Language is universal way to express how a person feels. So of course, it is essential in cultures to express their individuality within life. Most of the time people do not put a lot of speculation on what mental processes may be taking place subconsciously. These mental processes allow a person to think, speak, and express their personal thoughts through language. In order to properly analyze that language, cognition must be a part of the mental processes too. In this essay, we will delve deeper into how language and cognition are associated.
Language & Lexicon
Language is an efficient and consequential use of information, which can be both comprehended and used by all living things. It is also the communication of thoughts to language. According to Merriam-Webster (2014), cognitive psychology can be defined as, “a branch of psychology concerned with mental processes (as perception, thinking, learning, and memory) especially with respect to the internal events occurring between sensory stimulation and the overt expression of behavior.” Accordingly, when a person or animal learns to understand through the use of language, and with the capacity of that language, there can be a cognitive process that helps to separate humans from animals. Language is completely generative, dynamic, structured, and communicative.
In language, a lexicon is known as the vocabulary or psychological language. A lexicon can hold many different types of words, which can also include how to pronounce a word, and the parts of speech for each word (Galotti, 2014). A lexicon is used to help a person understand words that are spoken, and their meanings. The spoken words are compared to a person’s lexicon, which is how a person can understand what the word is. It could be near impossible to understand a language or vocabulary without lexicons. The use of lexicons are a very important part of a person’s language.
Key Features of Language
There are many key features that make a language. The following are the main properties: generative, communicative, dynamic, and structured. Language is considered generative because, a person has an unlimited capacity as to how they build their personal languages. Language allows people to communicate with one another, and it also allows other animals to communicate within the same species as well. Language is dynamic because it is forever changing, and also develops people into having larger vocabularies. Lastly, the structure of language plainly shows exactly how convoluted it truly is. The great thing about language, is that it can adapt and expand as a person learns more information. New words can be added to a language or vocabulary, while others can be erased or updated (Galotti, 2014).
Language development is different for each person. Some people are able to learn language through their cognitive functions, but sometimes, it takes more time. For an example, with children, they have to learn everything, which includes their own names, how they are feeling, how to express feeling, and objects. But they also have to learn how to use the vocabulary they are learning.
Lastly, the feature that influences more cognitive processes, mainly languages that can influence thoughts. It works in a rotating structure, language helps to influence thoughts, and language also helps to regulates thoughts. A person always uses language in order to interpret their own thoughts. The main reason that language influences thought is because thoughts are when a person is consciously speaking to themselves.
Levels of Language
There are four different levels of language in reference to the structure and processing, phonemes, words, sentences, and texts. Phonemes are the tiniest part of sounds or units that can be used by people in order to form words. Phonemes are a person’s sounds of speech, which is similar to each letter in the alphabet. The main dilemma with phonemes are that each person’s creation of them are different. When a person studies phonetics, they are studying speech sounds and their physical properties.
Words help a person make sense of phonemes. Words are made up of by multiple spoken sounds. A sentence is, of course, a set of words which complete themselves. A sentence will also allow a person to organize their thoughts when they are preparing to speak, or to write something. A text helps a person connect sentences in order to form a small amount of information, or a paragraph. These usually help to explain a specific topic, and always have to be about one topic. All four of these structures are a crucial part of language. To put this more easily, phonemes lead to words, words lead to sentences, and sentences lead to texts (Galotti, 2014).
Analyzing the Role: Language Process & Cognitive Psychology
In order to properly analyze the role of processing language, a person has to first understand cognitive psychology, to study mental processes. Mental processes give a person the ability to think, believe, perceive, solve problems, make decisions, remember, learn, reason, and adapt. By using these mental processes a person can begin to understand and comprehend language, and with that, the process of the language is used. If a person does not understand the language’s structure, that person will not have the capability to understand texts, sentences, words or phonemes, which all make up a language. With lack of perceptive abilities, a person may not comprehend language, with all of its entirety. Cognitive processes help determine how the language is processed within the brain. When a person begins to learn and understand language, the cognitive process is in use.
The cognitive process known as language drives a separation in between humans and other beings. The lexicon contains words in which people can use to compare other words or parts of speech. There are multiple key features of language. These key features, as stated above are, generative, communicative, dynamic, and structured. With all of these features, language can become very intricate. If a person were to completely understand each one of these key features, they will be able to understand and comprehend how necessary they are to be used within language. Also, it is crucial for a person to analyze the role that cognitive psychology plays within the process of language. Cognitive psychology is important in many aspects of a person’s life, but especially in the language process.
Cognitive Psychology. (2014). In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from
http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/cognitive%20psychology Galotti, K. M. (2014). Cognitive Psychology In and Out of the Laboratory (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.