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# A linguist recently argued that all human languages must

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VP
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
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A linguist recently argued that all human languages must [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2005, 18:26
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A linguist recently argued that all human languages must have a common origin because some concepts are universal; that is, they appear in all languages. For example, all languages are capable of describing lightness and darkness.

Which one of the following if true, would most seriously weaken the argument?

(A) The Bernese language does not contain basic nouns like automobile and airplane

(B)No one linguist could possibly speak all known languages

(C) all speakers, regardless of their languages, are confronted with similar stimuli like lightness and darkness.

(D)The similarity between human language and dolphin language has not been attributed to a common origin

(E)some languages include concepts of which speakers of other languages are not even aware

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GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 07 Jul 2004
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06 Mar 2005, 23:46
(C) all speakers, regardless of their languages, are confronted with similar stimuli like lightness and darkness.
- If this is true, then it is not true that they originate from same origin, but because everyone experiences these stimuli and will find a word that describe it.

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SVP
Joined: 30 Oct 2003
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07 Mar 2005, 08:49
definitely (C).
It tells us that lightness and darkness have nothing to do with languages. Since people feel it rather than hearing it from others, those people will define such feelings in their own languages.

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VP
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
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Location: Taiwan

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07 Mar 2005, 09:02
Hello, guys

could you help me to refute A?

I think choice A is a counterexample, why cannot weaken?

Thanks

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GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 07 Jul 2004
Posts: 5034

Kudos [?]: 438 [0], given: 0

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07 Mar 2005, 09:32
Hi Chunjuwu,

(A) is not ideal because it limits the argument to just the Bernese language. If you note from the passage, it mentions that 'all human languages must have a common origin'. This is followed by supporting reasons why the author felt so.

Here, we see a generalization. It's not specific to any langugage (English, French, Mandarine etc). So (A) would be considered narrow in this sense compared to (C).

Kudos [?]: 438 [0], given: 0

VP
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 1207

Kudos [?]: 822 [0], given: 0

Location: Taiwan

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07 Mar 2005, 18:48
Thanks, ywilfred

OA is C.

I get it.

Kudos [?]: 822 [0], given: 0

07 Mar 2005, 18:48
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