This exam includes 5 parts, they are Language Acquisition, Language and the Brain, Sociolinguistics, Language Contact and Historical Linguistics.Please go through all the materials, bid only if you can finish all of them
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A. Language Acquisition (21 points)
1. The following transcriptions represent a two-year-old childs pronunciation of English.
Examine the data, and complete the exercises that follow.
a. Generalizing using natural classes, propose phonological rules that can capture all the
differences observed here between the childs pronunciation and adult pronunciation of
Your rules should be written in formal notation and in prose, and named. Assume that
adult pronunciation is consistent with the underlying forms of these words.
Additionally, for each rule, cite the number ((1), (2), etc.) of the form(s) in the data it
applies to. (7 points)
b. Considering the specific rules you proposed, transcribe your predicted pronunciations of
the following words by the same child. (4 points)
2. Following are five scenarios concerning the acquisition of language by children.
First, match each scenario with one appropriate concept from the following set.
Then, explain in writing the connection between the scenario and the concept (1-2 sentences
will suffice). Concepts should only be used once (if at all). (10 points)
active construction of a grammar theory
conditioned head-turn procedure
critical period hypothesis
poverty of the stimulus argument
social interaction theory
a. From birth a child is exposed to Basque and Portuguese, and develops fluency in both.
b. A child calls crayons, pencils, pens, markers, and chalk pen.
c. A child produces a comparative form [m?? s] for the adjective mad [mæd].
d. A child says, Who feet is that? without ever hearing anyone else say it before.
e. One-year old native English-speaking children are shown to respond differently to the
voiceless stops in the words tack, stack than native Hindi-speaking children do.
3.Focusing on part 2, create an additional scenario connecting to a concept from the given list,
which you did not find to be relevant for a.-e. Give the scenario you come up
with, as well as the concept it connects to, and explain your answer (1-2
sentences will suffice). (1.50 points)
B. Language and the Brain (20 points)
1. The following behaviors characterize patients with Brocas aphasia, Wernickes aphasia,
conduction aphasia, or alexia.
For each one, state the relevant type of language disorder, and explain why you think it is not
any of the other ones (1-2 sentences will suffice). (8 points)
a. A patient says, How do I know no I dont know what do I know dasup, and closes their
mouth four times when asked to blink four times.
b. A patient says red when presented with the orthographic form of the word pink.
c. A patient says, I build bridge forty year job
d. A patient says, How do I know no I dont know what do I know dasup, and blinks four
times when asked to blink four times.
2. Below are four attempts at saying the sentence Did you put away the groceries yet?, each of
which contains a distinct type of speech error.
For each one, identify the specific type of error featured and the specific linguistic unit(s)
affected, and explain your answers (1-2 sentences will suffice).
Note that the spelling used is meant to indicate the pronunciation of the words. (6 points)
a. Did you put away the groceries pet?
b. Did you put away the fruit yet?
c. Did you put away the roceries yet?
d. Bid you tut away the groceries yet?
3. Each of the transcribed sentences below features either temporary ambiguity (more
specifically, a garden path effect) or global ambiguity.
First, convert each sentence into standard English orthography. Then:
For any garden path sentence you identify, provide the following:
i) the initial interpretation being built up;
ii) the word or phrase in the sentence that signals this initial analysis cannot work;
iii) the only correct interpretation of the overall sentence.
For any globally ambiguous sentence you identify, provide the following:
i) one distinct unambiguous paraphrase;
ii) a second distinct unambiguous paraphrase;
iii) a brief explanation (1-2 sentences) of whether the ambiguity is lexical or
structural in nature.
a. [ðæt ‘fe?m?s ‘???? ??’vild h?? n?kst b?k w?d ‘f??n?li bi ??’list t?’de?.]
b. [w?n wi ‘?gz???d ð? t?e?n ðæts ‘ju?u?li pækt l?kt ‘?mpti.]
c. [ð? k?m’pju??? z æt ð? ‘po?l?? ‘s???ns ‘ste??n? hæv ?l ‘f?o?zn?.]
4. Focusing on part 2, manipulate the intended utterance to produce another expression featuring
a speech error, of a type you did not find in a.-d. Give the expression you come
up with, as well as the type of speech error it involves, and explain your answer
(1-2 sentences will suffice). (1.50 points)
C. Sociolinguistics (18 points)
Answer three of the following short answer questions; 4-5 sentences will suffice. Where relevant
be sure to provide specific examples to support your discussion.
1. How do we linguistically differentiate between dialects of the same language versus dialects
of separate languages? How can non-linguistic factors affect the classification? (6 points)
2. What is the observers paradox? How has the work of William Labov affected the
significance of the issue it presents for research? (6 points)
3. What are three linguistic aspects of your idiolect of English whether phonological,
morphosyntactic, or lexical in nature which you believe differentiates it from those of other
speakers? How has your background influenced this system? (6 points)
4. How would you respond to the following lines spoken by Professor Henry Higgins, a character
in the movie Pygmalion: The English do not know how to speak their own language. Only
foreigners who have been taught to speak it speak it well. (6 points)
Answer the discussion question that you skipped. Be sure to clearly indicate which answers you
want counted for this section, and which you want counted for extra credit! (1.50
D. Language Contact (20 points)
1. The passage below is written in Vincentian Creole, an English-based creole spoken in Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines. Examine the text and the English translation and complete the
exercises that follow. Note that the spelling used for the Vincentian Creole words is meant to
be indicative of their pronunciation.
woman wan dei
a jaa a
he PROG see
breik uhp. So dis
molasses [jar] broke
du. So di woman tek a piis a di bakl
fram di molasiz jaa
took a shard of the bottle
the molasses jar
a. Identify two words in Vincentian Creole that appear to come from English words, but
whose spellings suggest a change in pronunciation compared to the English sources. Give
the Vincentian Creole and English words in their orthographic forms (as above), and
transcribe them phonetically in IPA. (4 points)
b. Identify two words in Vincentian Creole that show a difference in morphological
inflection compared to English. Give these two Vincentian Creole words, as well as the
appropriately inflected forms of English for the particular context. (2 points)
c. Discuss the extent to which the syntax of this passage suggests Vincentian Creole is
typical (or atypical) for a pidgin or creole, citing relevant data to support your claims (12 sentences will suffice). (2 points)
d. What do you think is the English source of the Vincentian Creole word translated as
shard? How does this Vincentian Creole word exemplify a semantic / lexical property of
pidgins and creoles? Explain your answer (1-2 sentences will suffice). (2 points)
2. The transcriptions below represent the pronunciation of loanwords borrowed from English
into the Austronesian language Hawaiian. Examine these data and complete the exercises that
follow. Forms are given using standard IPA conventions.
a. Based on the way in which the English words have been phonologically adapted into
Hawaiian, briefly describe what these data suggest about the Hawaiian phonological
system, in terms of the following properties. Explain your answers, citing specific data to
support your claims, as relevant (1-2 sentences will suffice for each answer). (6 points)
i. contrastive places of articulation for stops
ii. number of liquids
iii. range of permitted syllable shapes
b. What argument(s) can you make to show that the direction of borrowing is indeed from
English into Hawaiian? State your evidence (2-3 sentences will suffice). (2 points)
c. What bearing do you think these data have on the generalization that core vocabulary
tends to be resistant to borrowing? Explain your answer (2-3 sentences will suffice). (2
Focusing on part 2, predict how another word of English might be phonologically adapted into
Hawaiian, in consideration of your findings in section a. Give both the English
word and a transcription of the predicted Hawaiian loanword you come up with,
and explain your answer (1-2 sentences will suffice). (1.50 points)
E. Historical Linguistics (21 points)
1. In this exercise, you will develop an analysis of certain changes in the development from the
hypothetical parent language Proto-Huskese to the hypothetical daughter language Huskian.
Forms are given using standard IPA conventions. Remember that an * in historical linguistics
is used to indicate a reconstructed form, not an ungrammatical one.
a. What sound changes from Proto-Huskese to Huskian are exemplified in the following
data? Express these sound changes as rules (in formal notation and prose, and named).
b. Briefly explain your choice for making the rules you proposed in part a. conditioned or
unconditioned, citing any data above as relevant (2-3 sentences will suffice for your
answer). (2 points)
c. Provide diachronic phonological derivations for go (1), come (2), summer (7), and
happy (8). Make sure the Huskian forms you end up with actually match those in the
data! (3 points)
d. Is there a crucial ordering (relative chronology) among any of the rules you proposed for
part a., as you have formulated them? Show why or why not, using comparative
derivations, and explain your answer (1-2 sentences will suffice). (2 points)
e. Examine the following data from Huskian and two related languages, East Husky and
South Husky. Based on these forms, which language do you think is more closely related
to Huskian? Explain your answer, citing specific data to support your claim (2-3 sentences
will suffice). (2 points)
2. The following passage is an expansion of one of the translations of Matthew 26:73 you saw in
the first module covering this subfield, from the King James Bible of 1611, representative of
the Middle English period. Examine the passage, and answer the questions that follow.
69 Now Peter sate without in the palace: and a damosell came vnto him, saying, Thou also
wast with Iesus of Galilee.
70 But hee denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou saiest.
71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maide saw him, and saide vnto them
that were there, This fellow was also with Iesus of Nazareth.
72 And againe hee denied with an oath, I doe not know the man.
73 And after a while came vnto him they that stood by, and saide to Peter, Surely thou also art
one of them, for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
74 Then beganne hee to curse and to sweare, saying, I know not the man. And immediatly the
75 And Peter remembred the words of Iesus, which said vnto him, Before the cocke crow,
thou shalt denie mee thrice. And hee went out, and wept bitterly.
a. Using the appropriate terminology, describe the morphological change that has affected
the past tense of the verb crow since the Middle English period (see verses 74 and 75; 1-2
sentences will suffice for your answer). (2 points)
b. Using the appropriate terminology, describe the semantic change that has affected the
noun maid since the Middle English period (see verse 71; 1-2 sentences will suffice for
your answer). (2 points)
c. Identify a portion of the text suggesting a syntactic change that has occurred in the history
of English, since this period. Cite the passage and describe the change (1-2 sentences will
suffice). (2 points)
Focusing on part 2, identify a case of lexical obsolescence which appears to have occurred in the
development from Middle English to Present Day English. Explain your answer
(1-2 sentences will suffice). (1.50 points)
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