Mechanisms of Linguistic Change IELTS Reading

Mechanisms of Linguistic Change IELTS Reading

Mechanisms of Linguistic Change IELTS Reading with Answers

Real IELTS Exam Question, Reported On:

India 5th November 2022

READING PASSAGE – 1

A. The changes that have caused the most disagreement are those in pronunciation. We have various sources of evidence for the pronunciations of earlier times, such as the spellings, the treatment of words borrowed from other languages or borrowed by them, the descriptions of contemporary grammarians and spelling-reformers, and the modern pronunciations in all the languages and dialects concerned From the middle of the sixteenth century, there are in England writers who attempt to describe the position of the speech-organs for the production of English phonemes, and who invent what are in effect systems of phonetic symbols. These various kinds of evidence, combined with a knowledge of the mechanisms of speech-production, can often give us a very good idea of the pronunciation of an earlier age, though absolute certainty is never possible.ieltsxpress

B. When we study the pronunciation of a language over any period of a few generations or more, we find there are always large-scale regularities in the changes: for example, over a certain period of time, just about all the long [a:] vowels in a language may change into long [e:] vowels, or all the [b] consonants in a certain position (for example at the end of a word) may change into [p] consonants. Such regular changes are often called sound laws. There are no universal sound laws (even though sound laws often reflect universal tendencies), but simply particular sound laws for one given language (or dialect) at one given period. ieltsxpress ieltsxpress small logo

C. It is also possible that fashion plays a part in the process of change. It certainly plays a part in the spread of change: one person imitates another, and people with the most prestige are most likely to be imitated, so that a change that takes place in one social group may be imitated (more or less accurately) by speakers in another group. When a social group goes up or down in the world, its pronunciation of Russian, which had formerly been considered desirable, became on the contrary an undesirable kind of accent to have, so that people tried to disguise it. Some of the changes in accepted English pronunciation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have been shown to consist in the replacement of one style of pronunciation by another style already existing, and it is likely that such substitutions were a result of the great social changes of the period: the increased power and wealth of the middle classes, and their steady infiltration upwards into the ranks of the landed gentry, probably carried elements of middle-class pronunciation into upper-class speech.

D. A less specific variant of the argument is that the imitation of children is imperfect: they copy their parents’ speech, but never reproduce it exactly. This is true, but it is also true that such deviations from adult speech are usually corrected in later childhood. Perhaps it is more significant that even adults show a certain amount of random variation in their pronunciation of a given phoneme, even if the phonetic context is kept unchanged. This, however, cannot explain changes in pronunciation unless it can be shown that there is some systematic trend in the failures of imitation: if they are merely random deviations they will cancel one another out and there will be no net change in the language. ieltsxpressieltsxpress small logo

E. One such force which is often invoked is the principle of ease, or minimization of effort. The change from fussy to fuzzy would be an example of assimilation, which is a very common kind of change. Assimilation is the changing of a sound under the influence of a neighbouring one. For example, the word scant was once skamt, but the /m/ has been changed to /n/ under the influence of the following /t/. Greater efficiency has hereby been achieved, because /n/ and /t/ t/are articulated in the same place (with the tip of the tongue against the teeth-ridge), whereas /m/ is articulated elsewhere (with the two lips). So the place of articulation of the nasal consonant has been changed to conform with that of the following plosive. A more recent example of the same kind of thing is the common pronunciation of football as football.

ieltsxpress small logoF. Assimilation is not the only way in which we change our pronunciation in order to increase efficiency. It is very common for consonants to be lost at the end of a word: in Middle English, word-final [-n] was often lost in unstressed syllables, so that baken ‘to bake’ changed from [‘ba:kan] to [‘ba:k3],and later to [ba:k]. Consonant-clusters are often simplified. At one time there was a [t] in words like castle and Christmas, and an initial [k] in words like knight and know. Sometimes a whole syllable is dropped out when two successive syllables begin with the same consonant (haplology): a recent example is temporary, which in Britain is often pronounced as if it were temporary.

Get 20% off on ielts mock test use code ieltsxpress20

Questions 1-4
Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer. ieltsx press
Write your answers in boxes 1-4 on your answer sheet.ieltsxpress small logo

The pronunciation of living language undergo changes throughout thousands of years. Large scale regular Changes are usually called 1.____________. There are three reasons for these changes.ieltsxpress small logo Firstly, the influence of one language on another; when one person imitates another pronunciation(the most prestige’s), the imitation always partly involving factor of 2. ____________. Secondly, the imitation of children from adults1 language sometimes are 3. ____________, and may also contribute to this change if there are insignificant deviations tough later they may be corrected Finally, for those random variations in pronunciation, the deeper evidence lies in the 4.____________ or minimization of effort.

Questions 5-11
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage?
In boxes 5-11 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the informationieltsxpress small logo
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

5. It is impossible for modern people to find pronunciation of words in an earlier age ieltsxpress
6. The great change of language in Russian history is related to the rising status and fortune of middle classes.
7. All the children learn speeches from adults white they assume that certain language is difficult to imitate exactly.
8.ieltsxpress small logo Pronunciation with causal inaccuracy will not exert big influence on language changes.
9. The word ‘scant’ can be pronounced more easily than ‘skamt’
10. The [g] in gnat not being pronounced will not be spelt out in the future.
11. The sound of ‘temporary’ cannot wholly present its spelling.

Questions 12-14
Look at the following sentences and the list of statements below.
Match each statement with the correct sentence, A-D.
Write the correct letter, A-D, in boxes 12-14 on your answer sheetieltsxpress small logo

A. Since the speakers can pronounce it with less effort
B. Assimilation of a sound under the influence of a neighbouring one
C. It is a trend for changes in pronunciation in a large scale in a given period
D. Because the speaker can pronounce [n] and [t] both in the same time

12. As a consequence, ‘b’ will be pronounced asieltsxpress small logo
13. The pronunciation of [mt] changed to [nt]
14. The omit of ‘f in the sound of Christmas ieltsxpress

Also Check: Whale Culture IELTS Reading with Answers Academic


Mechanisms of Linguistic Change IELTS Reading Answers

1. SOUND LAWS
2. FASHIONieltsxpress small logo
3. IMPERFECT
4. PRINCIPLE OF EASE
5. FALSE
6. FALSE
7. NOT GIVEN
ieltsxpress small logo8. TRUE
9. TRUE
10. NOT GIVEN
11. TRUE
12. C
13. Bieltsxpress small logo
14. A


Mechanisms of Linguistic Change Reading Answers Explanation

1. The pronunciation of living language under – go changes throughout thousands of years. Large scale regular Changes are usually called
Answer: Sound Laws
Supporting Sentence: When we study the pronunciation of a language over any period of a few generations or more, we find there are always large-scale regularities in the changes: for example, over a certain period of time, just about all the long [a:] vowels in a language may change into long [e:] vowels, or all the [b] consonants in a certain position (for example at the end of a word) may change into [p] consonants. ieltsxpress


Keyword: Pronunciation, regularities, changes, generations
Keyword Location: Section B, 1st line
Explanation: The pronunciation of any language might change over a period of time but few sound laws remain unchanged / regular. For instance, when we talk about all the long [a:] vowels in a language may change into long [e:] vowels, or all the [b] consonants in a certain position (for example at the end of a word) may change into [p] consonants.

2. There are three reasons for these changes. Firstly, the influence of one language on another; when one person imitates another pronunciation (the most prestige’s), the imitation always partly involving factor of
Answer: Fashion
Supporting Sentence: It is also possible that fashion plays a part in the process of change. It certainly plays a part in the spread of change: one person imitates another, and people with the most prestige are most likely to be imitated, so that a change that takes place in one social group may be imitated (more or less accurately) by speakers in another group.
Keyword: process, spread, change, group, imitate
Keyword Location: Section C, 1st line
Explanation: Fashion plays an important role in changing the pronunciation of any language and it might be the result of an interaction of multiple social groups. The group belonging from higher strata of any society is competent enough to influence the members of another group.


3. Secondly, the imitation of children from adults1 language sometimes are
Answer: Imperfect
Supporting Sentence: they copy their parents’ speech, but never reproduce it exactly. This is true, but it is also true that such deviations from adult speech are usually corrected in later childhood. Perhaps it is more significant that even adults show a certain amount of random variation in their pronunciation of a given phoneme, even if the phonetic context is kept unchanged.
Keyword: imitate, deviations, pronunciation, adults
Keyword Location: Section D, 1st line
Explanation: Another reason for the change in the pronunciation of a language is varying imitations of the same by the children from their parents or any adults. But there are even instances when adults imitate them incorrectly. Although, there needs to be a full – fledged research which could clarify that there is a systematic trend in the failure of the imitation.

Get 20% off on ielts mock test use code ieltsxpress20

4. and may also contribute to this change if there are insignificant deviations though, later they may be corrected. Finally, for those random variations in pronunciation, the deeper evidence lies in the
Answer: Principle of ease
Supporting Sentence: One such force which is often invoked is the principle of ease, or minimization of effort. The change from fussy to fuzzy would be an example of assimilation, which is a very common kind of change.
Keyword: force, assimilation, change
Keyword Location: Section E, 1st line
Explanation: One force that leads to the changing of the sound of any language could be the assimilation which works on the principle of ease or the minimization of efforts. Thus, this factor also contributes to the changing pronunciation of a language.


5. It is impossible for modern people to find pronunciation of words in an earlier age
Answer: False
Supporting Sentence: We have various sources of evidence for the pronunciations of earlier times, such as the spellings, the treatment of words borrowed from other languages or borrowed by them, the descriptions of contemporary grammarians and spelling-reformers, and the modern pronunciations in all the languages and dialects concerned From the middle of the sixteenth century, there are in England writers who attempt to describe the position of the speech – organs for the production of English phonemes, and who invent what are in effect systems of phonetic symbols.
Keywords: evidence, earlier times, writers
Keyword Location: Section A, 1st line.
Explanation: Even the contemporary generation could find out the pronunciation of the language which were used in the earlier times. Multiple pieces of evidence are presented for the same by various writers such as the ones from England who described the position of the speech – organs for the production of English phonemes. The samples of the speech – organ and the words that have been used in the past are mentioned in various historical and the political texts of those time periods.


6. The great change of language in Russian history is related to the rising status and fortune of middle classes.
Answer: False
Supporting Sentence: When a social group goes up or down in the world, its pronunciation of Russian, which had formerly been considered desirable, became on the contrary an undesirable kind of accent to have, so that people tried to disguise it.
Keywords: Russian, social group, accent.
Keyword Location: Section C, 4th line
Explanation: The rising status of the middle class has been a reason for a change in pronunciation and the accent of the English language while the change in the Russian pronunciation was a resultant of the changing position of the social groups due to which the Russian accent was later considered undesirable.


7. All the children learn speeches from adults white They assume that certain language is difficult to imitate exactly.
Answer: Not given


8. Pronunciation with causal inaccuracy will not exert a big influence on language changes.
Answer: True
Supporting Sentence: Perhaps it is more significant that even adults show a certain amount of random variation in their pronunciation of a given phoneme, even if the phonetic context is kept unchanged. This, however, cannot explain changes in pronunciation unless it can be shown that there is some systematic trend in the failures of imitation: if they are merely random deviations, they will cancel one another out and there will be no net change in the language.
Keywords: systematic trend, cancel, net change, pronunciation, random deviation
Keyword Location: Section D, 3rd line.
Explanation: The random deviations from the actual pronunciation of the language which is often practiced by the adults and the children do not mark a great change. This leads to no net change in the accent until and unless there is some systematic trend in the failure of imitation of the language sounds.

9. The word ‘scant’ can be pronounced more easily than ‘skamt’
Answer: True
Supporting Sentence: the word scant was once skamt, but the /m/ has been changed to /n/ under the influence of the following /t/. Greater efficiency has hereby been achieved, because /n/ and /t/ are articulated in the same place (with the tip of the tongue against the teeth – ridge), whereas /m/ is articulated elsewhere (with the two lips). So, the place of articulation of the nasal consonant has been changed to conform with that of the following plosive.
Keywords: nasal consonant, articulated, efficiency.
Keyword Location: Section E, 4th line
Explanation: The replacement of m with n reflects the greater efficiency in terms of articulation of n and t at the same place (with the tip of the tongue against the teeth – ridge). Thus, scant has easier pronunciation as compared to that of skamt.


10. The [g] in gnat not being pronounced will not be spelt out in the future.
Answer: Not Given

11. The sound of ‘temporary’ cannot wholly present its spelling.
Answer: True
Supporting Sentence: Sometimes a whole syllable is dropped out when two successive syllables begin with the same consonant (haplology): a recent example is temporary, which in Britain is often pronounced as if it were temporary.
Keywords: consonant, syllable, dropped
Keyword Location: Section F, 5th line.
Explanation: Sometimes, while pronouncing, the whole syllable, as in ‘temporary’, is dropped out when two successive syllables begin with the same consonant. This leads to effortless pronunciation with equal articulation of the consonants, which ease the speaking for the speaker of a language.


12. As a consequence, ‘b’ will be pronounced as

Answer: C
Supporting Sentence: When we study the pronunciation of a language over any period of a few generations or more, we find there are always large – scale regularities in the changes: for example, over a certain period of time, just about all the long [a:] vowels in a language may change into long [e:] vowels, or all the [b] consonants in a certain position (for example at the end of a word) may change into [p] consonants.
Keywords: changes, regularities, b consonants, p consonants.
Keyword Location: Section B, 1st line.
Explanation: Sound laws remark the regularities within the changes in the pronunciation of a language over generations. For instance, the changes are all about the long, when the [b] consonants in a certain position (for example at the end of a word) may change into [p] consonants.


13. The pronunciation of [mt] changed to [nt]

Answer: B
Supporting Sentence: Assimilation is the changing of a sound under the influence of a neighbouring one. For example, the word scant was once skamt. Thus, the replacement of m with n is mainly in terms of t, which ultimately enhances the efficiency of the pronunciation and reduces the efforts in speaking.
Keywords: assimilation, sound.
Keyword Location: Section E, 3rd line.
Explanation: The pronunciation of mt changed to nt as in, the pronunciation of skamt changed to scant, this enhances the efficiency of pronouncing the words which are articulated at the same place through assimilation.

14. The omit of ‘f’ in the sound of Christmas.

Answer: A
Supporting Sentence: Consonant – clusters are often simplified. At one time there was a [t] in words like castle and Christmas, and an initial [k] in words like knight and know
Keywords: simplified, cluster, consonants, initial.
Keyword Location: Section F, 4th line
Explanation: In order to ease the pronunciation of the word of any language, the cluster of the consonants are simplified. The same simplification of the consonants is reflected in the word Christmas when the sound of ‘f’ is omitted from the same. Other examples for the same include the word knight.

Also Check: The History of The Tortoise IELTS Reading Academic

Oh hi there! It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We promise not to spam you or share your Data. 🙂

close
Mechanisms of Linguistic Change IELTS Reading

Oh Hi there!
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We promise not to Spam or Share your Data. 🙂

1 thought on “Mechanisms of Linguistic Change IELTS Reading”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend