Thediscussion of the relationship between language and thought hasopened a research space for quite a long duration from variousscholars. It`s with the intent of trying to uncover how they arerelated and the influence they play in perceiving of the reality andother issues. We would obtain insights into the issue to uncover therelation and comprehend more about it. With regards to that, theargument that would lay our basis for discussion is what therelationship between language and thought and vice versa is.
Languageand thought are independent aspects but intertwined in various forms.It is, for example, the semantic relationship in the form of grammarand semantics of one language that mold a person`s thought and mentalcapabilities. A word that has numerous words to describe a particularthing tends to make the individual speaker perceptually note all thecharacteristics and differences that distinguish the objects. It iscontrary to a language with one word that describes a particular itemhence eliminating the need for noting the different characteristics.
Thelinguistic relativity hypothesis is a concept used to relate languageand the thought process. The theory is in two categories namelystrong and weak. The strong side is of the version that languagedetermines thought while the weak one is about how languageinfluences thought. The strong hypothesis is illustrated bydifferences in grammar and other language components that influencethe perception of various individuals. However, various researcheshave proved that ambiguous. It is with the dissimilarity in thatdevelopmental and recognition capabilities of some groups are higherthan others due to semantics and structure of the language. Thehypothesis also fails to clearly prove the relation between thoughtand language hence raising faults and some anomalies.
Onthe other hand, the weak hypothesis from a test conducted tends toshow that a verbal label tends to influence memory with relation to adifferent set of people involved. Also, tests on color perceptiontend to support the concept since the difference in labels of thecolor affected their perception concerning how they associate andname the colors. Nevertheless, other researches conducted on the samecolor concept have raised faults thereby questioning the credibilityof the conclusion made earlier. It came about after there wasevidence that showed consistency on how some colors were related andperceived by various speakers. The colors were consistent in namingand perception and never changed across the board.
Onthat subject, research has come about that tries to contrast therelationship and prove that language and thought don`t necessarilyhave any similarity. It is in the sense that our thoughts don`tdetermine how we speak and our language, on the other hand, doesn`tdetermine our opinion. Illustrated with the relationship betweenconscious and subconscious knowledge. Conscious experience which canbe quantified isn`t necessarily important in affecting our thoughtprocess. The thought process is affected more by knowledge obtainedthrough experience which determines how we perceive reality asopposed to knowledge that is taught to us.
Aboveall, the cognitive approach emerged that sought to contradict thetraditional views. The process proved the existence of a relationbetween language and the thought process. Summarizing, from theavailable research there tends to be support for language influencingthought and reality but not ultimately governing it.
Boroditsky,L. (2001). Does language shape thought? Mandarin and Englishspeakers’ conceptions of time. Cognitive Psychology, 43, 1–22.
Garnham,A., & Oakhill, J. (1994). Thinking and reasoning. Oxford:Blackwell.