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It isn't easy to imagine our mind without language. We can't think, plan, or relate to other people if we lack words to structure our ideas.
Bertrand Russel stated that the task of language is to "make possible thoughts which could not exist without it."
Take language away, and the amount of information you can acquire decreases.
Many deaf children born into hearing families live in a world unable to communicate properly. They are never exposed to abstract ideas such as "justice" or "global warming." Unless the parents learn sign language, the child's language access will be delayed or missing entirely.
The lack of language affects even functions like math. Keeping track of exact numbers above four requires knowing the words for these numbers. The language-number interdependency means many deaf children in industrialized societies fall behind in math because they did not learn to count.
Social cognition is another part of your mind that needs language to develop. Why is your mom upset? Understanding social situations requires inferring what people around you are thinking.
Language can disappear after severe damage to the brain. It is known as aphasia - the inability to understand or produce speech.
Research on adults with aphasia has demonstrated that math, theory of mind, and other cognitive abilities are independent from language. Patients with aphasia perform comparably to the rest of us when asked to complete arithmetic tasks, reason about people's intentions, determine physical causes of actions, or decide whether a drawing represents a real-life event. Some can continue with creative tasks.
In adults, language is separate from other functions of the brain.
Our language is but a scaffold for our minds. It is indispensable during the formative years but can be done away with once the building is in place.
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Language is what makes us human, what lies at the root of our awareness, our intellect, our sense of self. Without it, we cannot plan, cannot communicate, cannot think. Or can we?