PT 29 Section 1 #16

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PT 29 Section 1 #16

Postby bkred » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:17 am

This is a weaken question about the Proto-Indo-European language. Supposedly, we can learn about the living conditions of a vanished cuture from their languages, and since the language lacks a word for "sea", yet contains words for "winter", "snow", and "wolf", the author concludes that the people who spoke the language likely lived in a cold climate, isolated from ocean or sea.

The answer is (B), which says some languages lack words for prominent elements of the speakers' environments. Now I always have trouble with "some." I clearly remember on other weaken questions, "some" counterexamples weren't enough to break the link between the evidence and the conclusion. As for this question, just because "some" languages lacked this characteristic, that doesn't seem to make Proto-Indo-European any less or more likely to have the same trait. In other words, I think (B) is too vague and weak to be a weakener.

So, could anybody help me with these tricky "some"s?

Thank you.

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Nulli Secundus
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Re: PT 29 Section 1 #16

Postby Nulli Secundus » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:26 am

Think of it like this:

With the information in the stimulus only you have no reason to think that a number of languages have that characteristic.

The argument in the stimulus is built directly on that basis, language is directly affected by the environment the speakers of the language lived in, and you have no basis to think otherwise.

Then, the credited response comes and says "Some doesn't fit the pattern", you now think, if the environment - language link is not rock solid, the argument may be wrong. Bam, weakened.

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