Thought and Word vs. Language and Thought

Topics: Meaning of life, Philosophy of language, Linguistics Pages: 2 (627 words) Published: August 24, 2013
L.S. Vygotsky’s Thought & Word vs. Suzanne K. Langer’s Language & Thought (A comparative summary)

Commonly, we know thought by the meaning of an idea which is produced by mental activity. It can be a plan, a concept, an opinion, or anything else that we think of. A language additionally is a system of communication or one place’s/group of people’s speech. Moreover, word is a meaningful unit of language sounds or an utterance. We know all this basic meaning of these words through the dictionary. Here we are about to compare ‘Thought & Word’ defined and elaborated by Vygotsky and ‘Language & Thought’ by Langer. Why we have defined first the meaning of these words is that they are our sole subject in this matter. Vygotsky defined thought as one unit, basis of speech (that is it came first before words that it represents or that we think of it first before we utter something), created through motivation, can be a source of motivation, gives life to words and realizes itself in word (that is looking at how will it affect people when you put that thought into word). Word on the other hand was defined as a verbal representation of thought, no life without thought, and dependent upon the thought. Vygotsky also said that there is an invisible bridge between thought and word that is in some cases like the literacy of a person. If one person is illiterate, he is most likely to have serious difficulty in putting his thoughts into words because he is limited to it. Now that we know Vygotsky’s definition of thought & word let’s deal with Langer’s language & thought on the other hand. If the other reading suggests that Language came before everything else, Langer’s definition about it is the opposite. Language she said came after the essence of naming things. Therefore, she means that Language was a product of everything else which we have felt the need of naming of. This shows that Langer is opposing to the notion that Language came before everything else....
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