In a recent book entitled 'Meaning and Universal Grammar - Theory and Empirical Findings' (Goddard and Wierzbicka eds. 2002), the authoress & colleagues have tried to identify the shared core of all languages on an empirical basis, that is, by studying a number of diverse languages and identifying what they share - both in their lexicon and their grammar. This shared core of all languages, established on the basis of extensive cross-linguistic investigations, can be seen as a universal mini-language, lying at the heart of all natural languages and suitable as a metalanguage for describing and elucidating them all. They call this mini-language the 'natural semantic metalanguage' (NSM), and the theory expounded in Meaning and Universal Grammar, the NSM theory of language and cognition. In this paper, the authoress is going to discuss some of the findings of this book from the point of view of the Polish grammar and lexicon. She has chosen for this purpose three thematic areas: evaluation (GOOD and BAD), mental predicates (THINK, KNOW, WANT and FEEL) and speech (SAY, WORD(S) and TRUE). Before turning to the 'conceptual grammar' of these areas (seen through the prism of the Polish language) she has to say something about the shared 'conceptual lexicon' of all languages, as it emerges from empirical cross-linguistic investigations.
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