AP Psychology : Language

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #62 : Cognition

A patient has a stroke and loses the ability to speak. In which of the following areas of the brain did the stroke most likely occur?

Possible Answers:

Occipital lobe

Hippocampus 

Broca's area

Temporal lobe

Correct answer:

Broca's area

Explanation:

Broca’s area controls language expression and the muscle movements involved in speech. If it is damaged, then the ability to speak can be hindered or lost. 

Example Question #141 : Cognition And Consciousness

What are phonemes?

Possible Answers:

The smallest distinguishable unit in language

Smallest meaningful unit in language

A rule that governs how units can be meaningfully arranged

All of these

None of these

Correct answer:

The smallest distinguishable unit in language

Explanation:

A phoneme is the smallest distinguishable unit in language. This unit may have many different representations according to their phonetic environment. For instance, /f/ is a phoneme in English. /f/ sounds more like a "v" in "of" (ov) and a "f" in "forget" (forget). The phoneme still remains /f/ despite the variety in representations.

Example Question #22 : Language

Which of the following is an example of a syntactic rule?

Possible Answers:

All of these

None of these

"The girl saw the man with a telescope". This sentence has two interpretations according to the rule of structural ambiguity.

The article "the" must come before a noun due to the rule concerning proper noun phrases in English. 

The letter "s" will sound different in "dogs" and "cats" due to the voicing rule.

Correct answer:

The article "the" must come before a noun due to the rule concerning proper noun phrases in English. 

Explanation:

The correct answer was this: the article "the" must come before a noun due to the rule concerning proper noun phrases in English. Syntax is primarily concerned with how to combine words according to the grammatical rules of a language. For instance, according to the syntax of English, determiners will always come before both the adjective and noun in a noun phrase. Hence, we say "the happy dog" instead of "dog happy the".

Example Question #23 : Language

What makes the sentence "Avoid biting dogs" ambiguous?

Possible Answers:

None of these

This sentence is not ambiguous and should only have one interpretation. Since we know to treat animals humanely, the sentence means "do not bite dogs".

All of these

This sentence is not ambiguous and should only have one interpretation. Since it is commonly known that one should avoid dangerous dogs, the sentence means "avoid dogs that bite".

In one interpretation, "avoid" and "biting" are closer together. In the other, "biting" is more closely associated with "dogs". Hence, there are two senses of the same expression.

Correct answer:

In one interpretation, "avoid" and "biting" are closer together. In the other, "biting" is more closely associated with "dogs". Hence, there are two senses of the same expression.

Explanation:

This is a classic example of structural ambiguity in English. That is, ambiguity in meaning caused by two different structural interpretations. When "avoid" and "biting" are interpreted as closer together, you get the meaning "do not bite dogs". When "biting" and "dogs" are interpreted as closer together, you get the meaning "avoid dangerous dogs who bite".

Example Question #71 : Cognition

Which of the following is evidence to support Noam Chomsky's theory that language acquisition is a biologically inherited capability?

Possible Answers:

Language development occurs in similar stages among children across different cultures

Children acquire language rapidly and efficiently

All of these

Children will try out different grammatical rules that are not apart of the language they are exposed to

Even deaf children make up languages

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

Noam Chomsky believes that we biologically inherit a "Language Acquisition Device" that is responsible for acquiring our native language. Though there has been a lot of opposition from those who support that our environment predominantly shapes us, the evidence is in favor of Chomsky's view. The reasons are the following:

Despite not being able to hear any languages spoken, deaf children make up languages.

Children will try out different grammatical rules that are not apart of the language they are exposed to. For instance, a child learning English may be found trying out Swiss forms of negation despite never hearing a single word of Swiss.

Children acquire language rapidly and efficiently.

Language development occurs in similar stages among children across different cultures.

Example Question #71 : Cognition

Do animal forms of communication have syntax?

Possible Answers:

No

Yes, it is suspected that apes will soon evolve to communicate as humans do

None of these

Yes, but in limited forms

It's still unknown

Correct answer:

No

Explanation:

Animal forms of communication do not have rules for combining the symbols they use. The closest form of animal communication to humans is found among apes. Yet even when taught language in various studies, apes could not distinguish the different between "I eat an apple" or "Apple eat I". The rules that make this distinction are essential components of human language that are not found in animal communication.

Example Question #22 : Language

What is a "concept" according to semantics?

Possible Answers:

It is a rule that guides our social behavior

It is a mental category that groups similar objects, events, qualities, or actions

It is a stereotype

It is an inspired idea acquired through conscious thought and reasoning

None of these

Correct answer:

It is a mental category that groups similar objects, events, qualities, or actions

Explanation:

A "concept" is a mental category that groups similar objects, events, qualities, or actions. It summarizes information, enabling us to think quickly. We usually acquire a large amount of concepts when we are younger. For instance, when we are young we learn what color means and what this concept embodies. We learn that an animal is any being that is animate and possesses a nervous system. These concepts help us quickly process information so that we are not always trying to figure out semantic meaning.

Example Question #151 : Cognition And Consciousness

How does a prototype relate to a concept?

Possible Answers:

None of these

A prototype justifies a concept

A prototype is a typical example of a concept

A prototype is the word that defines a concept

A prototype contradicts a concept

Correct answer:

A prototype is a typical example of a concept

Explanation:

A "prototype" is a typical example of a concept. That is, it is a part of the data set that a concept embodies and is most commonly though of when the concept is being referenced. For instance, when we think of the concept of color we will more often think of blue instead of black, where blue is more representative of the concept of "color" then black is.

Example Question #1083 : Ap Psychology

Which of the following are necessary qualifications for a system of communication be considered a language?

Possible Answers:

Some form of symbolic representation

All of these

All speakers can comprehend it

Generativity

Rules for symbolic representation

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

Although there are many systems of communication present in nature, that doesn't mean they are all considered languages. There are certain properties of human language that make it universally distinct from all other forms of communication. These properties, as laid out by linguists, are generativity, universal comprehension, symbolic representation and rules for how the symbols are combined. The ability to talk about things that are not immediately apparent is included in symbolic representation, which most other systems of communication do not include.

Example Question #22 : Language

In language acquisition theory, empiricism states that which of the following achieves learning?

Possible Answers:

Cognitive reasoning

Perception

Environmental input

Survival necessity

Sensory input

Correct answer:

Sensory input

Explanation:

Empiricism states that sensory input informs learning, and that learning is a series of trial and error processes. 

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors