The Significance of the Use of Language

	 The Significance of the Use of Language
The Significance of the Use of Language All of the ways of knowing are controlled by language.? What does
this statement mean and do you think it is a fair representation of
the relationship between perception, emotion, reason and language?Knowledge by itself involves the use of language, but also a variety of several other issues such as perception, emotion and reason. Due to this reason, it is not fair to state that all the ways of knowing is controlled solely by language. Language, emotion, reason and perception are all dependant on one another so we cannot say that language controls it all. All of the ways of knowing means how we have attained the knowledge we have now. Knowledge can be distinguished into two types; knowledge of things and the knowledge of truth. However, did one attain all their knowledge simply with the use of language? This seems highly impossible as perception, emotion, reason and language are all vital aspects of the knowledge we have today. What about Saphir- Whorf?s theory? His hypothesis concludes that our thoughts are controlled by language. How true is this statement of his when we start pondering the question of our knowledge, linked with reason, emotion, language and perception? Emotion cannot be controlled by language, but language is caused by emotion. For example, if a child pricks herself with a needle without the knowledge of the effect it will have, she will only cry after she feels the pain and distress. This shows that the pain and sensed the emotion of distress which she felt, all cause her to use body language and speech by crying out. However, if the stimulus was verbal, emotion is very much controlled by language. This child could not have expressed any pain or distress if she hadn?t screamed or cried, which is using language. This shows that our actions are caused by the emotions in our minds, which in turn uses our knowledge of language to express it. There are such emotions, which cannot be described, as we do not have the knowledge of the language to use. For example, we know that the emotion of sadness had a word, which describes it as sad. This allows us to share this emotion with others around us. However, the impression or concept of this emotion would still remain even though it will not be in the same context. Reason is also related to language but in a different manner. We can reason out a statement and thus come to a conclusion of the statement. The statement has the ability to use the same words, which it then expresses into different thoughts or meanings. For example, a sarcastic statement such as ?It sure is a nice day today,? can either have the exact meaning that it really is a nice day, or it can have a sarcastic meaning that the day?s awful. This is where perception also comes into use. By perceiving the statement when said and analyzing the language used, we can state the true meaning of what is said. Finally, perception is known to be the foundation of our language system, as most of our knowledge is attained from what we perceive around us. We then take this information and process it to in a way, which we can use to describe it. However, is the language we use, actually in the same format in which we perceive the world? Also, does the way in which we perceive the world effect on the language we use? Therefore, does this go on and affect our knowledge? In some languages, certain words have a variety of different meanings. For example, Eskimos use a large number of words to describe snow. This shows that, to Eskimo?s, the different number of words for snow will still have the same basic concept. However, by analyzing Whorf?s hypothesis further, it can be concluded that, ?Even though language does not determine how we think. It affects the way that we perceive the world, how we approach the problems and how we remember?, and according to Charles Hocket, ?Languages differ not so much as to what can be said in them, but rather as to what is relatively easy to say in them?. By contradicting Whorf, we are saying that language does not control our knowledge completely. If two people perceive things differently, this also has an affect on their knowledge and understanding. Language is not related to this as such in the beginning. However, if two people from two different countries perceive the same thing but come up with different conclusion, this can be due to their different languages. Perhaps in one language, the object being perceived has a completely different meaning to the other language. What happens to those people who do not have words for every concept or thing? There are also certain actions, which we find very hard to describe with words. For example brushing your hair or trying to describe a dance routine. Performing the task rather than describing it much easier understands these actions. Only after we have observed it being done, can we attain the knowledge of the particular task. This is an incident where language does not get involved with perception when dealing with knowledge. However, this conclusion is also contradicted with the fact that the use of language is needed to deal with certain issues, which use more actions instead of words. For example, there are some tasks, which need to be understood before it is performed, which means that language comes into use again. Even though the use of language is important in the way we perceive things, the level of the language used does not always provide us with the adequate description. Along the same lines, one language differs from another, and cannot be directly translated into a next language. For example, a word in Tamil usually ends up being a phrase or a sentence, when translated into English. When doing this, the basic concept also differs which shows that the exact description or concept is not carried through. This is then related to language determination. According to Whorf, native speakers of different languages see the world in a completely different way to each other. This is however contradicted with my examples above about translation. If language controlled all the ways of knowing, how does a child contain knowledge even without being able to communicate with language? Very young children are able to grasp new concepts of the world around them, purely by observation and perception. In conclusion, we can say that language have some bearing on the way we perceive things, on our emotions and also our reasons. However, regarding the examples and descriptions above, it is proved that we language controls all the ways of knowing

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