Language (in neurocognitive linguistics)

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In neurocognitive linguistics, language is the system used by people for their linguistic activity, i.e., the linguistic information system of the brain.

The concept language is at best a remotely abstract one. Language is several steps removed from reality. You cannot touch, see, or feel a language. Yes, you can hear speech, but that is something different. Should we assume that because we have the word "language", there must be such things as languages?

"Language" is just a term of English. It may be interesting to take note of the fact that many of what English calls languages do not have terms equivalent to "language".

Such a commonly occurring word as "language" naturally encourages people to form a conceptual object within their belief systems to go with it, and to imagine that this concept must have an existence as a definite object of some kind beyond what is tangibly and observably real. What is commonly called a language is not only unobservable, it is not a physical object of any kind. It can be regarded as a very abstract object or as a logical construct, or as an illusion. Furthermore, belief in its existence as a real object tends to deny the fact that every person's linguistic system -- a network existing in that person's brain -- differs to varying degrees from that of every other person.

Nevertheless, for the sake of linguistics and in recognition that this field is certainly concerned with languages in some sense of that longtime ill-defined term, neurocognitive linguistics tries to look behind the term and find the tangible and observable reality.