Midterm

This midterm covers materials from Week 1 through Week 8. Your midterm must be submitted by 11:59pm on Friday, 24 March. This is an open book exam, and you are encouraged to study together, but under no circumstances are you to share answers with one another, as that constitutes cheating. (If you are found to have cheated, that is an automatic failure on this exam.)

"*" indicates required fields

I. What is language?

Based on readings from Rickerson & Hilton, chapters 1, 2, and 14.
1. Approximately what percentage of the world's languages have fewer than 1,000 living speakers?*
2. Which of the following is NOT one of the criteria that Donna Jo Napoli argues separates human language from animal communication?*

II. Prescriptivism and Descriptivism

Based on readings from Rickerson & Hilton chapter 17 and Language Files file 1.3.
4. Based on these readings, linguists are ____.*
5. Which of the below is true?*

III. The sounds of language and the International Phonetic Alphabet

Based on readings from Crystal chapters 4 and 5, Rickerson & Hilton chapter 28, and Language Files file 2.1. Be sure to refer to the IPA chart for help.
6. Which of the following contains a high back rounded tense vowel?*
For questions 7 and 8, identify the position of the velum (referred to by Crystal as the uvula) and the state of the vocal folds in the following speech sounds.
7. [ŋ]*
8. [ʃ]*

IV. Phonology

Based on files 3.0–3.2 in Language Files.
9. What's the syllable structure of the word "shrimp"?*
Hint: It will be helpful to transcribe the word into IPA first.
10. Which of the following words has a CVC syllable structure?*

V. Meaning and Semantics

Based on readings from chapter 6 of Language Files.
12. Which is true of the following pair of sentences?*
(a) "Everyone dies eventually."
(b) "Nobody is immortal."
13. Which is true of the following pair of sentences?*
(a) "Christina painted the barn."
(b) "The barn has never been painted."
15. In the above diagram, which of the following is true?

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