BEST IELTS General Reading Test 443

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 443

IELTS General Reading Test

HOW AND WHY DOES LANGUAGE CHANGE?

During the 19th century, it was believed that a sound change affected the whole language at the same time: one sound system smoothly develop into the second, and all words that contained a particular sound would be affected in the same manner. We now know that such a change does not operate in an ordinary manner. Some speakers introduce the change into their speech before others do; some use it more often than others.

A more accurate way is to think change as something gradually spreading through the words of a language. At first just a few people use the change occasionally in common language; then a large number of words are affected, with the sound gradually used consistently; then the majority of words counter the change.

IELTS General Reading Test

The evidence of this kind of process originated from sociolinguistic studies of the variations in modern languages. These studies move forward on the assumption that language variation is an evidence of the change in progress of a language. Detailed observations are made of the way in which different people speak in different social circumstances. The parameters that demonstrate these differences are called as Linguistic Variables.

These are small scale studies, but they have large implications. The same gradual process of change affects whole language as well as whole dialects. The metaphor of a wave has proved to be attractive since the 19th century: a change spreads through a language is just like a stone sends ripples across a pool. It is easy to recognise a change in a language – but only after the change has taken place.

IELTS General Reading Test

It is not so difficult to think on how people spoke several years ago to point to a new word recently entered the language. But, it is impossible to predict which sounds, words or grammatical construction will change in the next twenty years. It is also difficult to precisely say about the origins of a change in a language. Who first used ? where it was used ? and when exactly it was used ?

Historical dictionaries shows an approximate date of entry for a new word or meaning – but these dates invariably reflect the earliest known use of that word in written form. The first usage of the word in speech is an unknown number of years previous to that.

IELTS General Reading Test

To obtain answers to these questions, we need to know more about why language transform. With the causes of change, we could start to make predictions about when a change was more likely to take place, and observe it while it was happening. There has long been thoughtful speculation on the matter, with suggested causes coming out from the fields such as theology and climatology (which is a result of human physical location – the mountain dweller having a physiologically different speech capacity compared with the valley dweller).

Some scholars have adopted a highly negative view, believing that the causes can never be found. These days, the speculation and pessimism are being replaced by an increasing amount of scientific studies, which has shown that there is no one reason for language change. Several factors play their role, some with the nature of society, and some with the nature of language structure.

IELTS General Reading Test

When humans move away from each other, their language will diverge. The two groups will have variety of experiences, and at the very least their vocabulary will change. Similarly, when people come into contact, their language will converge. The sounds, grammar and vocabulary of one group are likely to put some influence on the other. These days, the increased mobility of people between countries, makes this a major factor.

New ideas are being created constantly, and language changes to accept them. At the same time, old objects and ideas become obsolete. Some change is the result of one population group imperfectly learning the language of another. This is a common illustration of bilingualism. The minority language forms a small category of people that in the long term influences major category.

IELTS General Reading Test

People usually talk like those they admire – a process that may be conscious or subconscious. Conscious change can be observed in those cases where people use or avoid certain features of their spoken language – such as happened with the English pronoun “whom”. Subconscious change, where people don’t know the direction in which their speech is moving; it is less noticeable.

The movement may be towards a favoured dialect, or away from one that is held in low esteem. The speakers are mostly aware of the existence of linguistic differences, but unaware of any trend in their own speech connected to their attitude.

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IELTS General Reading Test

Choose the correct letter – A, B, C or D

28. What are linguistic variables?

A. how different people use different language

B. they show unpredictability of changes in languages

C. they record laws of speaking

D. they show who introduce linguistic change

29. According to author, what is the relationship between changes in languages and in dialects?

A. a small change in dialect will signal major change in a language

B. language change is closely followed by dialect change

C. they start rapidly then slow down gradually

D. none of them happen suddenly

IELTS General Reading Test

30. When does the general language change can be recognised?

A. when vocabulary first get into a language

B. after a decade of usage

C. when majority people in a group have changed their way of speaking

D. only follows the occurrence of a change

31. Why location influence change in language?

A. people from warmer places are more creative

B. different environments affects human bodies

C. people living in hills use different expressions than others

D. speed of language change affected by the altitude

IELTS General Reading Test

32. What has been demonstrated by recent scientific research?

A. new language patterns are dictated by influential people

B. different relationships among people slow down language change

C. language change has more than one cause

33. How language change seem to be affected by human mobility?

A. it increases the rate at which new languages are learnt

B. people who travel struggle to adopt a new language

C. language changes when people leave other members of their group

D. it has no affect on the language change

IELTS General Reading Test

34. Most often found aspect of language change is?

A. changes that user himself does not notice

B. deliberately imitate someone to achieve status

C. newcomers attempt to improve pronunciation

D. efforts to update vocabulary

Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3?

YES – write if statement agrees

NO – write if statement contradicts

NOT GIVEN – write if no information provided

IELTS General Reading Test

35. Linguistic change occurs when a new pronunciation is uniformly adopted

36. Water patterns are too even to be compared to the language patterns

37. Historical dictionaries registered the first spoken use of a new word

38. Recently, new vocabulary has mainly been introduced electronically

39. Change can happen when new speakers of a language make errors

40. An established language can get influenced by an introduced language

IELTS General Reading Test

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BEST IELTS General Reading Test 443

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IELTS General Reading Test

28. A

29. D

30. D

31. B

32. D

33. C

34. A

35. NO

36. YES

37. NO

38. NOT GIVEN

39. YES

40. YES

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