Can we think i.e. process the input data without relying on linguistic structures?

All knowledge between human is either spoken or written. When we see something, it contributes towards the construction of properties of the object seen. For example, when I see an image of red apple, I register an object which is an apple with a property of redness.

Now suppose a person comes and cuts the apple into two halves; I am basically witnessing the event of cutting the apple. To make any sense out of the visual, it is necessary to think (or process the input visual) that the apple has been cut. As you can see, this processing required usage of linguistic structures : cut, person, half, etc; these linguistic structures have been employed so as to be able to make a minimally acceptable sense (it is not sufficient to sense that something happened).

What about intuition? When smart people get what they call as 'intuition', is it, in first place, constructed in their mind on linguistic platform? Or its source is something undefinable; only attempts are made to convey the phenomenon/intuition/idea using language?

An equivalent question can be framed as follows: Can every possible human thought be satisfactorily communicated using a given language i.e. a set of words?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to psych.SE. I think this question may be too broad for a Q&A forum; I recommend breaking it up into multiple separate questions. Also see: How does a language deprived person think?, is it possible to think without language?, What is it called to think without language? Are there studies around it?, Is there any evidence that language is the limit of the world? $\endgroup$
    – Arnon Weinberg
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ This is an interesting topic. I can’t give you a comprehensive answer myself but would like to give some comments from my observations. Usually, we think in language, and the language helps us think and connect/manipulate thoughts more efficiently because it symbolizes the essence of thoughts into more easily manageable items. But sometimes, we don’t think in language, such as when we were babies, when we suffer global aphasia (from stroke, trauma, etc.), or when we just visualize doing something simple. $\endgroup$
    – user287279
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 6:10
  • $\begingroup$ That would seem to imply that a human child raised in the wild would not be able to conceive what was happening as they witnessed the cutting of the apple? $\endgroup$
    – norlesh
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 15:42
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    $\begingroup$ I remember situations where all in a sudden I get an answer to a question I asked myself minutes or hours ago without thinking about the solution using any sort of language. I think this is in contrast to the hypothesis that humans need to think in language. At least there seems to be a passive type of thinking that does not require language (if I am correct, the proper term for this is 'diffuse' vs. 'focused mode' of the brain). $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 20:17


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