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The extent and type of our language defines our knowledge of the world. Do you agree?

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'The extent and type of our language defines our knowledge of the world.' Do you agree? Language is defined by the OED as the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way. It is therefore an important way of expression, communication, interaction and also understanding. When we want to understand a concept we usually use our language, and we use the words that we know in order to understand the concept. Generally we try to explain things with our own words and this happens because it is our language what gives us the definitions of what we want to know. However, it is known that most languages have different words for the same concepts. A concept does not change depending on the way it is named. What could change is the perception of the speakers and their way of thinking. This is what I am going to investigate in this essay. ...read more.


We would not be able to know something just because of how it is called. What gives us the knowledge is what we experience or what we have understood. We would still know about something if we have no words for it and we would remember it even if we do not know how it is called. Additionally, we can say that we would also be able to think about something for which we do not have a name. Basically, that is how new concepts and words are created. We can not create a word without knowing its concept and without thinking about it first. For example, many times I forget the name of an object or I just do not know how an object is called, but I am able to understand how it works and for what it is used because I have used it before or I have learned from someone else. We can say that the words are used to be stored in our memory and to make it easier to remember something. ...read more.


all the time instead of using egocentric coordinates (right, left, front, behind). It can be said that their knowledge of geography and their orientation is much more developed than English or Spanish speakers. However, English and Spanish speakers are not prevented from learning exactly the same because of their language. Investigations regarding language and knowledge are not completely clear yet and more research should be carried on to understand entirely what the effect of language in our knowledge is. However, from the information we have and the analysis done I conclude that the extent and type of our language do not define our knowledge of the world. The improvement of our language and the way we interact with the world are a result of the development of our knowledge which is gained through experiences. There exists different cultures which different behaviors speaking the same language, or even deaf-mute people who can gain the same knowledge as an English speaker. Language does not limit our knowledge. I consider experiences and nurture as clearer factors that define our knowledge. Mario Cabani Mario Cabani ...read more.

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