morphologymonomorphemic wordsfree morphemesbound morphemesaffixesprefixessuffixesback formationscompound wordspullet surpriseschapter 3 syntax B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e

morphologymonomorphemic wordsfree morphemesbound morphemesaffixesprefixessuffixesback formationscompound wordspullet surpriseschapter 3 syntax B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e

Part one of the course (to Exam 1), sets up many foundational ideas. Multiple choice format questions are one way to assess your knowledge of these key ideas. Exam 1 will make use of multiple choice questions, however, instead of you answering questions that I have prepared, YOU will develop original questions you write on the first four chapters.

The format provides a good opportunity for you to focus on significant ideas from part one of the course. This exam format is one I frequently use. Given that you can work on the questions at your own pace, and given that you are being provided plenty of time to complete the exam, the format should reduce your stress level about Exam 1 and should maximize your performance. It is a format that all students can complete successfully. If you adhere to the required format, it is likely that you will do well on the exam. Consequently, this is an opportunity to improve your grade as we move to part two of the course. Following is information to help you to complete Exam 1 successfully. Please note that I am providing lots of information, guidelines, and examples to help you in this process. I have tried to anticipate questions you might have, so read the following carefully.

Question Requirements and Format:

Your task is to prepare a comprehensive, 50-item multiple choice exam, based on key concepts from chapters 1, 2, (and assigned pages from) chapters 3 and 4 key as follows:

Chapter 1 = 15 questions on 15 different concepts from the list

Chapter 2 = 15 questions on 15 different concepts from the list

Chapter 3 (pp. 76-87 only) = 10 questions on 10 different concepts from the list

Chapter 4 (pp. 139-158 & 170-177) = 10 questions on 10 different concepts from the list

Multiple Choice Questions:

Must include “a through e” responses.

Can be concept clarification based, or application based.

Are not acceptable in true/false question format UNLESS they are written in the form of “Which of the following is a TRUE statement?” (or a FALSE statement) and then include “a through e” responses (see example below).

Require you to indicate the correct answer and include the page where the correct answer can be found.

Should be separated by chapter with a label at the beginning of the set of questions for that chapter (see below). You will label Chapter 1 (and then provide questions 1-15), then Chapter 2 (which would be questions 16-30), and the assigned pages from Chapter 3 (which would be questions 31- 40), and the assigned pages from Chapter 4 (which would be questions 41-50).

Sample Questions and Sample Format for Questions:

(Note that I am using examples from chapters assigned in part two of the course and see that I have provided a variety of TYPES of questions to help you see what questions might look like. Also, note that questions 1 and 2 both are related to dialect. When you prepare your questions, do not write two questions on the same concept; instead include a variety of concepts to demonstrate broader understanding.)

Chapter 7

1. Which of the following is a TRUE statement?

a. Dialects are defined as “systematic differences in the way groups speak a language.”

b. Dialects can be regional or social.

c. Upper class citizens do not speak dialects.

d. all of the above are true

e. a and b only are true (correct answer, pages 279-287)

2. COMS 320 has 36 students enrolled. How many of the 36 students speak a dialect?

a. 9 or 25%

b. 18 or 50%

c. 27 or 75%

d. 36 or 100% (correct answer, pages 279-280)

e. There is no way to determine how many speak a dialect without knowing which languages they speak.

Chapter 8

3. The Great Vowel Shift

a. took place between 1400 and 1600

b. refers to the English language

c. resulted in changes in sound

d. all of the above (correct, page 342)

e. a and b only

Chapter 9

4. Marianna is a new mom. She speaks to her baby more slowly, she exaggerates her words, and she simplifies her sentences. Marianna is using the “simplified” speech form known as:

a. CDS

b. baby talk

c. motherese

d. child-directed speech

e. all of the above (correct answer, page 424)

Chapter 10

5. The neurological term for any language disorder that results from brain damage caused by disease or trauma is

a. aphasia (correct, page 463) b. contralateral brain function c. ipsilateral brain function d. cortex e. critical period

[Here are the key concepts for Chapters 1 and 2, and the assigned pages from chapters 3 and 4 for you to select from. You have seen these concepts previously on CBAs. Your multiple choice questions must relate to these concepts.]

Chapter 1 Introduction to Language

(write 15 questions; select 15 different key concepts from chapter 1):

Noam Chomsky

knowledge of the sound system

knowledge of words


sound symbolism



knowledge of sentences and nonsentences

the meaning of the asterisk

linguistic competence and linguistic performance







descriptive grammar vs. prescriptive grammar


prestige dialects/standard dialects

Universal Grammar

babbling in hearing and deaf children

animal “languages”

Nim Chimpsky

language and thought/Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

linguistic determinism/linguistic relativism

euphemism treadmill

Chapter 2 Morphology

(write 15 questions; select 15 different key concepts from chapter 2):



grammatical category or syntactic class



prescribe vs. describe

content words

open class words

function words

closed class words


monomorphemic words

free morphemes

bound morphemes




back formations

compound words

pullet surprises

Chapter 3 Syntax (pages 76-87 only) (write 10 questions; select 10 different concepts from chapter 3, pages 76-87 only):


subject-verb-object (SVO languages)


square brackets


lexical or word meaning ambiguity

structural ambiguity

grammaticality judgments

syntactic category

noun phrase (NP)

verb phrase (VP)

prepositional phrase (PP)

determiner (Det)

Chapter 4 Semantics (pages 139-158 & 170-177)

(write 10 questions; select 10 different concepts from chapter 4, pages 139-158 & 170-177 only):



lexical semantics

phrasal or sentential semantics




semantic anomaly


idioms/idiomatic phrases



synonyms and antonyms

marked/unmarked pairs

discourse/discourse analysis

Grice’s maxims of conversation (quantity; relation; manner; quality)


speech acts

illocutionary force


Exam 1 must be typed, Times New Roman, black ink. Note that for this assignment, you can reduce font to 11 point. For ease of grading, single space within questions and double space between questions (see the sample questions for what this would look like.) All exam questions must be well written, thoroughly proofread and edited, and appropriately formatted. Response choices should be plausible and related to language. If a student were taking your exam, they should have to think about the responses. Sometimes students write questions where the right answer is the only obvious correct answer with four other obviously wrong answers. For example, here is a BAD example of a question:

[BAD Example]:

1. Dialect maps show

a. where speakers use particular words to describe items (correct answer, p. 286)

b. how to get a cheap flight to Italy

c. where a tourist can find a McDonald’s in Peru

d. where four-star restaurants are found in the Amazon

e. how to pack for an international trip

Better questions will reflect breadth in concept use, variety in style of question, and original, creative thought.

Please note that it is understood that you will be relying on ideas and wording from the textbook. This is commonly seen on exams as questions often are based closely in the original language from the text. You will be indicating the page number from the text where the answers can be found. Consequently, the standard expectation regarding citation does not apply in your preparation of the exam. However, what still applies is the expectation that your questions are original questions, created by you for the exam. Do not use questions from any other source, online or otherwise. Questions must be independently written and original for this exam. See the course syllabus for expectations and policies regarding academic honesty.

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