You are on page 1of 2

Language is the means by which we relay our thoughts and feelings to another. It is a form of communication.

Language encompasses strings of grammatical sentences having a generative characteristic that can determine a persons linguistic competence. According to Chomsky, the analysis of this linguistic competence can reveal an individuals cognitive structure. It can give us a glimpse of how complex the information process system of a person. Through the article we were able to know the importance of language in psychology. The acquisition of it, as well as how it is used is very important in trying to draw an entire individuals cognition. According to Wundt, high level mental processes cannot be analyzed experimentally, and so, it is important to analyze their cultural products. The article The Place of Language in a Scientific Psychology argued about the importance of language in perception, learning, as well as thinking. According to the author he picked two topics to discuss, the first one was the innateness of language, and the second one was how language and communication was related. In the first one, he argued that there was no question about the innateness of language since there was substantial evidence that could defend those accounts. However, scholars demand a more precise characterization of what the claim of innateness entails. He discussed this in identifying the elements in the language that we tend to delve into when we learn a new language. Furthermore, in the second question that was identified as one of his discussion points, he associated representational systems with communication systems. These two systems according to him make the human language unique. The article didnt seem to focus on Wundts account about the importance of culture that considers language. I think that it was the most important point in the article. Psychologists after him like Buhler focused more on the how the language is used rather than its importance in the cultural setting. James on the otherhand, stated that language is a major error in psychology. I argue otherwise. It seems that what hes trying to say is that psychology and linguistics are two distinct areas of study that doesnt have anything to do with each other. I think that language is important in psychology because it gives a broad picture about the individual or the group of people under study. If psychologists would only focus on using English as an international language, this would lead to misperceptions. The terminology or words in the English language doesnt necessarily encompass all the terms in other languages. So I think that

learning the language helps in trying to draw a picture of how these individuals think, how they put meaning into words etc. Furthermore, even if some words have their English counterparts, it is still difficult to reconcile two different terms. If that were the case, the inquiry would be prone to bias. We all have to thank Chomsky in reconciling linguistics and psychology. He redefined linguistics that enabled it to be part cognitive psychology. Chomsky is influential when it comes to the basic questions that arise with regards to language. I agree with what he said that native speakers knowledge of his or her language is generative in nature that can be a medium in which one can identify an individuals mental capacity. This has been already proven by developmental psychology. According to developmental psychology, language is one of the elements that determine if a child has mental incapacities or not. It is also a sensitive period of development. If a child doesnt learn language in its critical period, he or she would lose the capacity to speak normally. The generative characteristic of language helps in language acquisition, if the development of a child goes smoothly, there will be no problems with speech. This could help the child in his or her everyday interaction with other people. A person acquires a complex system of knowledge throughout its development by which language plays a major part. Chomskys theory about the knowledge system of language enabled language to be central the study of human cognition. Thus, we can assert Wundts previous premise about language. According to him, the only way that would enable them to understand complex psychological process was to analyze culture, where language is a central element in the pursuit. According to Chomsky: the theory of language is simply that part of human psychology that is concerned with one particular mental organ, human language. Language can be a form mental process that enables the person to receive, react, and respond to stimuli. It is a means by which we communicate our thoughts and feelings. Language can be both verbal and nonverbal, the analysis of how it is constructed and the underlying cognitive process helps us in forming a whole picture of the human mind as well as his or her psyche.