Please print out each of the
following two sections separately, and turn them in as separate
documents on Tuesday. (Note that these should be typed, not
PART 1. EXPERIMENTAL LINGUISTICS (50% OF FINAL EXAM GRADE)
Imagine this scenario. You live in a post World War III
world in which the US is run by a despotic dictator who blames
Conservative Christians and Mormons for the war. He hunts them down
like the Lamanites did the Nephites. However, many do not
confess their beliefs even under horrific torture. The
government contacts you because not only are you a brilliant
linguist, but you are an infamous, treacherous, ex-Mormon who
dresses poorly to boot. Your mission is to design an
experiment that will be given under the guise of being a simple
linguistic experiment. However, the true purpose behind
it is to determine who the Mormons are. You will take
advantage of the fact that Mormons probably process certain words
differently from the general population. Remember that you want to
hide the true nature of the experiment.
Use one of the experimental paradigms discussed in class.
Don't invent a new one.
List 10 of critical test words you would use. Why
would you choose them over others?
What other words would you include? List 10. Why
would you include them?
How would the experiment be carried out?
What would you measure? How is this related to the purpose
of the study?
What statistic would you use to determine the statistical
significance of your study?
What would the issues of internal and external validity be
for this study?
PART 2. CORPUS LINGUISTICS (50% OF FINAL EXAM GRADE)
These questions deal with several aspects of the word
trick. Please feel free to use whatever resources and
corpora you'd like, other than another human being :-). Make it as
long or short as you'd like, as long as you adequately cover each
topic. For each question, please state briefly which
corpus/resource you used, and how you obtained the data. Good
Has there been an overall increase or decrease in frequency
of this word over time? How would you
measure this? What problems would/do you have in getting this
data, and what limitations are there on the data that you've
Have there been changes in meaning over the past 200 years?
Oxford English Dictionary and at least one another source.) What kind of evidence does the
regular OED interface give? What kind of evidence did you
get from the
What are 3-4 of the most frequent words that are
morphologically-related to T-R-I-C-K? Are there any of these that have arisen in the
last 200-300 years? (Note: look just for derivationally-related
words, not inflectionally-related. For example, if the word were
light, you'd look for lightly, backlight,
lightning, etc, but not lights or lighted/lit).
Is there much difference in frequency between genres/
registers? How do you measure this? Any explanation for the
Any difference in meaning between the genres / registers.
How can you measure this?
Does the frequency in the Ensign (see library.lds.org) vary
from that of a standard corpus? Would you expect it to? What are
the problems in measuring this?
Compare the frequency in the US, Britain, Australia, and
India. Any differences? How did you measure this?
How many different "word senses" are there for this word,
both as a noun and as a verb (i.e. different "meanings")? Where did you get this data? Are
there any meanings that seem to be missing, or that could/should
Do the corpus data provide evidence for all of the different
meanings of the word, and are there meanings of the word that
should show up in corpora, but that don't in other sources?