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专家解析大学英语四级考试历年阅读真题(二十六)

发帖者 吴怀唐 On 下午2:50
  Passage Three

  Questions 21 to 25 are based on the following passage.

  Sign has become a scientific hot button. Only in the past 20 years have specialists in language study realized that signed languages are unique—a speech of the hand. They offer a new way to probe how the brain generates and understands language, and throw new light on an old scientific controversy: whether language, complete with grammar, is something that we are born With, or whether it is a learned behavior. The current interest in sign language has roots in the pioneering work of one rebel teacher at Gallaudet University in Washington, D. C., the world’s only liberal arts university for deaf people.

  When Bill Stokoe went to Gallaudet to teach English, the school enrolled him in a course in signing. But Stokoe noticed something odd: among themselves, students signed differently from his classroom teacher.

  Stokoe had been taught a sort of gestural code, each movement of the hands representing a word in English. At the time, American Sign Language (ASL) was thought to be no more than a form of pidgin English (混杂英语). But Stokoe believed the “hand talk” his students used looked richer. He wondered: Might deaf people actually: have a genuine language? And could that language be unlike any other on Earth? It was 1955, when even deaf people dismissed their signing as “substandard”. Stokoe’s idea was academic heresy (异端邪说).

  It is 37 years later. Stokoe—now devoting his time to writing and editing books and journals and to producing video materials on ASL and the deaf culture—is having lunch at a cafe near the Gallaudet campus and explaining how he started a revolution. For decades educators fought his idea that signed languages are natural languages like English, French and Japanese. They assumed language must be based on speech, the modulation (调节) of sound. But sign language is based on the movement of hands, the modulation of space. “What I said,” Stokoe explains, “is that language is not mouth stuff—it’s brain stuff.”

  21. The study of sign language is thought to be ________.

  A) a new way to look at the learning of language

  B) a challenge to traditional, views on the nature of language

  C) an approach: to simplifying the grammatical structure of a language

  D) an attempt to clarify misunderstanding about the origin of language(C)

  22. The, present growing interest in sign language was stimulated by ________.

  A) a famous scholar in the study of the human brain

  B) a leading specialist in the study of liberal arts

  C) an English teacher in a university for the deaf

  D) some senior experts in American Sign Language(C)

  23. According to Stokoe, sign language is ________.

  A) a Substandard language

  B) a genuine language

  C) an artificial language

  D) an international language(B)

  24. Most educators objected to Stokoe’s idea because they thought ________.

  A) sign language was not extensively used even by deaf people

  B) sign language was too artificial to be widely accepted

  C) a language should be easy to use and understand

  D) a language could only exist in the form of speech sounds(D)

  25. Stokoe’s argument is based on his belief that ________.

  A) sign language is as efficient as any other language

  B) sign language is derived from natural language

  C) language is a system of meaningful codes

  D) language is a product of the brain(D)

  这篇文章内容核心是手语,以一位手语专家的研究历程为线索,粗略介绍了手语研究的新观点:手语是独立于语音的另一种语言。材料一共四段。开头介绍了手语研究的进展以及意义,“进展”指过去的20年研究人员发现了手语的独特性(realized that signed languages are unique),意义是指手语的这一发现为研究大脑如何应用与理解语言开辟了新的方向(a new way to probe how the brain generates and understands language),同时为一个古老的科学论题带来了新的希望:语言到底是天生的还是后天习得的(whether language……is something that we are born With, or whether it is a learned behavior)。之后,文章简单介绍了这一研究发现的先驱人物,以后的内容全部都是围绕这位先驱的研究经历展开的。

  第一段末介绍了这位先驱人物Stokoe的基*考试&大本信息:华盛顿特区一所聋人大学的教师。第二段便从他的教学经历讲起,谈到他被安排教授手语后发现了一个奇怪的现象:学生们的动作与教他的老师所讲的并不一样(students signed differently from his classroom teacher)。这就是新发现的契机。

  接下来,文章先是简单说明一下当时的手语教育状况,以和他的新发现作为对比。首先是承接上文所说,讲他从老师那里学来的手语的基本特点:每个手势代表英语里的一个单词(each movement of the hands representing a word in English),这可以理解为手语实际上是语言的附庸。其次是人们普遍认为美国手语不过是一种混杂英语(thought to be no more than a form of pidgin English),这里也在强调手语从属于语言。之后是Stokoe自己的发现与思考:他认为学生们使用的手语意义比人们的普遍观点要更为丰富(the “hand talk” his students used looked richer),同时受到了启发:或许聋人确实拥有一种真正的语言。

  上一段最末一句说Stokoe的观点在当时过于超前,被视为学术异端,最后一段时空一下跳转到了37年以后,此时的Stokoe忙于写作、编辑、出品美国手语方面的书籍报刊和视频(writing and editing books and journals and to producing video materials),同时饶有兴致地为人讲述这场“革命”是如何开始的。从这里的信息可以看出,Stokoe的观点的地位已经是今非昔比了,否则如此多的出版物不会有市场需求,其称呼也不会从“异端”变为“革命”。不过,反对观点依然十分强大,这一派认为语言必须以语音为基础,是声音的变体(language must be based on speech, the modulation of sound),而Stokoe则反驳手语恰恰以手的动作为基础(sign language is based on the movement of hands),讥讽道“语言不是嘴巴层次的东西,而是大脑层次的东西(brain stuff)。

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