Relationship between logic and language

Relationship between logic and language. Language is a set of rules applied to the symbolization of codes and expressions (mostly referred to human communication) that allows ideas to be elaborated and explained in a coherent way. A faculty that the human being has managed to complicate in a unique way compared to the rest of species.

Relationship between logic and language
Relationship between logic and language

Logic, on the other hand, is a formal science that deals with studying human thought, in order to understand how reasoning becomes the link between valid knowledge and reality.

Could we relate these two elements? Is there a relationship between logic and language? Let’s get to it.

Logic: the order and how of it

Logic is one of the oldest formal sciences that exists in our society. Its development occurred in parallel in different civilizations, being a slope that influences the growth of multiple human tools such as science, mathematics, other formal sciences, etc.

What we could define as an object the formal of logic, is human thought understood from its processes, processes such as propositions, inference, prediction, demonstration, etc. Logic suggests that these processes allow human thought to produce rational relationships.

In this way, human thought must value all these processes to arrive at valid thought, that is, one that can create coherent relationships between elements, and, on these relationships, arrive at useful, true and logical knowledge.

Relating logic to other disciplines or sciences typically consists of examining what have been the contributions that logic itself has given to the area to be related. In this case, we will talk about language, which we will define first, and then take to the plane of the relationship itself.

Language: the coherence of our communication

Language is a set of rules applied to the construction of ideas expressed, either in written or pronounced form, so that they have coherence for both the sender and the receiver.

It is very common to observe that language is also usually defined as a human faculty, which, in fact, characterizes one of the most unique aspects of the human itself, resulting in a trait as well as a set of rules. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that animal species also have communication systems, although never as complex as human language.

In this regard, the set of rules that give uniformity and coherence to the language are known as grammar, which allow every language to enjoy an adequate order when expressing itself. These rules are constituted as follows:

  1. Syntax: In charge of the order of the words, starting from the existence of a relationship between them when preparing a sentence.
  2. Morphology: Whose study is aimed at understanding the classification and definition that each word produces in a sentence, such as verbs, nouns, pronouns and adjectives respectively.
  3. Semantics: Dedicated to understanding the very meaning of words, that is, the referential relationship to which each term alludes.
  4. Allophones: Oriented to study the pronunciation of a sound with its different sound variations.
  5. Phonology: Studies the sound of words, precisely, in the way in which it can change the meaning of them. It is, the meaning, in turn, the pronunciation.

How does logic relate to language?

On many occasions, logic is the very principle of many disciplines. To explain this, we must remember that logic focuses on the reasoning produced by the coherent relationships of the arranged elements. This means that, in the face of language, logic also operates as an organizing principle.

Just as we have been able to elaborate a mathematical operation such as “5+5= 10”, we have also been able to create grammatical language rules for expressions such as “Today the sky is cloudy”. There is a logical order in the process of construction, application and interpretation of language.

Historically, we can find that logic has had historical roles in language development. One of these has been Aristotelian logic, which emphasized the predicability of arguments, starting from the study of subject-predicate relations specifically.

Aristotle’s efforts were aimed at elaborating a reduction that would allow us to understand language as the application of different elements, an aspect that, although it cannot be considered a formalization of language, meant a step towards a better understanding of language.

The formalization of language would have to be considered a reality with the construction of arguments and syllogisms respectively. This would make it possible to elaborate linguistic forms from rules that could be generalized and understood.

We observe that there is a historical path in which logic would participate in the development of language itself. Now, leaving history, let’s refer to theory, analyzing how logic applies in language.

Grammar is, as we have already observed, the application of rules that constitute the logical order of language. Here lies the relationship between logic and language, when we observe that the possibility of elaborating coherent and ordered ideas is thanks to reasoning itself.

Reasoning, as we can remember, is the formal object of logic, since this is the channel to arrive at the coherent and rational relationship of the elements. In this context, reasoning, studied by logic, would be the mechanism to make coherent and ordered language possible. In other words, grammar operates on reasoning itself.

Language is possible thanks to logic

There could be no grammar without reasoning, and there could be no reasoning without the analysis of logic. In this way, language, as an ordered and coherent system, is possible thanks to the application of logic, this being an entity capable of ordering the way in which humans elaborate and interpret language.

Despite being a habitual process, and, therefore, very natural, language is still a complex phenomenon in our humanity, and it is thanks to our ability to reason that we can execute it, becoming a universal feature of our species. This is how we can conclude, there is, a relationship between language and logic.

Read also: Relationship between logic and language

This post is also available in: English Español (Spanish)