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Languages and thoughts - Essay Example

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LANGUAGES AND THOUGHT What if someone asks for an explanation about the terms thought, Language and speech and their differences? It would not be very easy to answer this question, despite the fact that these terms are extremely common to us and we practice these concepts inevitably throughout our lives…
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Download file to see previous pages To settle an inquisitive novice these terms can be described very plainly. Thought can simply be defined as a mental state of a person at any instant of time. Generally, what best describes languages is a combination of vocabulary and grammar (a set of rules that defines how language can be used properly and meaningfully). This combination does not include phrases and idioms. According to a web dictionary a language can be defined as, “Any means of conveying or communicating ideas; specifically, human speech; the expression of ideas by the voice; sounds, expressive of thought, articulated by the organs of the throat and mouth.” Hence the narration of thoughts with the help of a language should be “Speech”. The superficial correlation of language, thought and speech, as mentioned in the text above, lays the ground for a stream of philosophical questions. Like, is there any relationship of interdependency between language and speech? Does a speech always depict the respective thought process or do people use it to conceal their thoughts as well? How does the process of thinking take place in people’s mind and at what stage does it initiate? How does a child learn to make use of languages to narrate thoughts? What is ego-centric or internal thinking? What role do instincts play in an infant’s thought process and narration of thoughts? In order to pursue answers to the above questions the studies of renowned psychologists and philosophers are looked up. Among them Vygotsky’s study is of executive importance. Language is not dependent on anything else but itself. There are various theories to elaborate this. Russian psychologist Vygotsky in his book “Thought and Language”, emphasizes upon the social nature of a language stating that the environment surrounding a person essentially influences his thoughts. Young children are influenced greatly by their environment and by the input they get from the elders surrounding them. These influences lay the basic principles of thought and learning within children. Vygotsky emphasizes that the skills, values and knowledge imparted to children by their elders are done with the help of languages and social interactions. The words that come out of an elder’s mouth are objects and thoughts of a youngster. Since Vygotsky believes that languages and thoughts are interdependent internally the rational development of a child is dependent upon his language development. Interactions with the environment formulate and polish the inner speech of a child. The inner speech which is the core of all his personality’s thought stream. The development of a toddler can be a perfect example that depicts Vygotsky’s theory. Partial utterance of merely a single word means one whole sentence. The mere sounds of an infant’s goo gaa and pointing and different objects are his initial aptitudes towards expression of his thoughts. Just saying ‘drink’ could mean that he wants to drink something or could even be saying what another person is drinking. The next step after utterance of a word from is mouth is that he looks at the expressions of the people surrounding him. Their reactions are registered into his stream of thoughts giving him the idea of the nature of his spoken word. He registers and learns when to say the specific word and when not to say it thus, the next time the child utters the very same word with influence of his past experience. At a later stage in the development of thought ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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