Appearing for the CLAT 2022 Exam? Attempt the following CLAT English Language sample questions to see how well you fare.
Read the passage carefully and answer the CLAT English language questions that follow:
For those of us whose native languages have millions of speakers, it’s almost impossible to imagine. And yet languages have come and gone throughout human history, and they continue to do so. Linguists estimate that of the world’s approximately 6,900 languages, more than half are at risk of dying out by the end of the 21st century.
Sometimes languages die out quickly. This can happen when small communities of speakers are wiped out by disasters or war. In El Salvador, for example, speakers of the indigenous Lenca and Cacaopera abandoned their languages to avoid being identified as Indians after a massacre in 1932 in which Salvadoran troops killed tens of thousands of mostly indigenous peasants in order to suppress an uprising.
Most languages, though, die out gradually as successive generations of speakers become bilingual and then begin to lose proficiency in their traditional languages. This often happens when speakers seek to learn a more-prestigious language in order to gain social and economic advantages or to avoid discrimination. The gradual disappearance of Coptic as a spoken language in Egypt following the rise of Arabic in the 7th century is one example of this type of transition.
Modernity and globalization have strengthened these forces, and peoples around the world now face unprecedented pressure to adopt the common languages used in government, commerce, technology, entertainment, and diplomacy.
Is there an afterlife for languages? In many cases, yes. Dedicated preservationists often revive languages as a matter of regional or ethnic identity. The most-prominent example is Hebrew, which died out as a colloquial language in the 2nd century CE (although it continued to be used as a language of religion and scholarship). The spoken language was revived in a modernized form in the 19th–20th century and is now the first language of millions of people in Israel.
[Extracted from“Why do Languages Die”,britannica.com]
- A question posed by the author at the beginning of this passage has been Which of the following rhetorical questions is most likely to fill the blank?
a) What do you think is the lifespan of a language?
b) How would it feel to be the last person on Earth who speaks your language?
c)Where do languages go when people stop using them?
d) What are languages that have vanished before your eyes?
- The tone of this passage is:
- According to the passage ,which of the following is not a reason for languages to die out?
a) Gradually decreasing proficiency of speakers over time
b) Events leading to massive loss of life within a community
c) Pressures to adopt hegemonic languages caused by globalisation
d) None of the above
- The main purpose of the third paragraph of the passage is to discuss:
a) The gradual disappearance of Coptic as a spoken language in Egypt
b) The impact of modernity and globalisation of on traditional languages
c) The reasons for reduced proficiency in traditional languages over time
d) The role of language in gaining social and economic advantages
- Which of the following views can be attributed to the author of this passage?
a) The strategy adopted by the indigenous speakers of Lenca and Cacaopera was a failure as tens of thousands were massacred regardless
b) Languages may only be considered as having an after life when they are revived in their original form by dedicated preservationists
c) Learning a more prestigious language ensures that its speaker is socially ,culturally, and economically advantaged, and has escaped discrimination
d) Languages may cease to exist in their common spoken form ,while remaining in use in religious and scholarly domains
1. (b) Explanation: Although the passage in various capacities tackles all four of these questions, (b) which is about being the last person on Earth to speak your language, ties in well with the next line, which is asking those whose languages have millions of speakers, to imagine. The lifespan, afterlife, and list of vanished languages have no direct connection with the next line.
2. (a) Explanation: The tone of this passage is explanatory as the author is explaining the various reasons for languages dying out, their afterlife, possible revival etc. It is not didactic as there is no moral instruction being imparted; not humorous as it is not comedic or amusing; and not nostalgic as the author is not expressing any sentimental longing.
3. (d) Explanation: All the given options are reasons for languages dying out in the passage. The example of Coptic has been given for (a) and Lenca and Cacaopera for (b). (c) has also been mentioned as pressures caused by modernisation and globalisation.
4. (c) Explanation: The third paragraph clearly discusses why successive generations of speakers lose their proficiency in their traditional languages. (a) is only one of the examples mentioned in the paragraph; (b) and (c) are both reasons for reduced proficiency, rather than the main purpose itself.
5. (d) Explanation: The author clearly agrees that languages may fade in spoken form but exist in religious and scholarly work, as demonstrated by the example of Hebrew. We can eliminate (a) as the author makes no mention of whether the failure of abandoning the language was successful or not; (b) as languages like Hebrew were revived but in a ‘modernized’ form; and (c) as people may adopt this strategy to gain prestige and advantage, but it is not ensured.
How many answers did you get correct? For more CLAT English language questions, click here.