Language Universals and Grammatical Categories - In this paper I explore the consistency of an idea of language structures as both universal in their nature and empirical in their genesis. To this aim, I assume the theory of the parts of speech as a case study. I proceed from a brief historical reconstruction of 20th-century theories of grammatical categories to an analysis of the semantics of the parts of speech, with particular emphasis on Ronald Langacker’s philosophy of grammar. Finally I focus on the theory of prepositions in order to explore the relations between language and perception and the function of perceptual schemas at the basis of linguistic categories.
Keywords: Linguistic universals, Parts of speech, Perceptual schemas, Cognitive linguistics, Prepositions, Philosophy of grammar.
Parole chiave: Universali linguistici, Parti del discorso, Schemi percettivi, Linguistica cognitiva, Preposizioni, Filosofia della grammatica.