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Previous Question of 'Introduction to Linguistics'- 2013 (with answer)


Introduction to Linguistics



Subject Code: 1178

(Introduction to Linguistics)

Time: 4 Hours                                                                                                       Full Marks: 80


1. Answer any ten of the following questions                                                           1 × 10 = 10

(a) What is phonetics?

      Ans: Phonetics is the scientific study of the production, transmission and perception of speech sounds.

(b) What is assimilation?

      Ans: Assimilation is the influence of one sound on another sound to become more like it.

(c) What is a face-threatening act?

      Ans: A face-threatening act is an act which challenges the face wants of an interlocutor. It may threaten either the speaker's face or the hearer's face, and it may threaten either positive face or negative face.

(d) What are alveolar consonants?

      Ans: [n], [t], [d], [s], and [l] are all alveolar consonants.

(e) What is a dialect?

      Ans: Dialect is the form of a language that is spoken in one area with such grammar, words and pronunciation that may be different from other forms of the same language.

(f) What is SLA?

      Ans: SLA stands for Second Language Acquisition.

(g) What is meant by ‘duality’?

      Ans:  Duality means the double levels on which a language is organized. They are physical level and meaning level.  

(h) What is ‘register’?

      Ans: A register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting.

(i) What is a ‘minimal pair’?

      Ans: Minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language that differ in only one phonological element, such as a phoneme, toneme or chroneme, and have distinct meanings.

(j) Name the passive articulators.

      Ans: The passive articulators are the upper lip, the teeth, the alveolar ridge, the palate, the velum and the pharynx.

(k) Define ‘presupposition’.

      Ans: A presupposition is an implicit assumption about the world or background belief relating to an utterance whose truth is taken for granted in discourse.

(1) How many monophthongs are there in English?

      Ans:  There are 12 monophthongs in English.



Answer any five of the following questions:                                                               4 × 5 = 20

2. What are the functions of intonation?

3. Define “Pidgin” and “Creole”.

4. How is cohesion different from coherence?

5. What are bound morphemes?

6. Why is linguistics considered a science?

7. Discuss the processes involved in language standardization.

8. What do you understand by “arbitrariness” of language?

9. Transcribe the following words phonemically (any four):

Prestige, Church, Sugar, Thought, Chain, Round



Answer any five questions:                                                                                        10 × 5 = 50

10. Categorige English consonant phonemes on the basis of their manner of articulation.

11. Discuss Ferdinand de Saussure’s contribution to the study of language.

12. Briefly discuss five major word formation rules.

13. Discuss the strengths and limitations of Phrase Structure (PS) grammar.

14. What is the cooperative principle? Discuss with reference to Gricean maxims.

15. What is semantics? Provide an analysis of major lexical relations.

16. How is language related to gender? Explain.

17. How is spoken language different from written language?