Which came first, language or thinking?

Which came first, language or thinking?

Stop Translating in Your Head: How to Think in a Foreign Language

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answers (3)

Answer 1
January, 2021

Each object, or property, or action has a name, well, or a name.

Through the Language (vocal apparatus), a person calls everything that exists around him "by proper names".

If you take this "Language" from a person, then everything around does not have "its name". There will be nothing to think about, because nothing is named by its name.

Thinking is a function of consciousness. Conscious thinking is secondary, language is primary.

Unconscious functions will remain: instincts, reflexes. If we call them thinking unconscious, then Thinking is primary, and Language is secondary.

Answer 2
January, 2021

In general, the appearance of such a question is quite logical. Elucidation of the degree and nature of the connection between language and thinking is one of the central problems of theoretical linguistics and philosophy of language from the very beginning of their development. In solving this problem, deep differences are found - from the direct identification of language and thinking (Schleiermacher, Hamann) or their excessive rapprochement with the exaggeration of the role of language (Humboldt, behaviorism, neo-Humboldtianism, neopositivism) to denying the direct connection between them (Beneke) or, more often, ignoring thinking in the method of linguistic research (linguistic formalism, descriptivism).

To answer this question, let us turn to the concept of thinking, and more specifically, to its types. In psychology, it is customary to distinguish between types of thinking by content. Allocate: practically-active thinking , which is genetically the earliest type of thinking, in which actions with objects are of decisive importance (in its embryonic form it is also observed in animals) and which consists in the fact that the solution of problems is carried out by real transformation of the situation and the implementation of a motor act; on the basis of practical-active thinking, visual-figurative arises, which is characterized by the operation of visual images in the mind and which is based on the images of ideas, the transformation of the situation into a plan of images; a feature of abstract (verbal-logical) thinking is that it takes place based on a concept, judgment, without using empirical data. There are other types of thinking, but we will not consider them, since already on the basis of these types of thinking we can conclude that thinking is not always based on language (although verbal-logical thinking plays a leading role in mental activity, recall the words of Rene Descartes: " I think, so I exist "). Language is the immediate material support of thinking only in its verbal-logical form. Thus, thinking appeared before language.

An interesting study by New Zealand professor Michael Korballis, who argues that the thinking abilities of a person, which made the existence of language possible, are not originally linguistic in nature. That is, we do not need to know any language, even our own, to start thinking. However, this statement refutes a number of linguistic theories that have many followers. For example, Noam Chomsky's theory that every person has an innate ability to speak one language or another. Chomsky argued that our thinking is initially formed as a linguistic one, and the structures with which every person thinks are easily transformed into lexical units (that is, words) and grammatical structures (that is, ways of connecting these words). As proof of his theory, Chomsky cited the indisputable fact that young children are incredibly easy to master their native language and that outside ofDepending on the type of this language, they make about the same mistakes. Despite the fact that many talk about the "Chomskyan revolution" in linguistics, Chomsky's generativism is constantly criticized.

Answer 3
January, 2021

It depends on what you call thinking. Boolean, etc. abstract "higher" thinking, of course, without language will not work - but nevertheless, animals have a certain intellect and, to the best of their abilities, they still think and solve pressing problems. Visual and specific, but nonetheless.

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