When we try to think at all clearly, we think, on the whole, in words; and it is well known that, even in the advancement of science, inaccuracy of vocabulary has often been a stumbling-block which has made it difficult to reach accurate conclusions. The child growing up learns, along with the vocables of his mother-tongue, that things which he would have believed to be different, are, in important points, the same. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality.
Much of what has been written on this subject by professional linguists focuses rather narrowly on the question of whether the grammar of a language will influence the thinking of its speakers, without any attention being given to how vocabulary might influence thought. Furthermore, it is very difficult to modify our language so that it will be able to describe these atomic processes, for words can only describe things of which we can form mental pictures, and this ability, too, is a result of daily experience.
London and New York: Elizabeth Wright. Hilliard and Brown, 1829 , p. Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Signs are arbitrary the first time they are employed, which is the reason perhaps that some imagine they can have no character. Shedd, A History of Christian Doctrine , vol. Whattaya do when an atheist accuses you of circular reasoning? Shedd wrote:. Language is the product of the human soul, as are thought and emotion, and, therefore, depends upon the constitution of that soul, the historical experiences of the family or race speaking it, especially the stage of development in civilization, morals, and religion.
The sentence in the original German reads as follows: I shall state numerically a few things universally admitted by the reflecting part of mankind: Tomo V 1933-1941 Madrid: Fortunately, mathematics is not subject to this limitation, and it has been possible to invent a mathematical scheme—the quantum theory—which seems entirely adequate for the treatment of atomic processes; for visualisation, however, we must content ourselves with two incomplete analogies—the wave picture and the corpuscular picture.
This essay does not equate language with grammar. This was done partly by the invention of new words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever.
Empiricist writers are very fond of emphasizing one great set of delusions which language inflicts on the mind. Sapir had resisted efforts along this line, and at Yale he opposed the creation of a Department of Linguistics because saw the study of language as an activity which should be pursued by scholars with extensive training in other disciplines.