AP Psychology : Language

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #73 : Cognition

Which of the following is a body of thought that contradicts Noam Chomsky's view of generative grammar?

Possible Answers:

Socialism

Existentialism 

Dialectical Materialism

Functionalism

Gramscism

Correct answer:

Functionalism

Explanation:

Functionalism is a body of thought that contradicts Chomsky's theory of generative grammar. Functionalism holds that language is ultimately limited and not infinite and generative grammar proposes. Chomsky also proposes there is not particular reason motivating syntax. As in, a noun isn't at the beginning of a sentence because it is particularly more important than any other word. Functionalists believe there are reasons like these motivating and influencing grammar.

The other answers are philosophical bodies of thought that have more to do with human organization and identity than anything to do with language.

Example Question #31 : Language

Saying that a job demotion is a "growth opportunity" is an example of which of the following linguistic phenomena?

Possible Answers:

Common distribution

Contrastive distribution

Semantic slanting

Disturbing speech

Manipulative speech

Correct answer:

Semantic slanting

Explanation:

Semantic slanting is used when a person wants to say the same thing but affect their listener in a different way. It can be highly manipulative and is often used in advertising or politically sensitive situations. Take as an example the given question, a person gets demoted but is told that they are being "given" a "growth opportunity" as opposed to having their current position taken away from them. Semantic slanting is not always necessarily manipulative. The speaker may regard what they are framing in a different light as true; therefore, he or she will be using semantic slanting in a genuine manner. For instance, if I want to say a person does not look good in a hat, then I might say, "I think other hats suit you better.”

Example Question #73 : Cognition

Which of the following is an example of a sound error?

Possible Answers:

Saying "cart smat" instead of "smart cat"

Saying "ran" instead of "running"

Saying "my mom went to the store" instead of "my dad went to the store"

Saying "me goes to the store"

None of these

Correct answer:

Saying "cart smat" instead of "smart cat"

Explanation:

Saying "cart smat" instead of "smart cat" is an example of a sound error. This is because the speaker knows the final sounds of each word is similar and mixes up their initial sounds. This is an easy mistake because the resulting error words sound like they could reasonably be a part of the English language. The other answers were examples of grammatical or content errors.

Example Question #74 : Cognition

Which of the following is performed first when when we construct a sentence?

Possible Answers:

Convert intentions into speech

Devise the general structure of the sentence. 

None of these

Select specific words

Mentally plan overall meaning of the message we want to generate. 

Correct answer:

Mentally plan overall meaning of the message we want to generate. 

Explanation:

Before anyone utters a sentence, there is a lot of work involved in order to produce it. This may be misleading due to how fast we speak; however, there are at least four known steps involved in producing sentences. Before anything, we must have a hunch of what we want to say. That is, we must have an idea of the semantics of our sentence, which composes a "deep structure" for us to subsequently impose grammar and phonology.

Example Question #81 : Cognition

Which of the following is done second when we construct a sentence?

Possible Answers:

Select specific words

None of these

Convert intentions into speech

Convert feelings into thought

Devise the general structure of the sentence

Correct answer:

Devise the general structure of the sentence

Explanation:

After we have a "feeling" of what we want to say, the grammatical structure (i.e. the syntax) is formed as a template for the words we will pick. The term "template" means the categories of words that are being used as well as the combinational rules used to arrange them.

Example Question #31 : Language

Which of the following is done third when we create a sentence?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Devise the general structure of the sentence

Plan out intentions

Articulate the sentence

Select specific words

Correct answer:

Select specific words

Explanation:

After getting a "hunch" of what we want to say, we create the grammatical structure for our sentence. Once that is constructed, it becomes our so-called "template.” We fill this template with semantically relevant words. These words are as specific to the meaning we want to convey as possible. For instance, if we want the person we are speaking to know that the cat we are talking about is a young cat, then we would use the word "kitten" instead of "cat.”

Example Question #81 : Cognition

Which of the following is the fourth—and final—step associated with the creation of a sentence?

Possible Answers:

Get an idea of what we are going to say

None of these

Articulate the sentence out loud

Subconciously relax our articulation muscles in preparation for the utterance

Devise the grammatical structure

Correct answer:

Articulate the sentence out loud

Explanation:

Once we have an idea of what we want to say, create the general structure of our sentence, and select the semantically relevant words to use, we have completed the conceptual part of sentence processing. During the fourth step, we are ready to solve how our sentence will sound. This is a complex process, which involves subconsciously knowing the phonemes and their variants of the language.

Example Question #686 : Individual Psychology And Behavior

When listening to a sentence, the process of using given information to connect new information to memory is best described as which of the following?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Conceptual-connections strategy

Given-new strategy

Past-present connection

Memory-additional strategy

Correct answer:

Given-new strategy

Explanation:

When listening to a sentence, using given information to connect new information to memory is known as the “given-new strategy.” Although the other answers may sound correct, the given-new strategy is a technical linguistic term for what happens when we process sentences. When someone says, "I like eating out too,” the speaker is relying on already established information to add new information. The old information is that the listener has already expressed they like eating out. The new information is that the person speaking also enjoys eating out. 

Example Question #32 : Language

Which of the following is the reason why is it important to establish common ground in conversation?

Possible Answers:

Everyone will feel included

The esteem of all of the speakers will be raised

The parties involved in the conversation can move on with clarity

None of these

Everyone will get along much better once it has been established

Correct answer:

The parties involved in the conversation can move on with clarity

Explanation:

Establishing common ground is a commonly studied linguistic phenomenon that happens in conversational exchange. It is the way parties negotiate what the shared knowledge is in the exchange group and henceforth able to continue with the exchange. It is important to find the common knowledge quickly so as to make the interaction efficient. If a person is talking about buying a red chair, then they will not need to say "I need to buy a red chair at a store.” This is because it is common knowledge that things are typically bought at a store of some kind.

Example Question #32 : Language

Which of the following best describes a conversational implicature?

Possible Answers:

None of these

It is what is implied through body language conversation

It is what is explicitly stated in the conversation

It is was is implied through the face in conversation

It is what is implied but not explicitly stated in conversation

Correct answer:

It is what is implied but not explicitly stated in conversation

Explanation:

Conversational implicature is the meaning that is conveyed in an utterance that is not explicitly stated. For instance, I ask my friend when she'll be ready to go out and she replies, "make yourself a drink". This is by no means a direct answer to my question, which requests for an amount of time. What is implied is that by the time I will have made a drink and drunk it, she will be ready. This is the conversational implicature.

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