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While describing the inhibitory praxis of how to void the mind-body complex of its functions, in the Yogaśāstra of Patañjali emerge contents and structures of those functions themselves. Rather than emphasize the cessative practice of Yoga, it will be the focus of the present talk to mark the field of language and linguistic cognition. Verbal thoughts amount to a specific set of the overall paradigm of mental events occurring in a subject (cittavṛtti). A mental event linguistically structured is explained, according to the Yogadarśana, as one of the specific mental episodes where the language-function is dominant. As instances of those mental events, the mental representation (vikalpavṛtti) and the verbal testimony (āgamavṛtti) will be the subject of discussion.
In the case of the former, vikalpa is by definition regarded as a linguistically structured cognition conceiving it as depending on word-knowledge (śabdajñānānupatī), and void of an objective referent (vastuśūnya). In this regard, a vikalpa can be considered as a generic form of conceptualisation and as a speech-act, and determining the fundamental ground of sender-receiver communication whose output can be either a case of truth-value or untruth-value cognition.
As for the latter, āgama amounts to an instance of a trustworthy testimony. The term āgama can be rendered as 'authoritative and inherited valid belief linguistically transmitted in the form of verbal testimony' and regarded as a specific instance of a speech-act bearing an epistemic content.
Considering both vikalpavṛtti and āgamavṛtti, the topic of linguistic cognition (śābdabodha) is therefore central. Taking an instance of a mental event linguistically structured, the following points do emerge:
a) the sentence (vākya) is the basic, indivisible semantic unit (sphoṭavāda) where the verbal meaning is grasped as a unitary-value;
b) an instrumental function of the speech-sounds (vāgvarṇa) or phonemes do perform an instrumental function conveying verbal understanding;
c) in the Yogadarśana, quite surprisingly, the theory of sphoṭa is employed by the commentators, beginning with the author Pātañjalayogaśāstravivaraṇa (seventh century CE?), in order to illustrate how language does function.