The as we speak to ourselves when we

The
connection and the relation between language and thought are profound. The
majority of our everyday life involves the use of language wherein we tell our
ideas to others with language, we read and understand the responses and
meanings with language as well as we speak to ourselves when we process this
information thereby making logical conclusions. It seems that rational thinking
unavoidably involves a certain degree of the use of language. This connection
seems so tight that, some linguists like Sapir and Whorf had to propose that
thought is indeed determined by language. The two major linguistic theories of
relativity and determinism knew as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis were proposed by
them which indicated that our thoughts are influenced by the language and
individual’s experience of the world is eventually based on the language
structure. Linguistic relativity, which refers to the variation of viewpoints
from different languages relies on linguistic determinism, the idea that
language determines our thought. Benjamin Lee Whorf’s writings about language
entail the belief that language serves as a key to the “secrets of the mind”.

                     The human thought
essentially makes use of various symbols in grammar and their studies and
constructions stand as a fundamental component of the study of human thought.
As per Whorf, the human mind refuses to confine to a single expressive system
and produces multiple linguistic forms.  
Thus according to them, the linguistic systems in our mind have
structured our interpretation of the world and they are a significant branch of
psycholinguistics which brings the whole concept of language and brain.
Language, in a matter of fact, is an essential part of building our thoughts. Only
if we learn the process of producing and understanding language, we would be
able to develop our skills of thinking upon something. It is one of the major
communication devices through which we share information and thoughts to one
another. Language and cognition indeed run deep in the terms of their inherent
correlations and influence.

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                      The research article
named Verbalized events: A dynamic approach to linguistic relativity and
determinism was published by Dan Isaac Slobin in the University of California,
Berkeley on January 2000. Slobin proposed an influential version of linguistic
relativity, arguing that language should affect cognition during the process of
encoding our thoughts into words. He had made an attempt to seek the evidence
of linguistic relativity and determinism in the actual texts of connected
discourses across languages such as English, Hebrew, Spanish, Turkish and
French. He examines the issues of “discourse typology” in languages through
various aspects. In order to verbalize one’s experiences, a specific
perspective is required and this perspective is favoured by language. Language
filters the speaking or writing experiences and events in verbalized form and
is not directly encoded. Lexicons of the manner of motion verbs vary greatly
across several languages with subtle differences in their internal structure
whereas certain distinctions in the semantic fields are formed in the learning
processes. Language plays a prominent role in creating and organizing a conceptual
space for the purpose of thinking and speaking. In this context, the world is
presented as a kaleidoscope which is full of multiple impressions of thoughts
and needs to be organized by the linguistic systems of the mind. Bilingualism
often creates a problem in the process of producing a mental image by the
source language and further associating this mental image to the target
language. This translation reveals the accommodation of the target language to
the source language versus the assimilation of the original to its own patterns
of thinking. A range of situations was surveyed in which the verbalized events
varied systematically according to the lexicalization pattern of the particular
language and the type of language. Further, the eyewitness testimony for the
purpose of listening/reading for remembering aspect was incorporated.
Differences were found in the various lingual systems in the patterns of
thought and corresponding responses. It reflected that the effectiveness of
vocabulary influenced the strength of the mental imagery of the participants.
The suggestive data from the survey in Berkeley effectively stated that
listening for remembering is an active language guided process. The users of
different languages interpret their language in different conceptualizations
leading to different mental images. Thus the close relation between “experience
and expression of language” is explored in this research article.

                   Another contemporary research
article named The Influences of Language on Cognition was published by Jowell
H. H. Beh in the Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester in 2015. The
impact of a spoken language on its speaker’s thoughts, perception and cognitive
abilities is the main focus of this study. Language has a large part to play in
the cognitive development and the gender consciousness gradually developed
among children of different mother tongues. Children from the American, Israeli
and Finnish languages were surveyed which reflected variations in the gender
pronouns in each of them. The results indicated a connection between the
emphasis of one’s gender in their own native tongue and realization of that
gender. Variations in the consciousness of gender were found in each child of
the several linguistic backgrounds. The language also influences a person’s
concept of things such as numbers in which the numerical ability to recognize
and interpret numerical systems varies differently as per the cultural
developments. The habitual thoughts or abstracts are also influenced and
related to the language one speaks. The concept of time is perceived
differently by different native language speakers. The language has an impact
on how one perceives the different abstract domains which serve a powerful tool
in shaping how the speakers think. Likely, it also impacts the spatial concepts
of the speakers. Language particularly influenced a person’s frame of reference
which refers to the identification of an item and its subsequent relations with
the other items. A significant difference in the viewpoints on spatial concepts
was seen in the survey of different languages which proposed that language
played an important role in restructuring the perception and reasoning of the
individual. A cross-cultural research was conducted to determine how language
affects the way one recalls ‘who does what’. Differences were seen in the way
people recollect the events with reference to the ‘agent’ and it is the
language which distorts this recollection. The aptitude at which a person
learns and consolidates new things are found to be influenced by language a
person speaks. The structure of a person’s native tongue has an impact on the
swiftness of the learning process. The study demonstrated that the Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis is not totally wrong but somehow halfway right.

                  The concept of language and
thought has been immensely debated over years among several linguists,
psychologists, philosophers and anthropologists. Which part of language
influences which aspects of cognition and perception and by which mechanisms is
where the question lies. It has several critics aiming to show that perception
and cognition are universal and not linked to the language and cognition. But
some psychologists and anthropologists continue to agree that differences in
the language’s structure and words may play a role in determining how we think.
A number of psychophysical studies suggest that language can cause people to
form systematically different mental representations even if they are not using
language at the very moment. Some hold that language and thought are interwoven
while others hold that language and thought are two separate and independent
entities. It is more striking that people growing up in the same backgrounds
and speaking the similar language can possess different thoughts and
communicate several ideas which contradict with Sapir’s Hypothesis.

                    Language and speech often form parts of two
intersecting arenas while cognition lies between the two giving rise to our
thoughts and expressions in the verbal form. According to Piaget’s theory of
cognitive development, it can be referred that the autistic thoughts are not
influenced by languages and are evolved separately by the complex mental
processes in the individuals. Similarly, the physically retarded groups who
cannot speak and hear do have their own thought process development, which is
free of any linguistic constructs. Language in some sense can also act as a
stimulant to thought and can often create problems. For one, language is the
only factor that influences behaviour and cognition and for the other, learning
of the second language and translation would be difficult if the Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis were really true. The universality of language and the idea of
making cognitive decisions while speaking, has made the weaker sections of the
hypothesis to attract scientific attention.

                  The relation between the
language and thought seems to be a continued process. Language instructs our
thoughts and we are often directed by the way our language constructs and
interprets the world around us. The fun sci-fi film ‘Arrival’ refreshingly
shows language research in cognitive neurosciences to be as vital as the scientific
researchers. The movie takes great turns in the usage of the Sapir-Whorf
hypothesis in several transformations of the characters. The abstract thinking
skills related to cognition are dealt with precision especially while dealing
with the linguistic systems of the aliens. Despite the discussions about
language and linguistics, the film perceives the learning of a new language
whether of a neighbour or an alien to be a dynamic tool in understanding their
cultures and perspectives. According to me, it does not matter whether a
language paves the way for our thinking or the other way round; instead, both
work in collaboration in conceptualizing the world around us and has a close
relationship with the cultures in which they unfold.