Importance Of Prototype Theory In Linguistics

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First, let’s take a look at the prototype theory to find out its significance in cognitive linguistic field and its importance in teaching English prepositions.
1. Categorization
It is undeniable that categorization is a very fundamental cognitive skill that allows people to make sense of the world. Categories are the basic elements of human cognition; they ‘are the glue that hold our mental world together’ (Murphy, 2004). In the cognitive linguistics approach, there are three opposing views which have attempted to answer the question how human can recognize, differentiate or understand every concept, idea and object in this world. And there are two general approaches to answer this question, which are the classical view and the prototype
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For example, if a shape is considered as a square, it needs to meet such qualities like a closed, flat figure; four sides which each are equal in length and all interior angles are equal as well. As a result, the concept of square excludes rectangles, triangles, circles, or even free forms. It is also implied that these criteria are inherent in the category members. In other words, the criteria are binary: something is either in the category or not, which means there are clear – cut boundaries between neighboring categories. And all category members have equal status.
However, this definition could not explain some situations. Winttgenstein once discussed his famous category game to illustrate this:
Consider an example of ‘games’, I mean computer games, board games and so on. It seems that there is not any similarity among them. Another typical evidence is the game of ring-a-ring-a-roses; ‘here is the element of amusement, but how many other characteristic features have disappeared! And we can go through the many, many other groups in the same way; we see how similarities crop up and disappear.’ (Wittgenstein 1999)
b. Prototype
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It is clear that prototype theory’s focus is the exemplar which has the most representative features of a category. This quality is taken advantage when teaching prepositions. Although prepositions have multiple meanings, it is thought that there is a central meaning which regarded as the most dominant or prototypical controls the other meaning.
Before moving onto the role of the prototype theory in preposition teaching, other approaches should be taken into consideration.
2. Approaches of teaching prepositions
a. The traditional

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