Linguistics: An Introduction

By William B. McGregor



Test: 10 — Language in its Biological Context

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1) Involuntary bodily behaviour of animals such as erection of hair represent which of the following types of sign?

2) The dances of honey bees shows evidence of a limited degree of displacement.

3) The available evidence suggests which of the following is the most likely to be true?

4) Evidence of a critical period for acquisition of songs by some species of song-birds argues for a genetic component to songs in that species, and some degree of cultural transmission.

5) There is evidence that vervet monkeys alarm calls are to some degree culturally transmitted.

6) Which of the following best characterises the vocalisations of apes?

7) The number of vocalised calls used in natural (or wild) chimpanzee populations is approximately:

8) The intentional gestures of chimpanzees are:

9) The natural vocalised calls of chimpanzees show no evidence of internal structure, or possibilities of combination.

10) There is no evidence of productivity in the natural communication systems of any animals.

11) Study of natural animal communication systems reveals which of the following?

12) The novel name-new category principle is unique to human beings: other animals cannot use this strategy to determine meaning or reference of signs.

13) Why did early attempts to teach chimpanzees to speak fail?

14) Chimpanzees who have been taught ASL, plastic tokens, or lexigrams, are able to put signs together into sequences to form more complex utterances.

15) Sign systems taught to chimpanzees reveal no evidence of which of the following design features of human language?

16) Roughly how many signs have chimpanzees like Kanzi learnt?

17) Evidence suggests that chimpanzees' use of signs is to a significant extent motivated by desire to acquire rewards, especially of food.

18) Evidence from studies of apes suggests that our common ancestors did not use vocalisations intentionally, but may have had intentional control of manual gestures.

19) According to the yakkety-yak theory (the gossip or grooming hypothesis) human language arose for the purpose of:

20) Does the available evidence from genetics conclusively prove that FOXP2 is the language gene?

21) Genetic evidence argues in favour which of the following two possibilities?

22) According to the looky-look (or social cognition theory) theory we have a language ready body (including brain), but that the last steps in the emergence of language were cultural.

23) Which of the following is false?

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Updated: Feb. 11, 2009