Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Language and Thought

First there was thought, and then there was language. Language facilitates the exteriorization of thought, which is interior in nature. However, language, in serving this exterior function, is limited by thought, because ultimately it is only a subset of thought. Everything that can be expressed by language must have an originating cause-thought, whereas thoughts can exist independently in themselves.

And yet, often thought is seemingly constrained by language, as it appears to be in Nineteen Eighty Four, where the language of Newspeak serves to limit the formation of deviant ideas. Does this mean that certain thoughts cannot exist without a sufficiently developed language from which to manifest ? If this hypothesis is indeed accepted, then this means certain thoughts cannot exist independently in themselves.

I doubt that thoughts can be non-independent. Admittedly, thoughts can be hard to properly concieve in the absence of language, and indeed the presence of the correctly developed vocabulary would do wonders in the manifestation of ideas, which are vague at best. But even in these cases, language only serves to solidify and make visible the nascent spark of inspiration. Without language, thought still remains, misshapened and misty perhaps, but still present nevertheless.

In conclusion, simply, thought preceeds expression.

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