Language shapes perception. Reality is the reality despite our perception.
What was the most beautiful thing someone has ever said to you? Take a moment and revisit that experience… What do you see? How do you feel? It could have been just one sentence — one sentence that changed you for a moment, or maybe even a lifetime.
The real meaning of the language
Every language or form of human speech has a range of meanings and usage for its words. Language is dynamic. How people use the words available for the thoughts they have in mind or the events and objects they want to talk about varies with the individual and with each group or community of people.
Word meanings arise from how people traditionally use the words. The usages are informal to a large degree, but people who communicate among themselves all the time will use words similarly, so there is a common community understanding of the meaning which hides behind the saying.
Meanings change when an individual or community needs to talk about something new, a new event, a new problem, a drastic change in the environment, a social upheaval, and so forth. Or when the members of one community need to talk with members of another community. The words at hand may gain a new meaning, or even new words can appear.
What you think is what you see
When you open your eyes, you see a colorful three-dimensional world of objects and events. Add to the mixture a panoply of sounds, smells, tastes, and bodily sensations, and you’ve got the consciousness we all take for granted. We think we’re experiencing the world as it is, but we’re not — it’s a virtual reality constructed inside our heads.
Our perception of the world seems to be a passive process. Light comes into our eyes, sound comes into our ears, and our brains sort it out to create a conscious experience that more or less mirrors reality. But our brain isn’t just a passive receiver of information.
Instead, our brains are constantly making predictions about what’s out there. Our perceptions are more about what the brain expects to encounter than what is truly there. In fact, the brain will blatantly disregard the information it receives from the senses, especially in situations where that sensory input doesn’t match up with years of experience.
The brain uses information flowing in from the senses to verify its predictions. And when the brain isn’t confident about its expectations, as when driving down an unfamiliar road, it depends much more on bottom-up perception.
Perception-as-prediction influences many of the daily experiences. For example, we enjoy music, not because the sounds coming in, are inherently pleasing. Rather, we’re pleased by the music because it matches our expectations. That’s why music from other cultures (or other generations) can be hard to listen to. Since it’s unfamiliar, we can’t make good expectations about it.
Expectations also play an important role in our interpersonal relationships. We’re constantly making predictions about what others will say or do, and we’re right so much of the time we don’t even notice it. It’s only when they behave contrary to our expectations they catch our attention.
How does our perception influence the language?
1. The big number of metaphors appear.
What is a metaphor?
The metaphor is the common way humans think and talk about life. So words for one object, event or experience are suitable as a reference for another or a description by analogy.
Humans are very creative, so language is always changing. We are always using metaphors to talk about one thing or one event in terms of another, so virtually every word has multiple usages. And because humans are always looking for better ways to talk about things, searching for ways to talk about new events or technology or social needs, words get extended to new meanings. So the basis of meaning is current usages.
A short checklist on metaphors:
- A metaphor states that one thing is another thing.
- It equates those two things not because they are the same, but for the sake of comparison or symbolism.
- If you take a metaphor literally, it will probably sound strange.
- Metaphors are widespread in poetry, literature, and anytime someone wants to add color to their language
- The reality bears new words.
What is a neologism?
The neologism is a new word, usage, or expression
What are the ways of forming new words?
Perhaps, few new words in the English language are actually completely ‘new’. In fact, new words account for less than 1% of all English neologisms.
According to the ways of neologism formation, there are several categories of neologisms:
- phonological neologisms
We form phonological neologisms by combining unique combinations of sounds. Those new words which appear, have their basis on proper nouns. Brand names have led to the formation of new words and continue to do so.
More straightforward than any of the processes outlined above is simply to grab words from other languages, a process linguists refer to as borrowing. Borrowing has been a feature of English vocabulary development for centuries.
- semantic neologisms:
There are various spheres of human activity which achieved replenishment of the lexicon.
For example: there are semantic neologisms belonging to everyday life: starter, macrobiotics, longlife milk, fridge-freezer, hamburgers (food); backsters (footwear); bumbag, sling bag, maitre (bags).
- syntactical neologisms (there are several subgroups in this category: morphological (word-building) and phraseological (forming word-groups))
Morphological and phraseological neologisms usually follow the patterns existing in the language. Among morphological neologisms, there are a lot of compound words of different types: abbreviations, and affixation.
Phraseological neologisms can follow the following subdivision: phraseological units with transferred meaning and set non-idiomatic expressions.
People always negotiate the meaning. The more different the speech or cultural context of each individual or group, the more interpretation or translation people need. The more we develop reality, the more language we need.
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