English Quiz for RBI ASSISTANT MAINS |2nd November English Quiz

English Quiz for RBI ASSISTANT MAINS

Improve your English with English quiz. English Quiz to help you improve your score for exams like Bank, SSC, Railway, UPSC, UPSSSC, CDS, UPTET, KVS, DSSSB and other Government exams.

Direction (1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

 

While spoken or signed language is a more or less universal human competence that has been characteristic of the species from the beginning and that is commonly acquired by human beings without systematic instruction, writing is a technology of relatively recent history that must be taught to each generation of children. Historical accounts of the evolution of writing systems have until recently concentrated on a single aspect, increased efficiency, with the Greek invention of the alphabet being regarded as the culmination of a long historical evolution. This efficiency is a product of a limited and manageable set of graphs that can express the full range of meanings in a language.

 

The Polish American AssyriologistIgnace Gelb distinguished four stages in this evolution, beginning with picture writing, which expressed ideas directly; followed by word-based writing systems; then by sound-based syllabic writing systems, including unvocalizedsyllabaries or consonantal systems; and concluding with the Greek invention of the alphabet.

 

The invention of the alphabet is a major achievement of Western culture. It is also unique; the alphabet was invented only once, though it has been borrowed by many cultures. It is a model of analytic thinking, breaking down perceptible qualities like syllables into more basic constituents. And because it is capable of conveying subtle differences in meaning, it has come to be used for the expression of a great many of the functions served by speech. The alphabet requires little of the reader beyond familiarity with its orthography. It allows the reader to decipher words newly encountered and permits the invention of spellings for new patterns of sound, including proper names (a problem that is formidable for non-alphabetic systems). Finally, its explicitness permits readers to make a relatively sharp distinction between the tasks of deciphering and interpreting. Less explicit orthographies require the reader first to grasp the meaning of a passage as a whole in order to decide which of several possible word meanings a particular graphic string represents.

 

It must be remembered, however, that efficiency depends not only on the nature of the writing system but also on the functions required of it by its users, for orthographies are invented to serve particular cultural purposes. Furthermore, an orthography invented to satisfy one purpose may acquire new applications. For instance, writing systems invented to serve mnemonic purposes were subsequently elaborated and used for communicative and archival purposes. Orthographies were not invented as art forms, but, once invented, they could serve aesthetic functions.

 

Notions of explicitness of representation depend on the morphophonemic structure of the language. An alphabet was a notable advance for representing the Greek language but not necessarily for representing a Semitic language. Moreover, for languages such as Chinese and Japanese, which have simple syllabic structures and a great number of homophones, a writing system depending upon phonological structure, such as a syllabary or an alphabet, would be extremely inefficient. It is with such factors in mind that late 20th-century accounts of writing systems stressed how many different orthographies may function efficiently, given the particular language they are used to represent. Just as linguists have abandoned the notion of progressive evolution of languages, with some languages ranking as more primitive than others, so historians of writing have come to treat existing orthographies as appropriate to the languages they represent.

 

Nonetheless, all contemporary orthographies have a history of development, and there are many common features in these histories. It is unlikely that writing was invented only once and then borrowed by different cultural groups. While all Western writing systems may be traced back to the beginnings of symbol making in Sumer, there is no reason to believe that Asian writing systems were borrowed from the Sumerian form. Consequently, there are two quite separate histories of writing, that of the writing system developed by the Sumerians and that of the one developed by the Chinese.

 

The final stage in the evolution of writing systems was the discovery of the alphabetic principle, the procedure of breaking the syllable into its constituent consonantal and vowel sounds. According to the British linguist Geoffrey Sampson, “Most, and probably all, ‘alphabetic’ scripts derive from a single ancestor: the Semitic alphabet, created sometime in the 2nd millennium [BCE].” The Semitic script was invented by speakers of some Semitic language, possibly Phoenician, who lived in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent. Modern versions of Semitic script include the Hebrew script and the Arabic script. Their most prominent characteristic is that they have graphs for consonants but not for vowels.

 

Q1. What would be the best chronological order of evolution of writing systems as distinguished by the Polish American AssyriologistIgnace Gelb?

(i)Sound-based syllabic writing systems

(ii)Greek invention of the alphabet

(iii)Picture writing

(iv)Word-based writing systems

(a)(i)-(ii)-(iii)-(iv)

(b)(ii)-(iii)-(iv)-(i)

(c)(iii)-(iv)-(i)-(ii)

(d)(i)-(iv)-(iii)-(ii)

(e) None of these.

Answer & Explanation
Ans.1. (c)

Exp. The correct answer choice is option (c). Option (c) can be traced from the 2nd paragraph of the passage where it is given as “The Polish American AssyriologistIgnace Gelb distinguished four stages in this evolution, beginning with picture writing, which expressed ideas directly; followed by word-based writing systems; then by sound-based syllabic writing systems, including unvocalizedsyllabaries or consonantal systems; and concluding with the Greek invention of the alphabet.”

Q2. According to the passage why has alphabet come to be used for the expression of a great many of the functions served by speech?

(a)Because it is capable of conveying subtle differences in meaning

(b)It is capable of breaking down perceptible qualities like syllables into more basic constituents.

(c)As with the Greek invention of the alphabet, efficiency of writing system has increased

(d)It allows the reader to decipher words newly encountered and permits the invention of spellings for new patterns of sound

(e) None of these.

Answer & Explanation
Ans. 2.(a)

Exp. The correct answer choice is option (a). Option (a) can be traced from the 3rd paragraph of the passage where it is given as “It is a model of analytic thinking, breaking down perceptible qualities like syllables into more basic constituents. And because it is capable of conveying subtle differences in meaning, it has come to be used for the expression of a great many of the functions served by speech.”

Q3.Why has author called the invention of the alphabet a major achievement?

(a)An alphabet allows the reader to decipher words newly encountered and permits the invention of spellings for new patterns of sound

(b)Its explicitness permits readers to make a relatively sharp distinction between the tasks of deciphering and interpreting

(c)It is also unique; the alphabet was invented only once, though it has been borrowed by many cultures.

(d)Both (a) and (b)

(e) None of these.

Answer & Explanation
Ans.3. (d)

Exp. The correct answer choice is option (d). Option (a) and (b) both can be traced from the 3rd paragraph of the passage where it is given as “The alphabet requires little of the reader beyond familiarity with its orthography. It allows the reader to decipher words newly encountered and permits the invention of spellings for new patterns of sound, including proper names (a problem that is formidable for non-alphabetic systems). Finally, its explicitness permits readers to make a relatively sharp distinction between the tasks of deciphering and interpreting.”

Q4.The efficiency of writing system depends on how many factors?

(a)On the nature of the writing system

(b)Depends onparticular cultural purposes

(c)On manageable set of graphs that can express the full range of meanings in a language.

(d)On the functions required of it by its users

(e)Both (a) and (d)

Answer & Explanation
Ans.4. (e)

Exp. The correct answer choice is option (e). Option (a) and (d) can be traced from the 4th paragraph of the passage where it is given as “It must be remembered, however, that efficiency depends not only on the nature of the writing system but also on the functions required of it by its users, for orthographies are invented to serve particular cultural purposes.”

Q5. Choose the word which is most similar in meaning with the highlighted word Aesthetic as given in the passage?

(a)Jibing

(b)Exquisite

(c)Crude

(d)Acclaiming

(e)Stiff

Answer & Explanation
 Ans.5. (b)

Exp. aesthetic means concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty. While Jibing means be in accord; agree.

Exquisite- extremely beautiful and delicate

Option (b) is the most suitable answer choice.

Acclaiming means praise enthusiastically and publicly.

Q6. Which of the following statement is FALSE according to the given passage?

(a)Writing is a technology of relatively recent history that must be taught to each generation of children.

(b)This efficiency is a product of a limited and manageable set of graphs that can express the full range of meanings in a language.

(c)The alphabet was invented only once, though it has been borrowed by many cultures

(d)It is a model of analytic thinking, adding up perceptible qualities like syllables to more basic constituents.

(e) None of these

Answer & Explanation
Ans.6. (d)

Exp. Option (d) is the right answer choice for the given question. All other given options are true to the given passage except option (d). As mentioned in the 3rd paragraph of the passage option (d) to be true would be like “It is a model of analytic thinking, breaking down perceptible qualities like syllables into more basic constituents.”

Q7.According to the British linguist Geoffrey Sampson, which script is considered to be the mother of almost all ‘alphabetic’ scripts?

(a)The Semitic script, created sometime in the 2nd millennium [BCE].

(b)The Greek language as morphophonemic structure

(c)Sumerian form of writing

(d)Greek language

(e)None of the above

Answer & Explanation
Ans.7. (a)

Exp. The correct answer choice is option (a). Option (a) can be traced from the last paragraph of the passage where it is given as “According to the British linguist Geoffrey Sampson, “Most, and probably all, ‘alphabetic’ scripts derive from a single ancestor: the Semitic alphabet, created sometime in the 2nd millennium [BCE].””

Q8.Which of the following statement is TRUE according to the given passage?

(a)Modern versions of Semitic script include the Persian script and the Arabic script.

(b)The Semitic script was possibly invented by Phoenician, who lived in the eastern part of the Fertile Crescent.

(c)The final stage in the evolution of writing systems was the procedure of breaking the syllable into its constituent consonantal and vowel sounds.

(d)There is no reason to believe that Asian writing systems were borrowed from the Sumerian form.

(e) None of these

Answer & Explanation
Ans.8. (c)

Exp. Option (c) is the right answer choice for the given question. All other given options are false to the given passage.

Q9. Choose the word which is most opposite in meaning with the highlighted word decipher as given in the passage?

(a)Interpret

(b)Construe

(c)Twig

(d)Encrypt

(e)Postscript

Answer & Explanation
Ans.9. (d)

Exp. Decipher- convert (a text written in code, or a coded signal) into normal language

Encrypt- convert (information or data) into a code, especially to prevent unauthorized access

Postscript- an additional remark at the end of a letter, after the signature and introduced by ‘PS’

Twig- a slender woody shoot growing from a branch or stem of a tree or shrub

Option (d) is the most suitable answer choice.

Q10. Choose the word which is most similar in meaning with the highlighted word grasp as given in the passage?

(a)Comprehend

(b)Release

(c)Overlook

(d)Knowledge

(e)Beguile

Answer & Explanation
Ans.10. (a)

Exp. Grasp- comprehend fully

Comprehend-grasp mentally; understand.

Beguile- charm or enchant (someone), often in a deceptive way

Option (a) is the most suitable answer choice.

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