Is language a mere tool or a sign of knowledge?
I have heard people saying that language is merely a tool to communicate and the ability to speak a language, according to these people, doesn’t imply that person is knowledgeable. Is that really the case? Shouldn’t one be knowledgeable to a degree to be able to speak a language? If one doesn’t know what a thing is called, which I understand as knowledge, how could one express that? Even if one knows what a thing is, if the person cannot find the right word, which again I believe to be knowledge, how could the person express that? For instance, if one doesn’t know the difference between discourse, dialogue, discussion (disclaimer : I don’t know the difference either), how is one going to speak to an audience about these? So, knowing the words doesn’t mean anything (which I understand to be an aspect of learning language), if one doesn’t understand the meaning behind the words (which I believe implies knowledge at some level).
Does it mean one can equate ability to speak language as a sign of knowledge? I believe so, but only to a certain level. One could master as many languages as one could and still be totally stupid when it comes to knowledge unrelated to language learning. I am not sure if I am saying anything significant through this article. If you find it, then do let me know.
Anyone who is interested, a nice article on difference between debate, discourse & discussion : Link