Languages & Linguistics

Every now and then, we experience unexpected problems with internet access or with computers.
Such technical problems will not be considered a legitimate excuse for not being able to submit your
answers in time unless they affect everyone. See the syllabus for the class policy regarding assignment
Choose the BEST ANSWER among the alternatives provided for each question.
(1) According to Chomsky’s essay, the Galilean Challenge has to do with (choose one):
a. digital infinity
b. the productivity of derivational morphology
c. the difference between compounds and phrases
d. all of the above
e. none of the above
(2) Which of the following statements is correct about the English affix -ity? (Choose one.)
a. It can turn a noun into an adjective
b. It is an inflection affix
c. It is a derivational prefix
d. both a and b
e. both a and c
f. both b and c
g. none of the above
(3) The first stanza of Jabberwocky can be understood as a literary experiment designed to show that it
is possible to write a more or less meaningful text that (choose one):
a. uses neither the content words nor the function words of English
b. uses only inflectional affixes but not derivational affixes
c. uses the content words but none of the existing function words of English
d. uses the function words but none of the existing content words of English
(4) Native speakers of English do not accept transform-ize-al-ation as a possible English word, in
sharp contrast to transform-ation-al-ize. That is because (choose one):
a. They have not heard transform-ize-al-ation before.
b. The suffix -ize can attach to a Noun but not to a Verb, and for most speakers of English
transform is a Verb. If transform can be understood as a Noun (as a technical term in
mathematics, for example), transform-ize-al-ation becomes acceptable, meaning something
like “an action of producing the property of making something into a transform.”
c. The particular sequence of the suffixes -ize-al-ation is not possible due to the restrictions on
what category or categories a given suffix can attach to. Even if transform can be understood
as a Noun, transform-ize-al-ation does not become acceptable.LING 110
(5) If we adopted the following structure for unlockable (choose one):
(a) we would not be able to express the ambiguity of unlockable by means of different structures
(b) we would not be able to express the fact that there is the prefix un- that attaches to a Verb and
there is also the prefix un- that attaches to an Adjective
(c) both a and b
(d) neither a nor b
(6) Which of the following illustrate the relevance/importance of structure? (Choose one.)
(I) that unlockable is ambiguous
(II) that “It’s cold here” is ambiguous between a simple statement about the temperature and a
request for closing the windows
(III) that kitchen towel rack is ambiguous
a. (I) and (II)
b. (II) and (III)
c. (I) and (III)
d. all of (I), (II), and (III)
e. none of the above
(7) Lecture 02: Slides 7 and 9 suggest (choose one):
a. The study of the language faculty is part of the study of what kind of organism a human really
b. Individuals in a speech community have essentially the same I-languages.
c. We should study the language faculty more or less as we study some complex bodily organ.
d. all of the above.
e. none of the above.
(8) What is meant by an “I-language” is a steady state of the language faculty. The “I” in “I-language”
stands for:
a. “internal”
b. “individual”
c. both a and b
d. neither a nor b
(9) The following tree for renationalization is not correct. That is because (choose one.)LING 110
a. the affix re- is a suffix.
b. the affix re- can attach to a Noun, but not to an Adjective.
c. the affix re- can attach to a Verb, but not to an Adjective.
d. the affix –ize can attach to an Noun but not to an Adjective.
e. The affix re- is an inflectional morpheme.
None of the above.
(10) According to the Pinker reading, Chomsky and other linguists have been pursuing the idea that the
mental grammars underlie people’s knowledge of particular languages and what underlies the
particular mental grammars is the Universal Grammar. (Choose one.)
a. Such a view is consistent with the thesis that children must innately be equipped with a plan
common to the grammars of all languages.
b. What is meant by a mental grammar in the above statement is not the same as the “school
grammar” (often called “prescriptive grammar”).
c. both a and b.
d. neither a nor b
(11) Consider the following words:
friendly, luckily, homely, happily, mutually, brotherly, lovely
Which of the following is a true statement? (Choose one.)
I. There is a suffix -ly that turns an adjective into an adverb, as indicated in Table 4.11 of the
morphology reading.
II. There is a suffix -ly that turns a noun into an adjective although that is not included in Table
4.11 of the morphology reading.
III. The suffix -ly does not change the category (the part of speech) of what it attaches to.
a. I & II
b. II & III
c. I &III
d. all of the above
e. none of the above
(12) Which of the following sets contains an inflectional suffix, a derivational prefix and a derivational
suffix? (Choose one.)
a. -s (e.g., boys), -ing (e.g., (is) talking), -ed (e.g., stayed)LING 110
b. -al (e.g., formal), -ed (e.g., walked), -ment (e.g., development)
c. en- (e.g., enlarge), -ly (e.g., happily), -ize (e.g., realize)
d. -en (e.g., eaten), en- (e.g., enlarge), -en (e.g. widen)
(13) According to “How Many Languages Are There in the World” by Steve Anderson (uploaded at
Blackboard), the number of distinct languages listed in the catalog of Ethnologue, as of 2009,
is (choose one):
a. between 2000-3000
b. between 3000-4000
c. between 5000-6000
d. between 6000-7000
e. between 7000-8000
(14) If we do not consider “green black” as meaning a color that is between green and black or a
mixture of green and black, ‘the green black board’ is contradictory if (choose one):
a. black bears a primary stress and is pronounced more loudly than the rest.
b. board bears a primary stress and is pronounced more loudly than the rest.
c. board is changed to its plural form boards.
(15) The inflectional morphemes in English can be:
a. suffixes only
b. prefixes, suffixes, or infixes
c. prefixes only
d. prefixes or suffixes
(16) We observe a great deal of variations among languages. (Choose one.)
a. This speaks directly against the thesis that the initial state of the language faculty is uniform
among the members of the species.
b. The observed variations are reflections of what has been “acquired” in the maturational process
in the context of a specific linguistic environment.
c. Neither a nor b.
(17) (B) is odd to native speakers of English, as compared to (A). Capital letters indicate “stress,” i.e.,
the part in capital letters is pronounced more loudly, longer (and with a higher pitch) than the
one in small letters. (Choose one among a-h.)
(A) I took a RED eye and that is why I have red EYES.
(B) I took a red EYE and that is why I have RED eyes.
a. This illustrates the difference between function words and content words.
b. This illustrates the importance of syntactic categories.
c. This illustrates the difference between compounds and phrases.
d. both a and b
e. both a and c
f. both b and c
g. all of a, b and c
h. none of the above
(18) In a hypothetical language Mangalog, menk is a verb, -dar is an inflectional suffix, and –uk is a
derivational suffix. Which one of the following combinations is MOST likely, given theLING 110
generalization about derivational and inflectional morphology discussed in class? (Choose
a. menk-dar-uk
b. menk-uk-dar
c. dar-menk-uk
d. uk-menk-dar
(19) In spite of much communicative need for such a word, there is no personal pronoun in English
which is used exclusively for singular and animate/human but gender-neutral, meaning
something like “he or she,” because (choose one):
a. It is extremely difficult, if not simply impossible, to introduce a new content word into a
b. The concept “he or she” is difficult to comprehend.
c. It is extremely difficult, if not simply impossible, to introduce a new function word into a
d. The introduction of such a word is prohibited by the innate endowment of the language faculty.
(20) Which of the following statements is correct about a morpheme? (Choose one.)
a. If it can stand alone as a word, it is a free morpheme.
b. Inflectional suffixes are more productive than derivational suffixes.
c. If it determines the syntactic category of a word, it is the head of that word.
d. both a and b
e. both b and c
f. both a and c
g. all of a, b, and c
h. none of the above
Yes/No Questions
Choose True or False for each of the following statements.
(21) Table 4.11 of the Morphology reading indicates that the suffix -ness attaches to an Adjective and
makes a Noun. It can attach not only to root Adjectives, such as happy and sad, forming
happiness and sadness, but it can also attach to derived Adjectives such as penniless and
assertive, forming pennilessness and assertiveness, respectively. The productivity of the suffix
-ness just illustrated is a hallmark of derivational morphology in English. Derivational
morphology in English is completely productive.
a. True
b. False
(22) The language faculty is like a mental organ and the property of its initial state is shared by the
members of the human species.
a. True
b. False
(23) When we consider whether we have allomorphs, we pay attention to the spelling, not the
a. True
b. False
(24) Paper toilet is a possible English compound.LING 110
a. True
b. False
(25) The meaning of a compound can be determined automatically based on the meanings of its parts.
a. True
b. False

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