Introduction to Linguistics Brief Suggestion

Q.1. What is language? 

Ans. Language is a system of conventional, spoken or written symbols by which human beings communicate with each other.  

Q.2. What is free morpheme? 

Ans. A free morpheme is a morpheme that can stand alone as an independent word such as do, eat etc. 

Q.3. What is bound morpheme? 

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Ans. A bound morpheme is a word element that cannot stand alone as a word. Both prefixes and suffixes are bound morphemes.  

Q.4. What is surface structure? 

Ans. In transformational and generative grammar, surface structure is the outward form of a sentence.  

Q.5. What is deep structure?  

Ans. Deep Structure is the underlying meaning of the sentence. 

Q.6. Define tone. 

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Ans. A tone is a syllable which initiates a contrast in pitch level or direction. 

Q.7. What is stress? 

Ans. Stress is the acoustic prominence of a syllable in a word.  

Q.8. What is the babbling stage?  

Ans. Babbling stage refers to the child’s effort to produce sounds by using his speech organs at about six months of age. 

0.9. What is borrowing? 

Ans. Borrowing involves copying a word from another language. 

Q.10. What is IPA? 

Ans. IPA, also known as International Phonetic Alphabet, is a system of transcribing the sounds which consists of some Latin and Greek letters and a variety of languages additional symbols and diacritics.  

Q.11. What is allophone? 

Ans. Allophones are the linguistically non-significant variants of each phoneme. 

Q.12. Mention the plosives. 

Ans. Plosives are defined as consonant sounds that involve, first, a stricture of the mouth that allows no air to escape from the vocal tract and, second, the compression and release of the air. The plosives in the following chart: 

Place of Articulation 

 Bilabial Alveolar Velar 
Voiceless p t k 
Voiced b d G 

Q.13. List the voiced and voiceless sounds. 

Ans. All sounds are either voiced or voiceless. Voiced sounds are those that make our vocal chords vibrate when they are produced. Voiceless sounds are produced from air passing through the mouth at different points.  

Q.14. Why is writing secondary? 

Ans. Writing is secondary because it is a later skill that a child or learner learns and it requires formal education. Writing represents vocal language. 

Q.16. What is semantics?  

Ans. Semantics is the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. 

Q.17. Define ‘Sign’. 

Ans. A sign is something that has a meaning. It is something other than itself and therefore able to communicate information.  

Q.18. How does semantics differ from pragmatics? 

Ans. Pragmatics is the study of meaning in context. Semantics is the study of the meaning without reference to the context. 

Q.19. Define a vowel. 

Ans. A vowel sound is pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no air pressure at any point above the glottis. 

Q.20. Define a consonant. 

Ans. A consonant is a speech sound that is pronounced with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. 

Q.21. What is syllable? 

Ans. A syllable stands for a unit of pronunciation usually larger than a single sound and smaller than a word. 

Q.22. What is suffix? 

Ans. Suffixes are bound morphemes attached to the end of the word. 

Q.23. What is prefix? 

Ans. Prefixes are bound morphemes attached at the beginning of the word. 

Q.24. What is calquing? 

Ans. In linguistics, a calque or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language.  

Q.25. What does IC stand for? 

Ans. IC is the abbreviation of the Immediate Constituent. 

Q.26. What is P-marker? 

Ans. The representation of Phrase structure of a sentence is known as its phrase marker’ or P-marker.  

Q.27. What is linguistics? 

Ans. The science of language is known as linguistics.  

Q.28. What are the major levels of linguistics? 

Ans. The levels are – phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, graphology, lexicology etc.  

Q.29. What is pragmatics? 

Ans. Pragmatics is the study of meaning in context.  

Q.30. What is psycholinguistics? 

Ans. Psycholinguistics is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that allow humans to acquire, use, comprehend and produce language. 

Q.32. What is intonation? 

Ans. Intonation is primarily a matter of variation in the pitch level of the voice, but in such languages as English, stress, and rhythm are also involved. Intonation conveys differences of expressive meaning (e.g., surprise, anger, wariness).  

Q.33. What does ‘morpheme’ mean? 

Ans. A morpheme is the smallest component of word that has semantic meaning. 

Q.34. What is clipping? 

Ans. Clipping is a process of cutting words into shorter ones. Examples include fridge’ for ‘refrigerator 

Q.35. What is TG grammar? 

Ans. TG grammar means Transformational Generative grammar in which accuracy of language is studied.  

Q.36. What is lexical cohesion? 

Ans. Lexical cohesion is the cohesive effect achieved by the selection of vocabulary. 

Q.37. What is coherence? 

Ans. Coherence is the relationship that links the meaning of utterances and sentences. 

Q.38. What is hyponym? 

Ans. Words that belong to a class are hyponyms for instance, daisy and rose are hyponyms of flower and Padma and Meghna are hyponyms of river. 

Q.39. What is homonym? 

Ans. Homonyms are spelled and pronounced in the same way but are used to convey different meanings. 

Q.40. What is LAD? 

Ans. LAD is Language Acquisition Device. 

Q.41. What is first language? 

Ans. First language is the native language of the learner. 

Q.42. What is motivation? 

Ans. Motivation is the psychological quality that leads people to achieve a goal. For language learners, mastery of a language may be a goal. 

Q.43. What is holophrastic stage? 

Ans. The time from 9 months to 18 months is the one word or holophrastic stage during which children produce or re-produce single words utterances.  

Q.44. What is a dialect? 

Ans. Dialect is any regional, social or ethnic variety of alanguage. 

Q.45. What is bilingualism? 

Ans. According to Weinreich, ‘the practice of alternative two languages is called bilingualism. 

Q.46. What is Zero Morph or Zero Suffix? 

Ans. This is called zero morph where no morpheme is added but still semantically it makes sense that there is a plural form such as the word “Men”. 

Q.47. What is competence? 

Ans. Competence is the actual knowledge of the language.  

Q.48. What is Assimilation? 

Ans. Assimilation is a phonological process by which one sound becomes more like a nearby sound. 

Q.49. What does it mean by Text?” 

Ans. Text is a collection of objects held together by forms of equivalence or frequencies or by cohesive devices.  

Q.50. What is Creole? 

Ans. A language that becomes a native language from a pidgin is called a Creole. 

Q.51. What is register? 

Ans. A register is a speech variety used by a particular group of people, usually sharing the same occupation. 

Q.52. What is phonetics? 

Ans. Phonetics is a level of linguistics that deals with the production, transmission and perception of the speech sounds. 

Q.53. What is Phonology? 

Ans. Phonology is the branch of linguistics that deals with systems of sounds (including or excluding phonetics), within a language or between different languages.  

Q.54. What is fricative? 

Ans: Fricatives are produced with frictions. The strong fricatives [s fz 3] are often termed “sibilant” fricatives. 

Q.55. What are the diphthongs of English? 

Ans. Diphthongs are single vowel phonemes that consist of two pure vowels in sequence. 

Q.56. Define pidgin. 

Ans. A pidgin is a new language which develops when speakers of different languages need to communicate but don’t share a common language. So, they form a new language combining the two. 

Q.57. What is schema? 

Ans. Schema is a stored body of knowledge. 

Q.58. What is an acronym? 

Ans. An acronym is a word formed from the initial letters of a name (for example, NATO, from North Atlantic Treaty Organization). 

Q.59. What are the major levels of linguistics? 

Ans. The five levels of Linguistics are: 

  • Phonetics 
  • Phonology  
  • Morphology 
  • Syntax 
  • Semantic 
  • Pragmatics 

Q.60.What are the branches of Phonetics? 

Ans. (1) articulatory, (2) acoustic and (3) auditory phonetics. 

Q.61. How many vowel sounds are there in English? 

Ans. 20 

Q.62. What is Voicing? 

Ans. In phonetics, voice is the sound that is produced by the vibration of the vocal cords. All vowels are normally voiced, but consonants may be either voiced or voiceless 

Q.63. What is Langue? 

Ans. Langue is a French word meaning “language”.  

Q.64. What is linguistics? 

Ans. Linguistics is the scientific and systematic study of human language. 

Q.65. Who is Saussure? 

Ans. Ferdinand de Saussure is the originator of the 20-century reappearance of structuralism. 

Q.67. What is a monophthong? 

Ans. A vowel sound whose quality doesn’t change over the duration of the vowel is called a monophthong They consist of one vowel sound each. 

Q.68. What is Pitch? 

Ans. Pitch is the degree of highness or lowness of a tone. 

Q.71. What is Sociolinguistics? 

Ans. Sociolinguistics is the study of the use of language in society. 

Q.74. What is Accommodation Theory in SLA? 

Ans. Accommodation Theory is similar to Acculturation Theory in that both attempt to explain how group relations impact SLA. Acculturation Theory explains actual distance between groups whereas accommodation theory explains perceived distance between groups.  

Q.75. What is intonation? 

Ans. Intonation is a pattern of changing pitch during an utterance (a phrase, clause, sentence) to convey linguistic information.  

Q.78. Who is Noam Chomsky? 

Ans. Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic. 

Q.80. What is syntax? 

Ans. In linguistics, syntax is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences in a given language, usually including word order.  

Q.82. What is parole? 

Ans. A term, deriving from Ferdinand de Saussure, refers to language as it is spoken, contrast this with langue. 

Q.83. What is a minimal pair’? 

Ans. Minimal pair is a pair of two words in a language which differ from each other by only one distinctive sound (one phoneme) and which also differ in meaning. For example, the English words bear and pear are a minimal pair as they differ in meaning and in their initial phonemes /b/ and /p/. 



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