THE COLLEGES OF OXFORD UNIVERSITY

'Mode N' Test for Entrance in Classics 1995

LANGUAGE APTITUDE TEST (1 hour)

Time allowed: 60 minutes

Please write your name and college of first choice at the top of this page.

  1. The problems below are in roughly ascending order of difficulty and you should work your way through them in this order. Credit will be given for all work done even if the paper is not completed
  2. Read very carefully all the information you are given.
  3. Write your answers in the spaces provided on the paper. (You may if you wish write your rough work also on the paper.
  4. Write very clearly.
I. The following sentences are in This Language (an invented language). Isolate the individual words and work out their meanings. Your analysis should be such that every segment of every sentence is assigned to some word; that is, when a sentence is broken up into words, there should be no residue:
  1. hi-tiacumya-? 'Is a cat listening carefully?'
  2. hi-tisno-sist? 'Is the little girl listening sleepily?'
  3. mya-tsno-hi-ti. 'The cat is listening sleepily.'
  4. sisacuhi-ti. 'A little girl is listening carefully.'

How does one express the following in This Language?:

  1. 'cat'?_________
  2. 'little girl'?_________
  3. 'carefully'?_________
  4. 'sleepily'?_________
  5. 'a'?_________
  6. 'the'?_________
  7. 'is listening'?_________

II. In This Language (the same one as in problem I) there are two classes of nouns and two classes of verbs. In sentences, each member of each class of verbs and nouns behaves according to exactly the same pattern as every other member of its class but the pattern may vary from class to class.

One class of nouns and one class of verbs is characterized by the presence of a long vowel (a- e- i- o- u-) in some or all of its forms; the other class of each is characterized by the absence of a long vowel.

The only other thing you need to know is that the order of words is much more flexible in This Language than it is in English.

Now proceed by studying the examples that are translated for you and then translating the sentences that follow:

  1. cunmati kid.
    'A child is coming.'

  2. go-ti kid't.
    'The child is going.'

  3. mu- kid'n go-pi.
    'A cow and a child are going.'

  4. cunmapi ben mu-'t'n, la-pi'n.
    'A boy and the cow are coming and singing.'

    Translate into English:

  1. kid't mu-'n cunmapi, sno-'n go-pi.

    Translate into This Language:

  2. A cow is coming.

  3. The boy is singing.

    1. ner't ge-'t'n spi-pi benun mu-f'n.
      'The man and the girl see a boy and (some) cows'.

    2. ge-s benus'n neruf't lunkapi, stri-n't'n bungapi.
      '(Some) girls and (some) boys are watching the men and annoying the woman' .

    Translate into English:

  4. mu-n sisuf'n spi-ti stri-'t.

    Translate into This Language:

  5. A woman is watching the man.

  6. The children are annoying the women.

    1. kid't spit ho-n't.
      'The child saw the house (his home).'

    2. wuf't cumat stri-n't.
      'The dog came to the woman.'

    3. benus't bugap mu-n't, gop'n ho-f't.
      'The boys annoyed the cow and went to the houses (their homes, home).'

    Translate into English:

  7. spip neruf't lukap'n mya-s't.

    Translate into This Language:

  8. The children sang and the man went home.

  9. The boy came home and annoyed the women.

III. In each of Questions 17-31, you find an English sentence containing a word UNDERLINED IN CAPITALS: let us call this word "the model". There follows in each case at least one other sentence in bold type.

For each question, consider the function that the model has in the structure of its sentence -- the job that it does in relation to the other words in its sentence -- and then underline in the bold sentence the single word which most closely matches it in terms of this function within its sentence.

If you find that two (or more) words match the model equally closely, underline them both (all). In questions with more than one bold sentence, do not expect to find a match necessarily in each sentence; there may be one in each sentence but there may not be.

Here is an example:

("model") Anne is cutting up APPLES.
Ben is growing up fast.
Maria is throwing the dogs sticks.

The answer is sticks in the second sentence. Like APPLES, and unlike any other word in the bold sentences, sticks names what is directly acted on by the action of the verb: sticks are being thrown, just as APPLES are being cut.

Now answer the questions that follow:

  1. This Act was the first to legalize the UNIONS.
    I know my parents shared a love of music.
    The other week, friends we visited told us the same story.

  2. Diaries and memoirs have not caused ME much interest.
    One Sunday I rang to see what they would offer Dad.
    Her look made you first freeze and then move as fast as you could.
    Dad told us to come and watch the man giving the dolphins fish.

  3. A fresh START was the crux of the idea.
    Small wonder John and Sarah found life a heavy burden.
    Not one of them escaped the consequences of that conflict and each in turn became part of that movement of peoples.

  4. WE apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.
    Will anyone notice the difference?
    Why doesn't he just sit down and get on with it?

  5. With a sinister tearing noise the large package SPLIT apart.
    He shrugged his shoulders, wrinkled his face and shook with laughter.
    Sometimes they open quite easily but usually you need a knife to split them.

  6. Under the stairs was found the missing PIECE of cake
    A new car was offered as first prize.
    He was handed a shovel and given two hours to finish the job.

  7. My father, SEARCHING for a job, had left Manchester and his parents in 1912.
    The acres had remained intact, growing in value and not decreasing in number.
    John Thomas Salt, whose friends seemed to relish using both his forenames, had married Mary Jane Jones from North Cheshire.
    To us, accustomed to such upheavals, it would seem natural to leave home for a safer haven.

  8. Without exception it was a time of EMBRACING new cultures and rejecting the past.
    In the unhealthy conditions surrounding heavy engineering and mining, working and holding on placed many pressures on dwindling family resources.

  9. Small wonder John and Sarah found life a heavy BURDEN.
    He shifted his weight nervously from foot to foot.
    Recent legislation has made it an offence to fail to disclose
    such details.

  10. But these farms and bits of ground had gone again BEFORE our time.
    It was not easy to resettle in lands supposedly fit for heroes to live in after over twenty million souls had perished.

  11. I must write BEFORE the mists of time obscure the clarity of my recollections.
    Before 1914 life had gone on at a very different pace.
    Even when the battles began, change uas slow to come.

  12. Some left FOR the colonies or journeyed to the Americas.
    He married his sweetheart and they set up home outside Coventry.
    During the early days of his high hopes he had become used to her presence.

  13. I knew the day would EVENTUALLY arrive when I could sit down and take stock.
    Naturally, conditions in 1960 were still a far cry from those we enjoy today.
    How he got in was little short of a miracle.

  14. He'll PROBABLY recommend that we wait another SLY months.
    Predictably, the previously mentioned grand-daughter resisted this fiercely.

  15. What I am loath to do is SCRIPT a narrative about myself.
    Editing the Bulletin is a difficult task, since copy arrives at three of the busiest times of the year.

END OF PAPER


CUCD Bulletin 25 (1996)
© University of Oxford 1996

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