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# Whether the languages of the ancient American peoples were u

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Whether the languages of the ancient American peoples were u [#permalink]  11 Feb 2020, 10:40
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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 as metaphor, 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.
17. A main purpose of the passage is to

(A) delineate the function of the tlamatinime in Nahuatl society
(B) explain the abstract philosophy of the Nahuatl thinkers
(C) argue against a theory of poetic expression by citing evidence about the Nahuatl
(D) explore the rich metaphorical heritage the Nahuatl received from the Toltecs
(E) describe some conceptual and aesthetic resources of the Nahuatl language

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
E

18. According to the passage, some abstract universal ideas can be expressed in Nahuatl by

(A) taking away from a word any reference to particular instances
(B) removing a word from its associations with other words
(C) giving a word a new and opposite meaning
(D) putting various meaningful elements together in one word
(E) turning each word of a phrase into a poetic metaphor

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D

19. It can be inferred solely from the information in the passage that

(A) there are many languages that, like Greek or German, allow extensive compounding
(B) all abstract universal ideas are ideas of complex relations
(C) some record or evidence of the thought of the tlamatinime exists
(D) metaphors are always used in Nahuatl to express abstract conceptual relationships
(E) the abstract terms of the Nahuatl language are habitual1y used in poetry

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
C

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Whether the languages of the ancient American peoples were u   [#permalink] 11 Feb 2020, 10:40
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