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Language and Mind Essay

1. Which of the following statements about parameters is FALSE?

a. They specify the limits on possible differences between languages b. They do not belong to Universal Grammar #
c. Their values must be “set” on the basis of experience

2. From the viewpoint of the principles-and-parameters theory, the process of language acquisition consists of:

a. Setting the choice for each parameter that fits the language that is being acquired # b. Storing words and sentences in memory
c. Learning the order in which words occur in sentences

3. If some property X is true for all languages, we can conclude that:

a. X may be a property that all and only languages have (i.e. a language-unique universal) # b. X must be a general property of all cognitive systems
c. X is determined by the universal human articulatory apparatus

4. The fact that young infants do not forget about objects that they have seen after these objects have been taken away is called:

a. object shift
b. habituation
c. object permanence #

5. Consider the following two question sentences:

i. When did the boy say he fell out of the tree?
ii. When did the boy say how he fell out of the tree?

The first question is ambiguous because:

a. It is not clearly formulated
b. It has two different underlying deep structures #
c. It has one sentence embedded in another sentence

6. The statement: perception is ahead of production means that:

a. Children can articulate words before they can recognize and understand them b. Children can recognize and understand words and sentences that they cannot yet properly produce themselves# c. Children’s visual abilities are better than their auditory abilities

7. The special way in which parents speak to young infants is called

a. Telegraphic speech
b. Motherese or parentese#
c. Recursion

8. The ‘Critical Period’ that is relevant for first and second language acquisition

a. That is correct #
b. That is incorrect because it is only relevant for first language acquisition c. That is incorrect because it is only relevant for second language acquisition

9. Genie’s success in acquiring English turned out to be very limited. The greatest problem she had was:

a. Learning words
b. Understanding what people said to her
c. Forming utterances with syntactic structure #

10. Genie’s case provides important support for:

a. The critical period hypothesis #
b. The role of ‘motherese’ in language acquisition
c. The Poverty of stimulus argument for innateness

11. Imagine the following scenario: Some Japanese people come to Mexico to do business. None of them speaks Spanish, and none of their Mexican partners speaks Japanese. There is no other language that these two groups have in common. Therefore, they have to develop a kind of ‘auxiliary communication system’ that can fit this special circumstance. This system is most likely to be a:

a. creole
b. pidgin #
c. English

12. According to Derek Bickerton a creole language is created by:

a. adults who are forced to communicate with each other over a long period of time without having a shared language b. people who need to have a secret language
c. children whose linguistic input consists of a pidgin spoken in their community #

13. The fact that children are apparently capable of producing a creole language which has grammatical properties that are not present in the pidgin input can be used as evidence for:

a. The view that children have innate knowledge of language structure # b. The view that pidgin languages have hidden grammatical structure c. The view that children are born with blank slate minds

14. For a universal to count as an argument for the IH, which of the following three conditions is NOT necessary:

a. The universal must be true of languages only
b. We cannot explain the universal in any other way
c. The universals must be about the syntax of language#

15. Which of the following is NOT a property of creole languages?

a. Creole languages have a very simplified grammar #
b. Creole languages have been acquired as first languages
c. Creole languages have a fully developed grammar

16. Which of the following statements is FALSE?

a. Sign languages differ from spoken languages in being based on visual signals rather than on sound b. Sign languages have emerged spontaneously (i.e. they are not man-made or artificial) just like spoken languages c. Sign languages are fundamentally different from spoken languages in that all signs are necessarily iconic #

17. The existence of sign languages, being fully equivalent in all relevant respects to spoken languages, supports the innateness hypothesis because:

a. Both types of languages are processed in totally different brain regions b. Both types of languages depend on the innate principles of the auditory or visual system c. Even though the perceptual modality (audition versus vision) is so different from the spoken language modality, the same kind of grammatical structures are present in both types of languages #

18. The stages that children, who acquire a sign language, go through (after they start babbling) are:

a. The same as the stages we see in the acquisition of spoken languages # b. Different in that deaf children skip the two word stage
c. Different in that deaf children never get to the point that they form full sentences

19. In the case of Nicaraguan Sign Language, the youngest children changed the unstructured signing of their older peers into a structured language. This is analogous to:

a. changing a pidgin into a creole #
b. changing a creole into a pidgin
c. changing a spoken language into a sign language

20. A simplified form of human communication used by people with no common language is a(n):

a. Pidgin language #
b. Creole language
c. Artificial language

21. Which of the following statements is TRUE?

a. All pidgin languages have the same grammar
b. All pidgin languages have very simple grammars #
c. All pidgin languages have fully developed grammars

22. Which of the following statements is TRUE

a. Children can acquire only one languages at the same time

b. There are no fixed stages in the acquisition of sign languages c. Foreign language learning after puberty in general leads to imperfect language abilities #

23. The argument that the input that children receive is not rich enough to explain the rich knowledge that they end up with is called:

a. The argument from universals
b. The argument from stages
c. The poverty of the stimulus argument #

24. Evidence for categorical perception in young infants comes from:

a. Habituation studies #
b. Diary studies
c. Longitudinal studies

25. In which stage of language acquisition would children most likely produce a sentence such as “mommy want milky”?

a. Holophrastic stage
b. Two word-stage
c. Telegraphic stage #


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