Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Language, Psychology, Brain, Processing, Cognitive Psychology, Communication, Law, Learning

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/02/07

Language underpins all kinds of social interactions from simple daily acts to constructing and refining political systems. It is a complex form of communication of thoughts with the help of sounds and schematic symbols. Language has two basic functions, namely semiological function and interactive function . While seismological function pertains to the symbolization of thoughts into sounds, writing or gestures, interactive function refers to communication, manipulation, expressiveness and social communion. It is language which shapes the thoughts of individuals. The symbolic resources of language offer a wide range of options for any given situation. Language consists of a finite number of words as well as a finite number of rules, which potentially combine the words into meaningful sentences. It is the ability of using language that differentiates humans from animals. Social interaction shapes various patterns and distributions of language.
Lexicon plays a crucial role in an individual’s use of language. It refers to a mental dictionary, which contains various representations of words, including parts of speech, spellings and pronunciation of the words . In other words, it is a long term memory, which stores words in the form of visuals, phonetics and semantics. A lexicon helps the individuals to match spoken words with their meanings. It is with the aid of lexicons that individuals recognize the words and compare them with the mental dictionary whenever they see or hear the words. A lexicon of a language enables individuals to describe their thoughts as specific as possible depending upon the communicative objectives and circumstances. It is a set of fixed expressions and an assembly of symbolic structures. A lexicon has the capability of incorporating various aspects of grammar used in a language.
There are certain features of language, which define its complexity. Language is dynamic, communicative, structured, arbitrary and generative. Language allows individuals to interact and communicate with one another. It has a pattern of symbols, which have a definite structure. With regards to arbitrariness, there is no relation between the elements of language and their meanings, which makes language arbitrary. Moreover, language enables to build infinite meanings from the basic units. Language is dynamic in nature and hence it changes constantly. It is an innate process, which allows making errors while learning, such as overregularization and overextension . While overextension refers to the excessive use of known words in various situations due to limited vocabulary, overregularization refers to the application of linguistic rules in situations where the rules do not apply.
Another important feature of language is its unique trait of humans. While animals can only communicate, humans possess the unique capability of using language as a means of communication. Most importantly, language has the capacity to influence various cognitive processes . It influences the thought process of an individual. As an individual utters words, the words reveal his thoughts. Language is special in terms of development as learning language does not relate to learning other skills. Language possesses discreteness as the vocabulary used in language consists of several discrete units. It is interchangeable as an individual can act as both a listener as well as a speaker. Another significant feature of language is that it is under the voluntary control of individuals as it depends on whether or not a person wants to convey a particular thought. It also possesses the property of learnabilty as an individual can learn a language from an individual as well as teach a language to another individual.
There are four levels of language structure and processing, which include “phonemes, words, sentences and texts” . Phonemes are the basic units of sound of a language. It is the speech equivalent of a letter. The choice of phoneme occurs on the basis of where the phoneme should occur in the utterance sequence. There are various letters, which consist of dual phonemes. Furthermore, there are certain representations of phonemes, which occur through multiple letters. One of the basic rules of phonemes is that they cannot begin with two stop consonants, such as b,d and p. Words are the units, which help an individual to frame logical sentences. There are approximately 200 phonemes in the world and 46 phonemes in the English language. The phonemes of English language are capable of producing over 600,000 words .
There are various rules for the formation of words, which depend on the appearance of phonemes in the word. The construction of sentences depends upon the order of the words. The accurate construction of sentences relies on the processing of sentences rather than the stringent rules. Moreover, speech depends on the breaks present in the phonemes composing a sentence. The breaks in the stream of speech help to understand the sentences while listening to one another. On the other hand, text is a group of meaningful and related sentences, which form a group of paragraphs . It is important to note than a group of unrelated sentences do not form a text. In a text, the relation between sentences allows the readers to infer the subject matter.
In order to analyze the role of language processing in cognitive psychology, it is important to understand what cognitive psychology is. Cognitive psychology refers to the study of four mental processes of the brain, which include “memory, perception, thinking and creation of imagery” . Language processing has an important role in psychology as it is a significant component of memory. It helps individuals to progress from infancy to adulthood through the attainment of knowledge. Perception uses five senses, out of which language processing makes use of hearing and sight. In order to process the four levels of language structure, it is important for the individuals to hear the sounds or decipher the symbols visually . The process of transforming phonemes into words, words into sentences and sentences into texts results in the use of memory, which is a key component of cognitive psychology. Language processing influences the creation of imagery as nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs of a language create a picture of movement. Similarly, language processing also influences the cognitive process of thinking.
There is a complex interplay between the role of language processing and cognitive psychology. With advances in an infant’s cognitive development, language processing acts as a secondary memory associated with motivations for behavior. The acquisition of language through instruction and learning influences the cognitive processes. Moreover, the complexity of language processing has a positive effect on the cognitive processes. The complexity of incorporating overextension and overregularization involves a higher level of cognitive processes depending on the language. Similarly, language comprehension involves learning, reasoning and perceiving, which require the demonstration of an individual’s cognitive abilities at various levels . If an individual fails to understand the semantics of a language, he also fails to use the context for perceiving and reasoning, which ultimately affects the decision making process. Thus, language processing plays a prominent role in cognitive psychology.


Braisby, N., & Gellatly, A. (2012). Cognitive Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Carroll, D. (2007). Psychology of Language. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Groome, D. (2013). An Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: Processes and Disorders. New York: Psychology Press.

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WePapers. (2021, February, 07) Language Essay Example. Retrieved February 02, 2023, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/language-essay-example/
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Language Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/language-essay-example/. Published Feb 07, 2021. Accessed February 02, 2023.

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