Language and Perception

Words are arbitrary - Language and Perception introduction. Because of this characteristic, words tend to have more than one meaning. More so, there exists a very complex relationship that bonds words to ts meanings and this is called semantics. Usually, “meanings of words” are categorized as denotative or connotative (Megginson Connotations and Denotations). Denotation is the dictionary meaning of a word or the literal definition of a word (Fu Jen University Poetic Elements). In addition, a denotative meaning is the real meaning of a word. It does not suggests another or other meanings aside from its actual definition.

Meanwhile, the associations which are related to a particular word or the emotions linked to a specific word is called connotation (Blurit. com Can You State The Difference Between Connotation And Denotation? ). It is a type of meaning derived from the implications of the word which are most often than not “emotional in nature” that is caused by personal reactions or sentiments about the word. In short, denotation is a simple and straightforward meaning of a word while connotation is the personal association of feelings or concepts to a specific word (Fu Jen University Poetic Elements).

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A clear example of the difference between a denotative and connotative meaning is the word snake. If you look at the dictionary, snake is defined as “limbless, scaly, elongate reptiles of the suborder Serpentes, comprising venomous and nonvenomous species inhabiting tropical and temperate areas” (Dictionary. com Snake). To determine the connotative meaning of the word snake, one must think of associations connected to snake such as treachery, evil or temptation which were probably based on the story of Adam and Eve where they were both seduced by a snake to commit a sin which is to disobey God’s will,.

Because this, varying connotations are generated thus snake gained multiple meanings. On the other hand, language cannot be understood without knowing or experiencing the real world (Waltz 149). It serves as a tool to grasp the complexities of human interaction and its surroundings by defining it into a familiar and comprehensible medium. More so, perception is best comprehended if there is a language system. Meanwhile, language is needed in order to express a certain perception. Language and perception have a symbiotic relationship wherein one can’t be understood without the other.

In short, perception is expressed through language while language is described by perception (149). In my life, language is essential in translating my ideas so that other people would understand me when I’m interacting with them. For example, my passion for music can’t be expressed by just having musical instruments or listening to wordless songs. I have to articulate my passion through words so that other people would directly understand it and in return I could also learn from other people’s perception about music thus beefing up my ideas about music through communicating.

Also, through the lyrics of songs, I can fully comprehend the meaning or purpose of the song. Sometimes, songs can have similar melodies but when you hear the lyrics you could immediately differentiate one song from the other despite their synonymity. Furthermore, communication is an integral part of interaction. In order for these two to materialize, language is needed. Without language, culture, tradition, history and society would not exist making the world a dull and unsustainable place to live.

Works Cited

“Can You State The Difference Between Connotation And Denotation?. 24 June 2007. Blurit. com. 14 March 2008 <http://www. blurtit. com/q688332. html>. Megginson, David. “ Connotations and Denotations. ”16 August 2007. University of Ottawa. 1 4 March 2008 <http://www. arts. uottawa. ca/writcent/hypergrammar/conndeno. html>. “Poetic Elements. ” 1998. Fu Jen University. 14 March 2008 <http://www. eng. fju. edu. tw/English_Literature/terms/denotation. htm>. “Snake. ” 2008. Dictionary. com. 14 March 2008 <http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/snake>. Waltz, David L. On the Interdependence of Language and Perception. Illinois: University of Illinois.

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