This chapter gives in an outline form the author’s theoretical views regarding language and grammar. The title of this chapter sums up these views. The standard European way of conceptualising and symbolising the world for the purpose of speaking a language (or “thinking for speaking” (Slobin 1987)), is just one of the many actual and possible ways of doing this and is certainly not “universal” despite the fact that many (but not all) conservative and old-fashioned European and American linguists and their followers elsewhere still hold this view. New research on nonEuropean languages (especially the so-called “exotic” languages) is rapidly changing this old-fashioned view. It may actually turn out that the European view is a minority view. Panjabi is an Indo-European language like the majority of European languages. But it conceptualises the world (especially the spatio-temporal constituency of situations) in radically

different ways, resulting in grammatical features which were thoroughly misunderstood, twisted and often ignored by past grammarians with Euro-centred biases and prejudices. A serious advanced learner of Panjabi must learn to approach the language with a right mindset free from any Euro-centred prejudices. This chapter is a bit philosophical and theoretical in orientation. Those not interested in this may move on to Chapter 3 (and come back to this chapter later on, if they wish). Some of the important ideas presented below will also be briefly discussed in the following chapters.