Can thoughts exist without language?

Thoughts exist without language, but to explain that need words….

Language and thoughts are difficult to disassemble, it is even harder to imagine anything without language.Words are connected to concepts in such an automatic way that it is almost impossible to think of one without the other.

This is a zebra, you see the animal and immediately thinks “zebra”.

Nevertheless, the concept of zebra and the word “zebra” are two separate things. The word is a way to convey that concept, but the word is not the same as the thought.

In this case, it is a bit like what you see as “thought”.There is a lot going on in our head where no words come to mind. It is possible to imagine things without language such as sounds, objects, feelings, all thoughts that you can have without naming them. We have words for it, there are words for everything. We are programmed to automatically paste a word to something.


The difficult thing about this topic is that we communicate with words, with language.We do that with each other and with ourselves. At the moment we start reflecting on our thoughts or want to communicate something, language will be useful. But that does not mean that all our thoughts are verbal.

An example that might be easy to imagine when you lost a word.You know exactly what the thing is, it’s that blue thing, which you dingest with… You know! You can say it a hundred times, but exactly at that moment you lost the word.

You have it in your head, you know the feature, it sees it for you, but the word is missing.You can still describe it with language, but the exact word is just a few moments away.


Then there are also certain things that you do.

We all get hungry, but it’s not that you say to yourself every time “I’m hungry, let me make a butter ham”. It may be, but it doesn’t have to. Very often you just stand up, walk to the kitchen, and make that little bamboo without saying it. The thought of hunger, of food, which sat there without needing your language.


An extreme case can be seen in Split-brain patients.

Sounds scary… It is also a bit. This was done earlier in severe epilepsy (now we have better methods). The left and straight hemisphere was split, the highway between left and right was cut. That helps with epilepsy but also ensures that the right side can no longer communicate with the left side.

The language areas are left, so what did right could not be articulated.It doesn’t take very long, the brain is looking for other ways to communicate anyway, but for a short while the right half does things without the left half knowing this. A lot is happening, but what I want to mention is the fact that the right half still has thoughts. It can recognize and designate objects without the need for language.


Language is an expression of thought, a very good expression that goes almost automatically, but it is not the same.There is a lot going on in our head where we do not use language…. is only so difficult to explain without words.

Thoughts exist without language.Most vertebrate animals can be seen as thinking animals, while at most they have a poor language. The visual thinking is especially emotional.

Thinking using language is a special way of thinking.You can design a house or plan a trip without having to have a language.

We think in images.Because of the education that focuses on the language and the ratio, the Taalloze think is underexposed. However, linguistic thinking is constantly permeated with feelings and images.

Intuition, intuitive thinking, is a fine example of Taalloos thinking.Also in danger you think more clearly in images than in words. Under really great pressure the words stay away, but the images remain.

Dreams are also a good example of visual thinking.

If you have pets you can also practice to communicate with them via images.Then you take images in your head, imagine for example that your dog or cat is sitting quietly. Do keep a few strokes around the arm, you really communicate or it is only fantasy, but it is an interesting research area.


Complement: Language has two aspects.The ordinary spoken language consists of sounds? “Where’s my bike?” “He stands in the barn. I put it there “. (This is pronounced by two people, it refers to reality).

At school we learn to read and write.That changes the language, instead of referring to the reality, the spoken language refers to the written language. Where is the bike? is a questioning phrase and contains four words. The bike starts with an F and ends on an S, instead of the bike has two wheels and a new bell. According to some, we can think so much more more abstract. You may also think that the Scriptures are alien to us from the spoken language and that we can think much worse.


Interestingly, logic is not so much the application of language rules, but manipulating objects in an imagined space.Certain reasoning is often interpreted with images in a logic book. The ultimate logical language is a kind of mathematical notation, making logic more of an arithmetic operation than a linguist.

Yes, after all, we must have been able to think before language existed.And animals do not have access to language, but they do think what to do. By language Our thoughts are complex, but we have not developed language for our minds. Language is, in principle, a means of cooperation. That fantasy, religion and science can have arisen thanks to the use of language is evolutionarily an advantage. And because for us the use of language is so natural, we hardly even succeed in thinking without language. I hardly say because our actions are often carried out without the need for language thinking beforehand. Make sure that you always think “I’m going to switch to Fifth gear” before you do it.

No, thoughts cannot exist without language.We can think in images and sound, but before we imagine them, there is a conceptualization phase in advance. What do I mean by that? Before we call an image (consciousness), we determine by means of an ‘ index ‘ or a word, what context it should contain. With creativity, this is something else, but there are also words to pass (or no thoughts and only a direct output of neurological responses.

Yes, a toddler who wants to crawl around has the thought of propelling, moving forward but still does not have the language to express this.Idem for putting something in the mouth.

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