On Language and Thought: A Question of Form
David J. Lobina
January 2018

The literature on the relationship between language and thought is immense, but it is not always clear what phenomenon exactly most publications are in fact examining – or whether the various studies are even compatible. This is mainly due to two interrelated reasons: the interested scholars seldom offer clear definitions for language and thought, and the terms of comparison between these two phenomena are hardly ever specified. The aim of this paper is twofold: a) to showcase the perils of this state of affairs by analyzing a particular but little considered type of mismatch between linguistic and conceptual representations, thus providing the primer for a competence-like analysis of thought, and in so doing b) defend a specific way to approach the language and thought nexus, prior to and above all others. In particular, I argue that the study of "the relationship" should give priority to a comparative analysis of the representational vehicles language and thought exhibit in order to work out what thought representations are actually like.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003835
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Forthcoming in Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations
keywords: language; thought; representational vehicle; level of explanation; question., semantics, syntax
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