Linguistics: An Introduction

By William B. McGregor



Test: 12 — Language Change

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1) Languages change very rapidly compared to complex animal species such as primates.

2) Languages change is not constant, but varies within certain limits.

3) Which of the following is not a type of sound change?

4) Which of the following sound changes is not an example of assimilation? (Forms are given in IPA.)

5) The sound change k > t in skama > stama is an example of regressive assimilation.

6) According to Grimm's law, proto-Indo-European voiceless stops became voiceless fricatives in Germanic. Is this an example of a chain shift?

7) Which of the following is an example of metathesis? (Forms are given in IPA.)

8) Which of the following is an example of assimilation? (Forms are given in IPA.)

9) Only free morphemes can be borrowed.

10) Which of the following hypothetical changes in English plural forms would be an example of an analogical levelling?

11) The humorous plural spice of the singular spouse illustrates which sort of morphological change?

12) Word order patterns are too abstract to be borrowed.

13) In a certain language we find that what used to be a reflexive construction a century ago is now used also to express reciprocal meanings (i.e. acting on one another). Which of the following processes does this illustrate?

14) If a grammatical structure or construction is borrowed from one language to another, the grammatical morphemes marking it in the source language will always be translated into the borrowing language.

15) Which of the following processes does not normally happen to a morpheme when it undergoes grammaticalization?

16) Which of the following pair of changes is the more likely?

17) Which of the following types of marker is the most likely for be going to to grammaticalize into?

18) Is pejoration the process by which a word takes on a more positive connotation?

19) A change in the meaning of a verb from 'hit' to 'kill' is an example of which sort of semantic change?

20) A change in meaning from ‘left hand’ to ‘evil’ illustrates which of the following types of semantic change?

21) Which of the following is the least likely or poorest explanation for a sound change from [ng] to[ŋ]?

22) There is a tendency for grammatical systems to change so as to become (more) symmetrical, filling in gaps in paradigms.

23) The replacement of the pronoun /ŋaju/ 'I' by /miː/ in a language because of its phonological similarity to the name of a deceased person is an example of what type of change:

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Updated: Feb. 11, 2009