Introduction Language can be thought of as a symbol system, engaged in representing the world, capturing and communicating thought and experience. Language also can be seen as existing in itself, as something to be played with and transformed and shaped in its own right and something that can transform and shape thought and action. Language is the most important basic tool in creating societies. It is language through which we communicate our feelings whether in form of words, gestures or voices.
Humans or animals both communicate in different ways to pass their messages and also creating norms for establishing societies. Without Language humans won’t be able to understand each other and without understanding each other they won’t be able to communicate, without communication there won’t be any cooperation, there won’t be any groups formed forming different tasks and there won’t be any society necessary for survival for humans. It is a tool to be a human, to communicate, understand and respond. Language is an integral part of our existence and survival.
We depend on it to think and communicate on a day to day basis from person to person. In this age of cellular phones, fax machines and the internet, we use language so much that we usually take the power of language for granted. Language can in fact have the ability to do all those things; it can change our values, our identity and even what we can and cannot know. This would lead to the conclusion that language is a lot more powerful than we think. Definition To analyze this concept, we must first know the definitions of language and thought.
In the most basic terms from my understanding is that language is a means of communication by labelling our thoughts with words or symbols. In addition, our thoughts are defined as the power to think and imagine. Transferring thoughts would not only mean communicating to others, but also thinking within one’s mind or dealing with an experience. From these meanings, we can now understand why language is needed for us to think, for without language, we cannot attach anything to our sense perceptions and experiences.
Our power to think and imagine cannot exist if there are no labels to transfer it. Many authorities in language have attempted to identify a definition for language, others see it as an indefinable concept that cannot be an all-embracing definition, nevertheless there are some definitions in which people define Language such as: Web Definitions of Language 1. A systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols (www. wordnetweb. princeton. edu) 2.
A language is a particular kind of system for encoding and decoding information (en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Language) 3. A form of communication using words either spoken or gestured with the hands and structured with grammar, often with a writing system (en. wiktionary. org/wiki/language) 4. Signs, movements or sounds that express ideas or feelings (www. ldoceonline. com/Linguistics-topic/language) Web Definitions of Thought 1. The act or process of thinking (http://www. thefreedictionary. com/thought) 2. The product of mental activity; that which one thinks (http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/thought) 3.
An idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly in the mind (Google definition) 4. Any mental or intellectual activity involving an individual’s subjective consciousness (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Thought) From the sixth Web definition of language, we see that language “expresses ideas and feelings” which reside in our thought. Our idea and feeling are invisible actions which can only be understood by an individual that possesses it, if not communicated. But the only way they can be expressed is to communicate them to other parties with the use of language in either verbal or non verbal.
For example, a scientist who has new discovery can only expresses his ideas about the discovery by means of communicating it to others and thus improving the development of the society in Science and Technology. There are also elements of language that make it easier for us to understand the world we live in. Abstractions in language help us to classify ideas into groups so that we may generalize or specify parts within a label. For instance, a car is made up of many parts such as the engine, the wheels, the body, etc.