This set of Professional Communication Multiple Choice Questions & Answers (MCQs) focuses on “Language and Linguistics”.
1. Who among these is an ancient linguist of India?
b) Tista Bagchi
c) Noam Chomsky
d) Kshetresa Chandra Chattopadhyaya
Explanation: Linguistics is the study of language. Patanjali, the ancient linguist of India, considered it as a human expression uttered out by speech organs. The other three are modern linguists belonging to 19th and 20th century.
2. Which of these people perceives language as a means to interpret human experience?
d) Students of literature
Explanation: Language means different things to different people. To an anthropologist, it is a form of cultural behaviour whereas to a sociologist, it is a means of communication between members of a social group. Students of literature may consider it as an artistic medium, while those of philosophy may consider it a means to interpret human experience.
3. Language is a social phenomenon.
Explanation: Language is a social phenomenon. Man may not have needed a language if he had not made himself a part of a social group. A language must thus convey social realities if it is to become an effective means of communication.
4. Which of these words is based on the phenomena, ‘Onomatopoeia’?
Explanation: Language is arbitrary, that is there is no logical link between any gjven feature of a language and its meaning. The only exception is in the case of onomatopoeia, where the words imitate the sounds of their referents. Here, cuckoo is the sound made by the bird which is how the bird got its name.
5. Which of these is not a type of linguistics?
Explanation: Linguistics is a scientific study of language. It can be divided into three types namely: Historical or Diachronic Linguistics, Synchronic Linguistics and Comparative Linguistics.
6. Which of these finds out how a certain set of people use a language at a given time?
a) Diachronic Linguistics
b) Comparative Linguistics
c) Synchronic Linguistics
d) Historical Linguistics
Explanation: Synchronic Linguistics finds out how a certain set of people use a language at a given time. Historical or Diachronic Linguistics studies the link between language and history. Comparative Linguistics studies the comparison between two or more languages.
7. Which of these is not a level of language?
Explanation: R.H. Robins recommends three levels of structure of language. These are phonology, grammar and semantics.
8. Which of these terms refers to the study of speech sounds of a given language and their function within the sound system of that language?
Explanation: Phonology refers to the study of speech sounds of a given language and their function within the sound system. Phonetics is the study of speech process. Syntax and Morphology are sub-levels of the grammatical system.
9. Which of these is the study of meaning of words, and the development of the meaning of words?
Explanation: Semantics is the study of the meaning of words, and the developments of the meaning of words. The smallest unit of semantics is semene, which is the minimum functional unit of meaning.
Explanation: Grammatical level can be divided into 2 broad levels. These are Syntax and Morphology. Syntax is the science to study and lay down the rules regarding the grammatical arrangement of words in a sentence. Morphology is the study and analysis of the structure, form and classes of words.
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