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In short, the meaningfulness of grammar becomes apparent only with an appropriate view of linguistic meaning. In cognitive semantics, meaning is identified as the conceptualization associated with linguistic expressions. This may seem obvious, but in fact it runs counter to standard doctrine. A conceptual view of meaning is usually rejected either as being insular – entailing isolation from the world as well as from other minds – or else as being nonempirical and unscientific. These objections are unfounded. Though it is a mental phenomenon, conceptualization is grounded in physical reality: it consists in activity of the brain, which functions as an integral part of the body, which functions as an integral part of the world.Linguistic meanings are also grounded in social interaction, being negotiated by interlocutors based on mutual assessment of their knowledge, thoughts, and intentions. As a target of analysis, conceptualization is elusive and challenging, but it is not mysterious or beyond the scope of scientific inquiry. Cognitive semantics provides an array of tools allowing precise, explicit descriptions for essential aspects of conceptual structure. These descriptions are based on linguistic evidence and potentially subject to empirical verification. Analyzing language from this perspective leads to remarkable conclusions about linguistic meaning and human cognition.


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