian, language families. It has long been observed that the Austronesian
At sixes and sevens: the development of numeral systems in Vanuatu and New Caledonia
In a review of Lynch, Ross and Crowley’s (2002) The Oceanic languages , Robert Blust went on a self-confessed ‘major digression’ (2005:5 56). He directed attention to ‘Vanuatu and southern Melanesia
Papua New Guinea Indigenous knowledges about mathematical concepts
This paper presents some aspects of Indigenous mathematics in Papua New Guinea in order to establish its value for Indigenous people and their education. It also points out the value of research into
The role of indigenous traditional counting systems in children's development of numerical cognition: results from a study in Papua New Guinea
The Government of Papua New Guinea undertook a significant step in developing curriculum reform policy that promoted the use of Indigenous knowledge systems in teaching formal school subjects in any


Yupno Number System and Counting
The starting point of this study is the apparent contradiction between the existence in Yupno (Papua New Guinea) culture of an elaborate number system and the lack of importance attributed to
The Logic of Misplaced Concreteness: Paiela Body Counting and the Nature of the Primitive Mind
The paper has two goals: to demonstrate ethnographically the connection between “structure” and communication, which Levi-Strauss has consistently alleged to exist, and to challenge the thesis of
Body parts as numerals: A developmental analysis of numeration among the Oksapmin in Papua New Guinea.
SAXE, GEOFFREY B. Body Parts as Numerals: A Developmental Analysis of Numeration among the Oksapmin in Papua New Guinea. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 1981, 52, 306-316. The purpose of this paper is to present
The Mathematical Brain
This text, containing theories and anecdote, is an investigation into the bizarre world of numbers and examines the role of education, good or bad, in the development of mathematical disorders.
Geometry from Africa | Mathematical and Educational Explorations
Geometry from Africa: Mathematical and Educational Explorations
1. On geometric ideas in Africa south of the Sahara 2. From African designs to discovering the Pythagorean Theorem 3. Geometric ideas in crafts and possibilities for their educational exploration 4.
Papuan Languages of Oceania
Numeration in the cultures of Oceania. Paper presented at the international
  • 1990
Indigenous mathematics systems: Introduction
  • Paplla New Guinea JOllrnal of Education,
  • 1978
COllnting systems of Papua Ne7.u Guinea and Oceania
  • Unpublished PhD thesis,
  • 1992