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Whether the languages of the ancient American peoples were

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Director
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Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 599
GRE 1: 326 Q165 V161
Followers: 58

Kudos [?]: 228 [0], given: 64

Whether the languages of the ancient American peoples were [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2016, 14:13
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Whether the languages of the ancient American peoples were used for expressing abstract universal concepts can be clearly answered in the case of Nahuatl. Nahuatl,
like Greek and German, is a language that allows the formation of extensive compounds. By the combination of radicals or semantic elements, single compound words can express complex conceptual relations, often of an abstract universal character.
The tlamatinime (those who know) were able to use this rich stock of abstract terms to express the nuances of their thought. They also availed themselves of other forms of expression with metaphorical meaning, some probably original, some derived from Toltec coinages. Of these forms, the most characteristic in Nahuatl is the juxtaposition of two words that, because they are synonyms, associated terms, or even contraries,complement each other to evoke one single idea. Used metaphorically, the juxtaposed terms connote specific or essential traits of the being they refer to, introducing a mode of poetry as an almost habitual form of expression.
1. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage regarding present-day research relating to Nahuatl?
 A Some record or evidence of the thought of the tlamatinime is available.
 B For at least some Nahuatl expressions, researchers are able to trace their derivation from another ancient American language.
 C Researchers believe that in Nahuatl, abstract universal concepts are always expressed metaphorically.


[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
A,B


2. Select the sentence in the passage in which the author introduces a specific Nahuatl mode of expression that is not identified as being shared with certain European languages.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
The sentence (“Of these forms . . . one single idea”)


3. In the context in which it appears, “coinages” most nearly means
A adaptations
B creations
C idiosyncrasies
D pronunciations
E currencies

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
B



Practice Test Questions
Question: 1-4
Page: 367-368

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Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 599
GRE 1: 326 Q165 V161
Followers: 58

Kudos [?]: 228 [0], given: 64

Re: Whether the languages of the ancient American peoples were [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2016, 14:18
Expert's post

Explanation


1. Choices A and B are correct.
Choice A is correct: the tlamatinime are mentioned in the first sentence of the second paragraph, where it says they were able to use Nahuatl’s stock of abstract terms “to
express the nuances of their thought.” This suggests that there is some evidence of what those thoughts were, and therefore Choice A can be inferred.
Choice B is correct: according to the next sentence, Nahuatl speakers used “forms of expression with metaphorical meaning,” some of which were probably “original” and others “derived from Toltec coinages.” That researchers know certain Nahuatl expressions are derived from Toltec suggests that they are able to trace the derivation of some Nahuatl expressions from another language besides Nahuatl, and therefore Choice B may be inferred.
Choice C is incorrect: the passage says that in Nahuatl there are single compound words that can express conceptual relations of an “abstract universal character” and mentions “other forms of expression with metaphorical meaning,” but it does not indicate whether metaphorical words or phrases are the only way that abstract universal concepts are expressed in Nahuatl, or whether researchers believe this about Nahuatl.
Therefore Choice C cannot be inferred.

2. The passage introduces two specific Nahuatl modes of expression. One is the formation of single compound words that are capable of expressing complex conceptual relations
(first paragraph); the other is the juxtaposition of two related words to evoke a single idea (second paragraph). In the formation of compounds Nahuatl is described as being
“like Greek and German,” but the second mode is not identified as being shared with other languages. Therefore the sixth sentence (“Of these forms . . . one single idea”) is
the best choice.

3.“Coinage” has two senses that are represented among the answer choices: in one sense it denotes coins and currency, while in the other it denotes things — especially words —
that are invented. The fifth sentence draws a contrast between linguistic expressions original to Nahuatl and those derived from Toltec. In this context of original versus
derived language, “coinages” means “inventions,” not “currencies.” Of the answer choices given, “creations” is the nearest equivalent of “coinages” in the sense of “inventions,”
and therefore Choice B is the best answer.
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Re: Whether the languages of the ancient American peoples were   [#permalink] 11 Feb 2016, 14:18
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