Coverage: Course Code: BLI-225
Course: Communication Skills Assignment Code: AST-1/TMA/ Jul.17- Jan.18
Blocks: 1 to 5
Units: 1to18 Total Marks: 70
Note: Answer all questions.
1) Read the passage carefully and answer the questions given below. (2X10= 20 Marks)
Language, as we have seen, seems to be a highly developed form of animal signaling. But there
is a missing link in the chain. How, and when, did we start to talk? This is a problem of interest
mainly to ethologists (students of animal behavior), and one which has not yet been solved. Most
linguists regard this fascinating topic as being outside the realm of linguistics proper. They are
more interested in studying actual language than in speculating about its origins. But although
how language began is a puzzle, why language began seems rather clearer. Possibly it began
because humans needed a greater degree of cooperation with each other in order to survive, and
this cooperation required efficient communication.
Consequently the primary function of language is to impart factual information and to convey
essential commands. But language can also be used to communicate feelings and emotions. This
aspect of language is not as well developed as ‘information talking’, because humans, like other
primates, can convey emotions by screams, grunts, sobs, gestures and so on. So they need
language only to confirm and elaborate these more primitive signals.
In addition, there is the language of social chitchat, the meaningless small talk of everyday life.
“Hallo, how nice to see you. How are you? Isn’t the weather terrible?” This social patter has
been called phatic communion and is primarily a device to maintain social contact on a friendly
level. Some ethologists call it ‘grooming talking’ and suggest that it is substitute for the friendly
grooming indulged in by the monkeys. There are other biologically less important functions of
language. Humans may use language for purely aesthetic reasons. In writing poetry, for example,
people manipulate words in the same way as they might model clay or paint a picture. Or they
may talk in order to release nervous tension, a function seen when people mutter to themselves in
anger and frustration.
1.1 a) Say whether the following statements are true or false according to the
passage. Correct the false statements. (10)
i) Language is a highly sophisticated form of human sign communication.
ii) Ethologists are interested in the study of animal behavior.
iii) How language began is obscure.
iv) The main function of language is to convey emotions and feelings.
v) Phatic communication is similar to ‘groom talking’ of monkeys.
1.2 b) Answer the following questions: (10)
i) List four reasons why human need to ‘talk’?
ii) Besides ‘talk’ how else do humans convey emotions?
iii) What is phatic communication? Give your own example of phatic
iv) What is the primary function of writing?
v) Give an appropriate title to the passage.
2) Fill in the blanks using the correct form of the verb given in the blanks. (10)
A librarian observes and remains satisfied that he has uncovered the truth, he then
sets out to solve the problem. He doesn't procrastinate________ (neither/or) spend
too much time gathering unnecessary additional data. He gets the right people
involved in the right way, he_______ (told/tells) them what he has observed, tells
them what he's decided to_____ (done/do) so far, and then works with their help to
solve the problem. In the course of solving that problem, they may uncover other
issues. A good librarian______ (take/takes) the same approach with each new
problem. He ____________(has/have) a clear focus to identify and execute the
solution as well.
3) Complete the following telephonic conversation with suitable responses: (10)
a) Good morning Dr.Lotha! Is the Vice Chancellor
attending___________________? Yes, Prof.Dolly Kikon, the Vice Chancellor
is interested____________________________________________



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