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Chapter I Introduction

I. Decide whether each of the following statements is True or False:

1. Linguistics is generally defined as the scientific study of language.

2.Linguistics studies particular language, not languages in general.

3. A scientific study of language is based on what the linguist thinks.

4. In the study of linguistics, hypotheses formed should be based on language facts and checked against the observed facts.

5. General linguistics is generally the study of language as a whole.

6. General linguistics, which relates itself to the research of other areas, studies the basic concepts, theories, descriptions, models and methods applicable in any linguistic study.

7. Phonetics is different from phonology in that the latter studies the combinations of the sounds to convey meaning in communication.

8. Morphology studies how words can be formed to produce meaningful sentences.

9. The study of the ways in which morphemes can be combined to form words is called morphology.

10. Syntax is different from morphology in that the former not only studies the morphemes, but also the combination of morphemes into words and words into sentences.

11. The study of meaning in language is known as semantics.

12. Both semantics and pragmatics study meanings.

13. Pragmatics is different from semantics in that pragmatics studies meaning not in isolation, but in context.

14.Social changes can often bring about language changes.

15. Sociolinguistics is the study of language in relation to society.

16. Modern linguistics is mostly prescriptive, but sometimes descriptive.

17. Modern linguistics is different from traditional grammar.

18. A diachronic study of language is the description of language at some point in time.

19 Modern linguistics regards the written language as primary, not the written language.

20. The distinction between competence and performance was proposed by F. de Saussure.

 

II. Fill in each of the following blanks with one word which begins with the letter given:

21. Chomsky defines “ competence” as the ideal user’s k__________ of the rules of his language.

22.Langue refers to the a__________ linguistic system shared by all the members of a speech community while the parole is the concrete use of the conventions and application of the rules.

23.D_________ is one of the design features of human language which refers to the phenomenon that language consists of two levels: a lower level of meaningless individual sounds and a higher level of meaningful units.

24.Language is a system of a_________ vocal symbols used for human communication.

25. The discipline that studies the rules governing the formation of words into permissible sentences in languages is called s________.

26. Human capacity for language has a g ____ basis, but the details of language have to be taught and learned.

27. P ____ refers to the realization of langue in actual use.

28. Findings in linguistic studies can often be applied to the settlement of some practical problems. The study of such applications is generally known as a________ linguistics.

29.Language is p___________ in that it makes possible the construction and interpretation of new signals by its users. In other words, they can produce and understand an infinitely large number of sentences which they have never heard before.

30. Linguistics is generally defined as the s ____ study of language.

 

III. There are four choices following each statement. Mark the choice that can best complete the statement.

31. If a linguistic study describes and analyzes the language people actually use, it is said to be ______________.

A. prescriptive        B. analytic

C. descriptive         D. linguistic

32.Which of the following is not a design feature of human language

A. Arbitrariness      B. Displacement

C. Duality       D. Meaningfulness

33. Modern linguistics regards the written language as ____________.

A. primary     B. correct

C. secondary    D. stable

34. In modern linguistics, speech is regarded as more basic than writing, because ___________.

A. in linguistic evolution, speech is prior to writing

B. speech plays a greater role than writing in terms of the amount of information conveyed.

C. speech is always the way in which every native speaker acquires his mother tongue

D. All of the above

35. A historical study of language is a ____ study of language.

A. synchronic    B. diachronic

C. prescriptive    D. comparative

36.Saussure took a (n)__________ view of language, while Chomsky looks at language from a ________ point of view.

A. sociological…psychological

B.psychological…sociological

C. applied… pragmatic

D.semantic and linguistic

37. According to F. de Saussure, ____ refers to the abstract linguistic system shared by all the members of a speech community.

A. parole    B. performance

C. langue    D. Language

38. Language is said to be arbitrary because there is no logical connection between _________ and meanings.

A. sense        B. sounds

C. objects      D. ideas

39. Language can be used to refer to contexts removed from the immediate situations of the speaker. This feature is called_________,

A. displacement      B. duality

C. flexibility        D. cultural transmission

40. The details of any language system is passed on from one generation to the next through ____ , rather than by instinct.

A. learning       B. teaching

C. books           D. both A and B

IV. Define the following terms:

41. Linguistics42. Phonology43. Syntax44. Pragmatics45. Psycholinguistics 46. Language47. Phonetics48. Morphology9.Semantics50. Sociolinguistics

51. Applied Linguistics52.Arbitrariness 53 Productivity54. Displacement55.Duality 56. Design Features57. Competence58 Performance59. Langue60 Parole

 

V. Answer the following questions as comprehensively as possible. Give examples for illustration if necessary:

61. Language is generally defined as a system of arbitrary vocal symbols used for human communication. Explain it in detail.

62. What are the design features of human language Illustrate them with examples.

63. How is modern linguistics different from traditional grammar?

64. How do you understand the distinction between a synchronic study and a diachronic study?

65. Why does modern linguistics regard the spoken form of language as primary, not the written ?

66. What are the major distinctions between langue and parole?

67. How do you understand competence and performance?

68. Saussure’s distinction between langue and parole seems similar to Chomsky’s distinction between competence and performance. What do you think are their major differences?

69. Do you think human language is entirely arbitrary? Why?