LG question's language convention

jmjm
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:59 am

LG question's language convention

Postby jmjm » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:36 am

Logic game-2 (Doctor Yamata logic game) in PT-7 has the statement "She conducts research on exactly one morning".

Does the statement preclude research being conducted on afternoon (if "exactly" only applies to "mornings" then the statement may not prevent her from conducting research in the afternoon)? Even though in this logic game, it turns out she can not conduct research in the afternoon due to some other information present in the logic game. However, I am unsure if the above statement also infers no research in the afternoon.

Another statement in the same LG "She lectures in the afternoon on exactly two consecutive calendar days" can be interpreted to preclude morning lectures or not depending on whether the limitation of "exactly two consecutive days' applies only to lectures in the afternoon or to lectures in general.

This leads to a wider question.
Does LSAT always employ the language of the form "X does activity_Y during hours_Z" (the above statement is of this form) to mean that -- X does activity_Y only during hours_Z and at no other times?

Or, do LSAT authors mean that -- X certainly does activity_Y during hours_Z, but X may also do activity_Y during other times?

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cc.celina
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Re: LG question's language convention

Postby cc.celina » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:08 am

disclaimer - I remember this game, but don't have it in front of me, so I'm not entirely sure how helpful this is in the context of this specific game. If I remember right, it's a limited-option game where there are only a few ways it could pan out.

"She conducts research on exactly one morning"
In the set of all mornings, she conducts research on exactly one of them. Nothing can be inferred about research in the afternoons. She could research no afternoons, or she could research every single afternoon.

"She lectures in the afternoon on exactly two consecutive calendar days"
In the set of all possible combinations of two consecutive calendar days (Sun/Mon, Mon/Tues, Tues/Wed, etc) she lectures in the afternoon on both of those days exactly once. Nothing can be inferred about lecturing in the morning, or about lecturing in the afternoon on a day that is not directly followed or preceded by an afternoon lecture.

Does LSAT always employ the language of the form "X does activity_Y during hours_Z" (the above statement is of this form) to mean that -- X does activity_Y only during hours_Z and at no other times?

No. This sort of statement only means that during hours Z, it is guaranteed that X does Y. It doesn't tell you anything about hours that are not Z.

Or, do LSAT authors mean that -- X certainly does activity_Y during hours_Z, but X may also do activity_Y during other times?


Yeah.

Hope that helped a bit! Always take LG rules as literally as you can. If the rule doesn't explicitly state something and you can't logically reason it out with contrapositives/combining rules/etc, then you can't take it as true.

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JazzOne
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Re: LG question's language convention

Postby JazzOne » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:48 am

I have taught this game many times, and every time I read it, I cringe due to the ambiguity mentioned by op. In general, I think the poster above is correct. For that particular game, however, the alternate interpretation turns out to be what the test writers had in mind. I usually tell my students not to worry about it too much because the game is an anamoly from an early pt, and none of the later games repeated that type of ambiguous clue.

jmjm
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:59 am

Re: LG question's language convention

Postby jmjm » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:12 pm

thanks for all the explanations here.




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