A good explanation from demon on this one, but I just wanted to weigh in. This is a GMAT favorite trick, because students don't like paralleling -ing words with -ed words. However, when both are parallel this is okay. Remember, you can always change tense in parallel, even with verbs ("I liked to eat chicken but now I only like pork." That's past tense with present tense, joined by the conjunction "but"). But actually, tense isn't an issue here. Both -ing words and -ed words are participles, meaning they are just adjectives. Adjectives don't really HAVE tense (because they aren't verbs), so that's a second reason we shouldn't care. "Perpetuated" in this case is just passive, where as "originating" is active.
The increased popularity and availability of televisions has led to the decline of regional dialects, language variations which originate from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuated by geographic isolation.
(A) which originate from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuated
PROBLEM: (First, which needs a comma before it). Okay, so it's the SECOND "and" here that marks the parallelism we care about (the other "and" parallels ethnic and cultural heritages, and is always correct). We're always concerned with whatever comes DIRECTLY after the parallel marker. In this case, we get "perpetuated". This is a participle, so we need another one earlier in the sentence. Instead, we get "originate", which is a present tense verb.
(B) that originated from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuated
PROBLEM: Again, we look after the marker "and" and find the participle "perpetuated". Unfortunately, "originated" here is a past tense verb, not a participle. How do we know? Consider the difference here:
I read the book. ("read" = past tense verb...it has a subject in the main clause, "I")
Read by millions, the book is one of the nation's most popular. ("read" = past participle, it's just a modifier, and we don't get the subject until it's the subject of a new clause "the book is...")
(C) originated from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuated
PROBLEM: "Originated" can't be an action. This is just a misuse of the word. It may look parallel, but the participle of "originate" is "originating". Think about it. You can't put this in the past, because the word itself implies the past origin of something, even in the present tense (i.e. Originating in 1200 BC, the codex is the key to life itself).
(D) originating from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuated
ANSWER: Perpetuated = participle. Originating = participle. Parallel.
(E) originating from diverse ethnic and cultural heritages and perpetuating
PROBLEM: "Perpetuating by" doesn't make any sense. We need it to be passive, not active.
Hope that helps!
Tommy Wallach | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | San Francisco
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