Although I often suggest that visuality does not adhere to the same signifying principles of language (i.e., orality, literacy, textuality), I concede that moving images are often constructed and interpreted via a system of representation influenced by language. Images may not inherently exist as such (although many would disagree), but our perception of them is shaped by our use of language. Images may include language or complement language, and even though they require language so as to enable perceivers to interpret them and form meaning, images nor their elements intrinsically function as representative system of meaning. While images and language (i.e., letters, words) are not analogous to one another, it's clear that they need one another. That necessity assumes a relationship that can only be comprehended within the structures of language.
Despite not exploring this relationship specifically, David Abram nevertheless elucidates the connection between language and perception --which in my mind is closely linked to understand images-- in his book, Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World. Images may not be a language, but one particular passage struck me as utterly essential as we seek to gain more knowledge of the elusive relationship between perception, language, and that which language signifies. Abram's note of the expression of language (or images) is particularly intriguing. Try substituting image/s for language and you'll see what I mean:
"The enigma that is language, constituted as much by silence as by sounds, is not an inert or static structure, but an evolving bodily field. It is like a vast, living fabric continually being woven by those who speak. Merleau-Ponty here distinguishes sharply between genuine, expressive speech and speech that merely repeats established formulas. The latter is hardly 'speech' at all; it does not really carry meaning in the weave of its words but relies solely upon the memory of meanings that once lived there. It does not alter the already existing structures of language, but rather treats the language as a finished institution. Nevertheless, those preexisting structures must at some moment have been created, and this can only have been effected by active, expressive speech. Indeed, all truly meaningful speech is inherently creative, using established words in ways they have never quite been used before, and thus altering, ever so slightly, the whole webwork of the language. Wild, living speech takes up, from within, the interconnected matrix of the language and gestures with it, subjecting the whole structure to a 'coherent deformation.'
At the heart of any language, then, is the poetic productivity of expressive speech. A living language is continually being made and remade, woven out of silence of those who speak... And this silence is that of our wordless participations, of our perceptual immersion in the depths of an animate, expressive world."