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The relationship is a complex one, so multifaceted in fact that the study called "psycholinguistics" is devoted to it. The basic divisions of that discipline are how words mean (that is, how does the mind connect the sound of a word with its signified object, abstraction, or idea); syntax (how does the mind assemble a series of sounds into a sentence); discourse (how does the mind process an exchange of sounds into an exchange of ideas, opinions, etc). So the way spoken language works is the primary relationship. Also, written language and its mental processes can be considered part of psycholinguistics.
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