Spoken Corpus Comes To Life IELTS Reading Answers
The Academic passage ‘Spoken Corpus Comes To Life’ is a reading passage that appeared in an IELTS Test. Read the passage below and answer questions 1 – 12. Beyond the questions, you will find the answers along with the location of the answers in the passage and the keywords that help you find out the answers.
Spoken Corpus Comes To Life
|1||vi||Paragraph A mentions that the ‘compiling of dictionaries’ (lexicography) has been ‘historically’ (traditional) ‘the provenance of studious professorial types’ – usually bespectacled – who ‘love to pore over weighty tomes and make pronouncements on the finer nuances of meaning’. They were ‘probably good at crosswords’ and ‘definitely knew a lot of words’, but the image was always rather dry and dusty. Hence, the answer is vi (Traditional lexicographical methods).|
|2||ii||Paragraph B specifies that for the first time, ‘dictionary publishers are incorporating real, spoken English’ into their data. It gives lexicographers (people who write dictionaries) ‘access to a more vibrant, up-to-date vernacular language’ which has never really been studied before. In one project, ‘150 volunteers each agreed to discreetly tie a Walkman recorder to their waist and leave it running for anything up to two weeks’ (new method). Every conversation they had was recorded. When the data was collected, the length of tapes was 35 times the depth of the Atlantic Ocean. ‘Teams of audio typists transcribed the tapes to produce a computerised database of ten million words’. Hence, the answer is ii (New method of research).|
|3||x||Paragraph D states that the ‘sifting out process is as vital’ as ever. But the database does allow lexicographers to search for a word and find out ‘how frequently it is used’ (word frequency) – something that could only be guessed intuitively before.Hence, the answer is x (Accurate word frequency counts).|
|4||viii||Paragraph E points out that ‘researchers have found that written English works in a very different way to spoken English’. The phrase ‘“say what you like” literally means “feel free to say anything you want”’, but ‘in reality it is used by someone to prevent the other person voicing disagreement’. The phrase ‘“it”s a question of crops up on the database over and over again’. It has nothing to do with enquiry, but it’s ‘one of the most frequent English phrases’ which has ‘never been in a language learner’s dictionary before: it is now’. Hence, the answer is viii (New phrases enter dictionary).|
|5||iv||Paragraph F informs that the Spoken Corpus computer shows ‘how inventive and humorous people are when they are using language by twisting familiar phrases for effect’. It also reveals ‘the power of the pauses and noises’ (non verbal content) we use to play for time, convey emotion, doubt and irony. Hence, the answer is iv (Non-verbal content).|
|6||ix||In paragraph G, the writer adds that the ‘Spoken Corpus is part of the larger British National Corpus, an initiative carried out by several groups’ (cooperative project) involved in the production of language learning materials: publishers, universities and the British Library. Hence, the answer is ix (A cooperative research project).|
|7||existing||In paragraph B, the writer mentions an experiment to add new words and concludes that teams of audio typists transcribed the tapes to produce a computerised database of ten million words. In the next paragraph (Paragraph C), he continues that this (database) has been the basis – ‘along with an existing written corpus’ for the Language Activator dictionary, described by lexicographer Professor Randolph Quirk as “the book the world has been waiting for”. Hence, the answer is ‘existing’.|
|8||(related) phrases||Paragraph C points out that the Language Activator dictionary shows advanced foreign learners of English how the language is really used. In the dictionary, ‘key words such as “eat”’ are followed by ‘related phrases such as “wolf down” or “be a picky eater”’, allowing the student to choose the appropriate phrase. Hence, the answer is ‘(related) phrases’.|
|9||meaning/forms||Paragraph D refers to the fact that if you look at the word “like”, you may intuitively think that the first and ‘most frequent’ (frequently used) ‘meaning’ (of words) is the verb, as in “I like swimming”. It is not. It is the preposition, as in: “she walked like a duck”. Just because ‘a word or phrase’ (form) is used doesn’t mean it ends up in a dictionary. Hence, the answer is ‘meaning/form’.|
|10||spoken/oral||Paragraph E tells that researchers have found that ‘written English’ ‘works in a very different way’ (difference) to ‘spoken English’ (oral). The phrase “say what you like” literally means “feel free to say anything you want”, but in reality it is used, evidence shows, by someone to prevent the other person voicing disagreement. Hence, the answer is ‘speaking/oral’.|
|11||Noise and pauses||Paragraph F informs that the Spoken Corpus computer shows how inventive and humorous people are when they are using language by twisting familiar phrases for effect. It also reveals the ‘power of the pauses and noises’ we use to play for time, ‘convey emotion’ (portrayal of feelings), doubt and irony.
Hence, the answer is ‘noise and pauses’.
|12||B||In the passage, there is no comparison between the content of dictionaries. As a result, option D cannot be the answer. There is a mention of the Spoken Corpus as part of a larger initiative for production of language learning material. But this does not point out about an example of a current dictionary as mentioned in option A. Further, in paragraph A, it is given that ‘compiling of dictionaries has been historically the provenance of studious professorial types’ and the ‘latest technology’ is revolutionising the content of dictionaries and the way they are put together. Although there is a short mention of the past and present of dictionaries, the progression of dictionaries over the years has not been explained. Finally, paragraph B discusses that for the first time, ‘dictionary publishers are incorporating real, spoken English into their data’ (announce a new approach to dictionary writing). It gives lexicographers access to a more vibrant, up-to-date vernacular language which has never really been studied before.Hence, the answer is B.|
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