[M]any authors advocate a principle of effability, according to which a natural language can express anything that can be thought. A natural language is supposedly capable of rendering the totality of our experience
mental or physical--and, consequently, able to express all our sensations, perceptions, abstractions up to the question of why is there Something instead of Nothing. It is true that no purely verbal language ever entirely achieves total effability: think of having to describe, in words alone, the smell of rosemary. We are always required to supplement language with ostensions, expressive gestures and so-called “tonemic” features. Nevertheless, of all semiotic systems, nothing rivals language in its effability.—Eco 1997, p. 23