Here's just a what if to keep this going. What if language was pre-thought? What if we were created with a perfect language, and the language fueled our thoughts? Just a thought. lol.
well, like I said, I was just trying to keep this going.
Anthropologically language and thought probably co-evolved.
How complex could thoughts be without language? Well, if you took a potential brilliant philosophical genius at infancy, raised him in a room with no features, never let him interact with other humans, never taught him a language, and he survived to adulthood, what could he think? Could he ever generate complex thoughts? Could he understand anything more than the most basic cause and effect relationships?
The thing is that our thoughts are trained and nurtured by interaction with others, chiefly our parents and siblings, but also in school. And language (whether spoken or Braille or sign language or whatever) is the common currency of that growth process.
Assuming a structured rule governed system of thought/cognition, communicated or not, can be argued to be language. Thought of any kind would be done in a language even pictoral thinking is representational and holds semantic properties. To not be considered a language would make all thought to chaotic to express in an external language, sort of like an analogy between Microsoft word using binary but we read whatever it produces.
I'm not saying it is impossible that Word (or other software) may someday do this to one degree or another, just that it's not the same kind of problem. Semantics requires something more than just the structure of the words, what more it requires I don't know exactly. If I did I'd be very wealthy, very soon
Does semantics require a subjective, emotional connection to the words? Perhaps that is a major difference between semantics and syntax. While a sentence can be properly written or spoken (syntax), what it means go far beyond the words themselves. Although, when we talk about meaning and emotional connections, I think we inevitably spiral into subjective translations, and then we need to figure out how each subjective translation interrelates
I imagine an alien with different emotions could possibly exist and would have great difficulty understanding what we mean, while still understanding what we "said."