Answer key: Understanding Human Language

Lesson Plan: Um, Uh, and Huh  Could Be Keys To Understanding Human Language

While Reading: Word Inference

  1. purge |pərj| verb [with object] rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release: Bob had helped purge Martha of the terrible guilt that had haunted her.
  2. fluent |ˈflo͞oənt| adjective-(of a person) able to express oneself easily and articulately: a fluent speaker and writer on technical subjects.
  3. intricate |ˈintrəkət| adjective -very complicated or detailed: an intricate network of canals.
  4. cross-cultural |ˈˌkrɔs ˈkəltʃ(ə)rəl| adjective-relating to different cultures or comparison between them: cross-cultural understanding.
  5. anticipate |anˈtisəˌpāt| verb [with object] 1 regard as probable; expect or predict: she anticipated scorn on her return to the theater | [with clause] : it was anticipated that the rains would slow the military campaign.
  6. buffer  |ˈbəfər| noun-a person or thing that prevents incompatible or antagonistic people or things from coming into contact with or harming each other: family and friends can provide a buffer against stress.
  7. cooperation |kōˌäpəˈrāSH(ə)n| noun-the process of working together to the same end: they worked in close cooperation with the AAA• assistance, especially by ready compliance with requests: we would like to ask for your cooperation in the survey.
  8. uniquely |yo͞oˈnēklē| adverb [usually as submodifier] in a way that belongs or is connected to only one particular person or thing: a way of life that was uniquely British | [as sentence adverb] : uniquely, the United Kingdom is on target to fulfill the promise to double its aid to developing nations.
  9. delay  |dəˈlā| verb [with object]  postpone or defer (an action): he may decide to delay the next cut in interest rates.
  10. confusion |kənˈfyo͞oZHən| noun-1 lack of understanding; uncertainty: there seems to be some confusion about which system does what | he cleared up the confusion over the party’s policy.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary

Reading Comprehension: Fill-ins

“Some 7,000 languages are spoken in the world today, each a massive system made up of many thousands of sounds, words, grammatical structures and rules. Infants acquire these systems natively, without formal instruction, within the first few years of life. Animals do not have language in this sense. In linguistics, this has motivated the search to define what makes this possible across our species, and only in our species.”

Grammar Focus: Word Recognition

Language arguably supports a uniquely human form of social accountability: with language, we can name or describe a piece of behavior, drawing public attention to it, then characterizing it (as good, bad, not allowed, wrong, great, or what have you).