The principal methodological inference drawn from this perspective on the relationship between culture and language was that a culture’s language, or linguistic system, could be used to understand the cultural system itself as a whole. Kroeber puts it in the following terms:
In short, culture can probably function only on the basis of abstractions, and these in turn seem to be possible only through speech, or through a secondary substitute for spoken language such as writing,
numeration, mathematical and chemical notation, and the like. Culture, then, began when speech was present; and from then on, the enrichment of either meant the further development of the other.