We report an experiment examining the effect of three factors on professional Hong Kong liquidators' decisions to bring legal action in negligence against auditors. Factors were (a) the strength (merit) of the supporting evidence (arguable vs. overwhelming), (b) the type of alleged audit failure (failure to report financial statement errors vs. management fraud) and (c) audit firm type (Big 6 vs. non-Big 6). We find evidence that liquidators' litigation decisions are influenced by case merit. We also find that liquidators were (...) marginally more likely to institute legal action against a Big 6 than against a non-Big 6 auditor. However, we find no evidence that the type of alleged audit failure influences litigation decisions. (shrink)
This study examined auditors'' perceptions of the relative level of risk of fraud and material irregularities associated with the presence of six red flag factors and also evaluated the quality of auditors'' judgements. The study was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, subjects were asked to rank the importance of 15 factors that proxy the existence of material misstatements. Based on the responses to this questionnaire, 6 of the most important factors were identified and included in the second (...) stage, a lens model experiment. In the lens model experiment, 30 experienced auditors from a cross-section of Big 6 firms were used as subjects in a repeated-measures ANOVA design. Results showed that misstatements in prior audits and indicators of going-concern problems were perceived to be the most significant factors in alerting auditors to the risk of fraud and material irregularities. In making these judgements, auditors demonstrated a relatively high level of consensus and consistency. However, the two most important factors in the lens model experiment are not the same as the results of the first survey suggesting that the first group of respondents, faced with a simple questionnaire, used heuristics in their decision making. The results have implications for audit practice. (shrink)
According to widespread opinion, the meaning of body part terms is determined by salient discontinuities in the visual image; such that hands, feet, arms, and legs, are natural parts. If so, one would expect these parts to have distinct names which correspond in meaning across languages. To test this proposal, we compared three unrelated languages—Dutch, Japanese, and Indonesian—and found both naming systems and boundaries of even basic body part terms display variation across languages. Bottom-up cues alone cannot explain natural language (...) semantic systems; there simply is not a one-to-one mapping of the body semantic system to the body structural description. Although body parts are flexibly construed across languages, body parts semantics are, nevertheless, constrained by non-linguistic representations in the body structural description, suggesting these are necessary, although not sufficient, in accounting for aspects of the body lexicon. (shrink)
Ineffability, the degree to which percepts or concepts resist linguistic coding, is a fairly unexplored nook of cognitive science. Although philosophical preoccupations with qualia or nonconceptual content certainly touch upon the area, there has been little systematic thought and hardly any empirical work in recent years on the subject. We argue that ineffability is an important domain for the cognitive sciences. For examining differential ineffability across the senses may be able to tell us important things about how the mind works, (...) how different modalities talk to one another, and how language does, or does not, interact with other mental faculties. (shrink)
The linguistic and cognitive sciences have severely underestimated the degree of linguistic diversity in the world. Part of the reason for this is that we have projected assumptions based on English and familiar languages onto the rest. We focus on some distortions this has introduced, especially in the study of semantics.
When researchers think about the interaction between language and emotion, they typically focus on descriptive emotion words. This review demonstrates that emotion can interact with language at many levels of structure, from the sound patterns of a language to its lexicon and grammar, and beyond to how it appears in conversation and discourse. Findings are considered from diverse subfields across the language sciences, including cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and conversation analysis. Taken together, it is clear that emotional expression is (...) finely tuned to language-specific structures. Future emotion research can better exploit cross-linguistic variation to unravel possible universal principles operating between language and emotion. (shrink)
Technological advances in the field of medicine and health sciences not only manipulate the normal human body and sex but also provide for surgical and hormonal management of hermaphroditism. Consequently, sex assignment surgery has not only become a standard care for babies born with genital abnormalities in the West but even in some Muslim states. On the positive side, it goes a long way in saving children born with abnormal genitalia from numerous legal interdictions of the pre-sex corrective surgery. Nevertheless, (...) the larger ethical and legal questions that medical management of genital abnormality raises to some extent have not been adequately appreciated by contemporary Muslim responses. This article, therefore, in principle argues against surgical management of intersexuality during early infancy from the Islamic legal perspective. (shrink)
Recurrent lexicalization patterns across widely different cultural contexts can provide a window onto common conceptualizations. The cross-linguistic data support the idea that sweet, salt, sour, and bitter are basic tastes. In addition, umami and fatty are likely basic tastes, as well.
Emotion scientists often take an ambivalent stance concerning the role of language in a science of emotion. However, it is important for emotion researchers to contemplate some of the consequences of current practices for their theory building. There is a danger of an overreliance on the English language as a transparent window into emotion categories. More consideration has to be given to cross-linguistic comparison in the future so that models of language acquisition and of the language–cognition interface fit better the (...) extant variation found in today’s peoples. (shrink)
Coherent covariation appears to be a powerful explanatory factor accounting for a range of phenomena in semantic cognition. But its role in accounting for the crosslinguistic facts is less clear. Variation in naming, within the same semantic domain, raises vexing questions about the necessary parameters needed to account for the basic facts underlying categorization.
To what extent does perceptual language reflect universals of experience and cognition, and to what extent is it shaped by particular cultural preoccupations? This paper investigates the universality~relativity of perceptual language by examining the use of basic perception terms in spontaneous conversation across 13 diverse languages and cultures. We analyze the frequency of perception words to test two universalist hypotheses: that sight is always a dominant sense, and that the relative ranking of the senses will be the same across different (...) cultures. We find that references to sight outstrip references to the other senses, suggesting a pan-human preoccupation with visual phenomena. However, the relative frequency of the other senses was found to vary cross-linguistically. Cultural relativity was conspicuous as exemplified by the high ranking of smell in Semai, an Aslian language. Together these results suggest a place for both universal constraints and cultural shaping of the language of perception. (shrink)