Linguistics: An Introduction

By William B. McGregor



Test: 13 — Languages of the World

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1) The linguistic diversity of the world is decreasing rapidly.

2) Which of the following corresponds best to the linguistic conception of a single language?

3) If you were to draw a graph showing the number of speakers of languages against numbers of languages with those speakerships, would this look like a normal bell curve?

4) Languages are genetically related if they:

5) The regional density of languages correlates directly with population density.

6) The most reliable method of establishing the genetic relatedness of a group of languages is:

7) Cognates are lexical items that:

8) If you were going to reconstruct proto-Indo-European (p.278), the ancestor language of most languages spoken in Europe, which of the following glosses would you not set about establishing cognate sets for?

9) Even if all languages spoken today do derive from a single ancestor language, it is unlikely this will ever be convincingly demonstrated.

10) The method of mass comparison can be useful as an initial step in determining which languages in a set of languages are genetically related.

11) Basic vocabulary of a language is believed to be more resistant to replacement (including borrowing) than non-basic vocabulary.

12) Lexicostatistics is a statistical tool developed for which of the following purposes?

13) Language isolates are languages that:

14) Does a large number of lexical similarities between a pair of languages indicate that are genetically related?

15) Which of the following regions is the most linguistically diverse in terms of numbers of languages?

16) It is generally presumed that the area where a family of languages shows the greatest linguistic diversity is the homeland of the family.

17) What is the largest genetic family in terms of number of speakers?

18) Which of the following four putative families of African languages is the best established?

19) Rudimentary languages that sometimes arise in contact situations, when speakers of mutually unintelligible languages come into contact with one another in a limited range of social interactions are called:

20) Is it true that creoles are full languages, with lexical and grammatical complexities comparable with those of other languages?

21) Which of the following is a mixed language?

22) In a mixed language it is possible for two distinct phonological systems to coexist.

23) Which types of language cause greatest problems for the family tree model of genetic relations?

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Updated: Feb. 11, 2009