Speech and thought in the theory and philosophy of language

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


Vesntik TSU. Philosophy. 2014

Speech and thought in the theory and philosophy of language

About the author:

Irina N. Pupysheva,


The article is based on a selective background of the theory of language.
The paper makes an attempt to address the issue of development of speech/thought
relations and present it as a key to the philosophy of language in general, highlighting
the current concepts and trends. Up to the 19th century, the development of the theory
of language appears to be confined to the formal logical approach; a comparison with
the psychological direction is made. The following theories attract our attention: neo-
Humboldtian theory, structuralism, behaviorism, generative grammar. Speech and thought
are represented in relations of “form and content”, “general and particular”. Speech is
presented as a structure, a part of and a reaction of thought. Speech functions go beyond
a simple replacement of objects. The paper observes the dependence of speech/thought
relation on recognition (or negation) of the existence of universals, as well as their
nature. The paper reveals a correlation between the issue and the theory of language
origin. In the framework of the discussed theories, the article analyses a possibility
of “thought without speech” and “speech without thought”.


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