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Quiz about Basic Linguistics
Quiz about Basic Linguistics

Basic Linguistics | 10 Question Humanities Multiple Choice Quiz


Owing to the fact that my other linguistics quiz is too hard (!), I have decided to write a simpler one. It concentrates less on the theoretical side of linguistics.

A multiple-choice quiz by Matve. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
Matve
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
98,997
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
7623
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: PurpleComet (7/10), blackandgreen (4/10), Guest 107 (8/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Firstly, to which of these language groups does English belong? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. In the sentence 'I took my big brown cat to the vet yesterday', which of the following does *not* appear? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. True or false: English has no inflections for grammatical case.


Question 4 of 10
4. What is defined as 'the study of sentence structure'? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Three of these languages do not have definite articles. Which one does have a structure that serves the purpose of a definite article? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. In dialectology, what is the line on a map called which divides areas with different forms of a word? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The sounds of a language change over time. English spelling does not always reflect this change: how was the 'gh' in 'night' originally pronounced? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Which of these words describes the changing of the form of a verb in order to reflect person, number, tense and mood? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. The combination of sounds 'ms-' is not acceptable as the beginning of a word or syllable in English. In which of these languages is it acceptable? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. And finally... Old Norse is almost the same as which modern Scandinavian language? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
May 22 2024 : PurpleComet: 7/10
May 20 2024 : blackandgreen: 4/10
May 10 2024 : Guest 107: 8/10
May 10 2024 : Guest 68: 8/10
May 07 2024 : Guest 134: 10/10
May 07 2024 : Guest 138: 5/10
May 06 2024 : Guest 104: 4/10
May 06 2024 : Guest 104: 4/10
May 06 2024 : Guest 5: 5/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Firstly, to which of these language groups does English belong?

Answer: Germanic

English belongs to the West Germanic branch, along with German, Frisian and Dutch. The North Germanic branch consists of Icelandic, Norwegian, Faroese, Swedish and Danish. East Germanic is extinct, the only attested member being Gothic.
2. In the sentence 'I took my big brown cat to the vet yesterday', which of the following does *not* appear?

Answer: Conjunction

'Big' and 'brown' are both adjectives, 'yesterday' is a temporal adverb and 'to' is a preposition. A conjunction would be something like 'and' or 'but'.
3. True or false: English has no inflections for grammatical case.

Answer: False

English has a genitive/possessive marker of sorts: it is the 's' that appears on the first noun in 'the butcher's shop', for example. In addition, personal pronouns are still inflected for case: in the phrase 'I hit him', 'I' is in the subjective/nominative and 'him' is in the objective/accusative (note the change in form if the roles are reversed: 'He hit me').
4. What is defined as 'the study of sentence structure'?

Answer: Syntax

Morphology is the study of the internal composition of words. Phonology is the study of sound systems (with reference to language rather than to the physical speech act), and semantics is the study of the meaning of words or sentences.
5. Three of these languages do not have definite articles. Which one does have a structure that serves the purpose of a definite article?

Answer: Swedish

In Swedish, the definite article is attached to the noun. So 'flicka', meaning 'girl', becomes 'flickan' when you want to say 'the girl'.
6. In dialectology, what is the line on a map called which divides areas with different forms of a word?

Answer: Isogloss

I hope that was easy, if only because the other options were rather improbable. An example of a possible isogloss would be one dividing areas of England that have a long back 'a' in 'bath', and those that have a short front one. Unfortunately, as sociolinguistics has shown, the picture is more complicated: such variation is social as well as geographical.
7. The sounds of a language change over time. English spelling does not always reflect this change: how was the 'gh' in 'night' originally pronounced?

Answer: Like German 'ch' in 'ich'

English did originally have this sound, believe it or not. Old English was very similar to German.
8. Which of these words describes the changing of the form of a verb in order to reflect person, number, tense and mood?

Answer: Conjugation

Declension applies to nouns and adjectives, rather than to verbs. Subordination and inversion are completely irrelevant!
9. The combination of sounds 'ms-' is not acceptable as the beginning of a word or syllable in English. In which of these languages is it acceptable?

Answer: Russian

It is found in the word 'mstit', meaning 'to get revenge', and also in the name of the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Finnish, by the way, does not allow syllable-inital consonant clusters at all. Many African languages are also like this, and so words like 'screwdriver' have been borrowed into languages as 'sukurudireva'!
10. And finally... Old Norse is almost the same as which modern Scandinavian language?

Answer: Icelandic

It's hardly changed since the Middle Ages. Norwegian, Swedish and Danish have all lost a lot of their inflectional morphology, so that, for example, all the present tense forms of a verb are now identical.
Source: Author Matve

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor coolupway before going online.
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