The Mother Tongue Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Bill Bryson
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 118 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to the author what is the most striking example of a word with multiple meanings?

2. It is an interesting ____________ that Americans attempt to imitate the British by using words and pronunciations that are not British at all or are no longer used.

3. What is phonology?

4. In what American city do people speak with slurred words that make them almost impossible to understand?

5. Who is Noam Chomsky?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the English language compare with the development and growth of other global languages?

2. What is the background of Webster's Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary?

3. What does the author say is the reason some English words are created?

4. How was the Cro-Magnon man able to supersede the Neanderthal man in human development?

5. What is the challenge of determining the actual number of words in the English language?

6. What is the source of many swear words throughout history?

7. What two religious scholars are responsible for documenting language in England?

8. Explain any efforts to regulate the English language.

9. What seems to be a long-term benefit of a phonetic system as opposed to a pictograph system?

10. Explain what the author means by the creation of language areas.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the Great Vowel Shift. Where did it occur? When did it occur? What was its purpose? What was the outcome?

Essay Topic 2

Explain the differences between pictographic languages and phonetic languages and give examples of each.

Essay Topic 3

Explain noted linguist Noam Chomsky's argument that children have inherent "ground rules" that help them learn their language. What other theories exist to explain how children learn to speak?

(see the answer keys)

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