Problem Set 5 A. (14 points) Identify the relation that exists between either the words or the sentences. If you would like to justify your answer, do so under your answer

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Ling 390: Introduction to Linguistics Name: ________________________

Prof. Conn

Name in IPA: __________________

/ 50 points Problem Set 5

A. (14 points) Identify the relation that exists between either the words or the sentences. If you would like to justify your answer, do so under your answer.












He gave the letter to the mailman.

He gave the mailman the letter.


The dodo bird is extinct.

I saw a live dodo bird in my yard today.


mouse (rodent that eats cheese)

mouse (computer tool to move the cursor)





A bear scratched the camper {PERSON}.

The camper {PERSON} is injured.

B. (13 pts.) Underline all of the noun phrases that occur in each sentence (be sure to identify the entire NP, not just the noun). Above each noun phrase, write the thematic role (Agent, Theme, Source, Goal, Location). No need to draw arrows to show assigners of these roles.

1. The runners raced from the school to the field.

2. Professor Plum was killed by Miss Scarlet.

3. Miss Scarlet gave the candlestick to Professor Plum in the library.

4. Mrs. Peacock used the secret passage to go from the lounge to the dining room undetected.

C. (4 pts.) The following are Grice’s Maxims of Conversation: Quantity, Quality, Relevance, and Manner. Write the name of each maxim next to its brief definition.
a. ____________________ Be clear and orderly.
b. ____________________ Say as much as you need and not more.
c. ____________________ Be relevant.
d. ____________________ Be truthful.

D. (9 pts.) Look at each snippet of conversation and answer the questions that follow.

a. Prosecution lawyer to defense witness: Have you stopped taking drugs? Just answer with a simple yes or no.

If the witness has never taken drugs, can she answer the question? Why or why not? Is there presupposition involved and if so, what?

b. Doctor to patient with arthritis (joint pain): Can you reach the top shelf?

Short student to tall student in the library (asking tall student to get book for him/her):

Can you reach the top shelf?
Is the implicature the same for both questions? That is, do both contain implicatures? Why or why not?

c. A letter or recommendation for a student applying to graduate school. Assume writer knows how to write letters like this, but is forced to write something about the student: I am writing to recommend Joe Schmo for graduate study. He was my advisee, and I have always found him unfailingly polite and punctual. Also, he dresses extremely well. Sincerely…

What maxims are being violated? What is the implicature of the letter?

E. Language Mini-Research Project (10 points)

Please indicate your sources (.5 Pts):  Wikipedia  Ethnologue

 About World  Other:

1.) (.5 Points) Name of your language:

2.) (3 points each) Please state 3 things about the SOCIOLINGUISTICS of your language. You can include any of the following (or other if you find it):

  • Can you find any information about different dialects/accents within your language? If so, what are the regional locations and who speaks which dialects?

  • Say something about the prestige of your language compared to other languages spoken by the same population/in the same region?

  • Does your language mark social information on certain forms (sometimes called “honorifics”)?

  • Does your language have different versions of the 2nd person singular/plural pronouns (in English: you) that reflect social information (familiarity, status, etc)?

  • State anything about social information as it pertains to your language. This could include forms in your language that are socially taboo, or how certain forms/pronunciations are used by certain people that speak your language, but not all.

  • State anything about standardization of your language and how that relates to non-standard varieties.

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