Provably (or by sufficiently rigorous arguments), what are the limits of language (natural & formal)? What can a language not speak about? If there is something non-senseless which language cannot speak of, is that limit imposed by the structure of the language OR by our rules of interpretation of the language?

Also, can we think i.e. mentally reason about the thing which cannot be expressed by a language?

  • You do realize that the question is nonsensical? You are asking us to speak about what language can not speak about. If this is intended please explain what sort of answer you are looking for. For Wittgenstein's take see If “the limits of my language are the limits of my world”, then how can it be that “what can be shown, cannot be said”? – Conifold Jun 8 at 23:24
  • Wittgenstein summarized the problem. However it's detailed exegesis Is better done by Whorf (and Sapir Jacobson and other linguists) – Rusi-packing-up Jun 9 at 1:24
  • May add: If you insist on "prove rigorously" instead of say "indicate" "explain" "elaborate" the question becomes untenable as @Conifold suggests. – Rusi-packing-up Jun 9 at 2:05
  • @Conifold Yes, in that way it is quite nonsensical. While we may not be able to write a sensical statement which language cannot speak of, but, by using natural language, I think we can certainly talk about it or describe it. That is the sort of answer I am looking for. What is the nature of such statements, if they indeed exist. – Ajax Jun 9 at 5:48
  • I think you're looking for concepts that we know about but that our language cannot describe. But how could we communicate such concepts here then? – Inertial Ignorance Jun 9 at 7:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.