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date: 16 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Young children initially learn to ‘count’ without understanding either what counting means, or what numerical quantities the individual number words pick out. Over a period of many months, children assign progressively more sophisticated meanings to the number words, linking them to discrete objects, to quantification, to numerosity, and so on. Eventually, children come to understand the logic of counting. Along with this knowledge comes an implicit understanding of the successor function, as well as of the principle of equinumerosity, or exact equality between sets. Thus, when children arrive at a mature understanding of counting, they have (for the first time in their lives) a way of mentally representing exact, large numbers.

Keywords: bootstrapping, cardinality, children, counting, development, early childhood, equinumerosity, integers, language, natural numbers, numbers, preschool, successor function

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