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# Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written

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Senior Manager
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Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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06 May 2009, 14:14
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Source : Official Guide 2017

Question : CR 636
Page : 537

Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C., the fact that the text of these Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right indicates that the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before these inscriptions were produced. After all, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and presumably, along with the alphabet, they also adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of text. And although Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction, by the eighth century B.C. Phoenician was consistently written from right to left and had been for about two centuries.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

(A) The first and the second each describe evidence that has been used to challenge the position that the argument seeks to establish.

(B) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.

(C) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is a consideration that is introduced to counter the force of that evidence.

(D) The first and the second each provide evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish.

(E) The first provides evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by WaterFlowsUp on 14 Sep 2014, 07:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2009, 02:44
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Premise 1: the text of these Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right

Premise 2: the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and presumably, along with the alphabet, they also adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of text

Premise 3: Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction, by the eighth century B.C. Phoenician was consistently written from right to left and had been for about two centuries

Conclusion: the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before the eight century because they adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of text and because the Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction.

(A) The first and the second each describe evidence that has been used to challenge the position that the argument seeks to establish.
no, the bold portions support the conclusion.

(B) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.
no, the first evidence supports the conclusion

(C) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is a
consideration that is introduced to counter the force of that evidence.
no, the first evidence supports the conclusion

(D) The first and the second each provide evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish.
IMO correct

(E) The first provides evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.
the second is not the position but rather evidence in support of the position.
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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06 May 2009, 18:39
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neeshpal wrote:
Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C., a strong case can be made that the Greeks actually adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries earlier. Significantly, the text of these earliest surviving Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right. Now, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and in the process they would surely have adopted whatever convention the Phoenicians were then using with respect to the direction of writing. Originally, Phoenician writing ran in either direction, but by the eighth century B.C. it had been consistently written from right to left for about two centuries.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

A. The first is the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second reports a discovery that has been used to support a position that the argument opposes.
B. The first is the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second presents an assumption on which the argument relies.
C. The first presents evidence that is used in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second presents an assumption on which the argument relies.
D. The first is an objection raised against a position that the argument opposes; the second is the position that the argument seeks to establish.
E. The first is an objection raised against a position that the argument opposes; the second is evidence that has been used to support that position.

Yes, the first bold-face is also the argument and its intention is to assert that the Greek adopted alphabetic writing 2 earlier from 8 century B.C, so:
(C): 1st BF present evidence -->wrong

The second boldface has "would have" sounds like an assumption. Also:
- Because Greek learn alphabetic writing from Phoenician, hence adopting their using of direction writing, and because Phoenician use either directions --> Greek would have use either directions
- Because by 8 century B.C, Phoenician consistently wrote from right to left for about 2 centuries, then started to write either direction and because the evidence of earliest Greek inscription shows that they wrote in either direction --> earliest inscription of Greek couldn't appear at 8 century B.C but appear at 2 centuries earlier (in BC, the chronological is reverse) --> supporting the 1st BF

So:
(A): 2nd BF support a position that the argument oppose --> wrong
(D): 2nd BF is argument seeks to establish --> it is not an argument
(E): 2nd BF is evidence --> no

So B is the best choice
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2009, 05:18
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sudeep wrote:
Can someone explain why the second bold face is not a position but an evidence?

I am not able to see any evidence in the second boldface. It do not tell that the texts or scripts found show something, so how can it be considered evidence?

The position is the main point that the author seeks to establish.
In this argument the position that the author tries to convey is that the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before the eight century.

So "almost" everything that supports that position can be evidence in support of the argument.

The second boldace helps support the argument. It's written in a rebuttal form. First the author accepts minor flaw "Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction" and then concludes with evidence that he wants to show in support of his main point "by the eighth century B.C. Phoenician was consistently written from right to left and had been for about two centuries".

If this does not help, let me know.
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2009, 07:14
The argument here is that the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C., but it actually dates 2 centuries before that.
both the boldface data together with premise "the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and presumably, along with the alphabet, they also adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of text", prove this fact.
Hence the option should be D,
Even the options, which say a certain statement is a "position" are erroneous since neither of the two are conclusions by themselves. This excludes B,C and E
A is either way erroneous, because both the statements intend to reinforce the argument rather than weaken it
Hence D....
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2011, 02:55
Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C., a strong case can be made that the Greeks actually adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries earlier. Significantly, the text of these earliest surviving Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right. Now, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and in the process they would surely have adopted whatever convention the Phoenicians were then using with respect to the direction of writing. Originally, Phoenicians writing ran in either direction, but by the eighth century B.C. it had been consistently written from right to left for about two centuries.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

(A)The first provides evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.(B)The first provides evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second presents an assumption on which that argument relies.(C)The first is an assumption that the argument concludes is unjustified; the second presents part of the grounds for that conclusion.(D)The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.(E)The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is a judgment that is introduced in order to call into question the relevance of that evidence.

I chose E why the hell is B?? Pls explain in details thank yoiu
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2012, 10:09
neeshpal wrote:
Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C., a strong case can be made that the Greeks actually adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries earlier. Significantly, the text of these earliest surviving Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right. Now, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and in the process they would surely have adopted whatever convention the Phoenicians were then using with respect to the direction of writing. Originally, Phoenician writing ran in either direction, but by the eighth century B.C. it had been consistently written from right to left for about two centuries.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

A. The first is the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second reports a discovery that has been used to support a position that the argument opposes.
B. The first is the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second presents an assumption on which the argument relies.
C. The first presents evidence that is used in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second presents an assumption on which the argument relies.
D. The first is an objection raised against a position that the argument opposes; the second is the position that the argument seeks to establish.
E. The first is an objection raised against a position that the argument opposes; the second is evidence that has been used to support that position.

I agree with the reasoning. I was also inclined to chose B, but didn't choose for the reason:
Assumptions are never cited in the passage.
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2014, 01:14
Could someone explain how could it conclude that "the Greek adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before these inscription were produced"?

From the passage, I could only know that: (in chronological order)
1. P writing was originally inconsistent in direction.
2. G adopted alphabetic writing from P.
3. Earliest G inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the 8 century B.C.
4. P writing had been consistent in direction for 2 centuries since 8 century B.C.

There is no evidence to show that the time between 2. and 3. is more than 2 centuries.
Do I miss something?
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2015, 19:08
The OA is D. I've attached a screenshot with explanation.
Attachments

File comment: here is a screenshot from OG

Untitled.jpg [ 201.7 KiB | Viewed 1831 times ]

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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2016, 09:04
neeshpal wrote:
Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C., the fact that the text of these Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right indicates that the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before these inscriptions were produced. After all, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and presumably, along with the alphabet, they also adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of text. And although Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction, by the eighth century B.C. Phoenician was consistently written from right to left and had been for about two centuries.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

(A) The first and the second each describe evidence that has been used to challenge the position that the argument seeks to establish.
(B) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.
(C) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is a consideration that is introduced to counter the force of that evidence.
(D) The first and the second each provide evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish.
(E) The first provides evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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07 Aug 2016, 00:45
Hey everyone,

A tricky CR question. The difficulty level is significantly higher.

Let us understand the position that the argument is trying to establish. It is that greeks adoped the phonenician style of writing, although contrary opinions are held.

So both the bold face text are trying to support the position and not challenge it. Therefore, option A,B & C are out. Option E is out because the second bold face segment is not the position. The position is expressed from 'After all,....direction of text'. Hence Option D is the right answer.
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2016, 12:25
narendran1990 wrote:
Hey everyone,

A tricky CR question. The difficulty level is significantly higher.

Let us understand the position that the argument is trying to establish. It is that greeks adoped the phonenician style of writing, although contrary opinions are held.

So both the bold face text are trying to support the position and not challenge it. Therefore, option A,B & C are out. Option E is out because the second bold face segment is not the position. The position is expressed from 'After all,....direction of text'. Hence Option D is the right answer.

My take :

The position is the line mentioned in the argument - Greeks adopted a. writing(learnt from Ps) in 6th century BC & adopted the then P. practise of writing.
But the P. writing was consistent even in 6th century through to 8th century. That means Greeks may have picked up alphabet from Ps but not the direction.

This is the conclusion. - Greeks may have picked up alphabet from Ps but not the direction. and the second BF presents evidence to support it. First BF also supports this.
The position argument seeks to establish = conclusion. That's why D.
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2017, 03:29
neeshpal wrote:
Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C., the fact that the text of these Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right indicates that the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before these inscriptions were produced. After all, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and presumably, along with the alphabet, they also adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of text. And although Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction, by the eighth century B.C. Phoenician was consistently written from right to left and had been for about two centuries.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

(A) The first and the second each describe evidence that has been used to challenge the position that the argument seeks to establish.
(B) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.
(C) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is a consideration that is introduced to counter the force of that evidence.
(D) The first and the second each provide evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish.
(E) The first provides evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.

That is the original question and the QA is D
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2017, 01:36
bjp2007 wrote:
The OA is D. But the discussion says it is B. My pick is D. Could you please explain.

Hi bjp2007,

The first thing you need to do in a BF question is identify the Main Conclusion (MC) of the argument. So, let's do so by reading and understanding the argument carefully:

Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C., the fact that the text of these Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right indicates that the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before these inscriptions were produced. After all, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and presumably, along with the alphabet, they also adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of text. And although Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction, by the eighth century B.C. Phoenician was consistently written from right to left and had been for about two centuries.

1. Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C.,
- the author basically says that (even though) some particular inscriptions date from the 8th century BC. "Although" marks a contrast, so the author will go in a different line of thought as we read further.

2. the fact that the text of these Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right
- In this part, the author says that the fact that the text in these inscriptions run sometimes in one direction and at other times in the other direction...

3. indicates that the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before these inscriptions were produced.
- OK. So, basically the author links the directions of the text to make a statement and says that this whole direction bit shows or indicates something. In other words, on the basis of the fact about the directions, the author says that the people who wrote the inscriptions, the Greeks, adopted the alphabetic writing - the inscriptions are written in this form - at least two centuries before these inscriptions were actually written. So, this is the author's opinion.

Now pause over here for a moment. You need to understand the timing aspect given in statement 3 carefully. Since we are dealing with BC and not AD, the regression in centuries will be counted forward - that is if we take the 8th century BC as the base point, then 2 centuries earlier is the 10th century BC and NOT the 6th century BC.

So basically, the author concludes that from the two different directions of the text, it is indicated that the Greeks adopted the alphabetic writing either around the 10th century BC or before it.

Let's move forward.

4. After all, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and presumably, along with the alphabet, they also adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of text.
- Look at the keywords "After all". They should tell you that the author is carrying on in the same line of thought and is likely to share some reason for the conclusion drawn in statement 3. In this part, the author says that the Greeks adopted this form of writing from another set of people, and supposedly, alongwith the form, the Greeks also adopted the manner (direction-wise) in which this form was being written by those people at the time of adoption (notice then-current portion in the statement).

5. And although Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction, by the eighth century B.C. Phoenician was consistently written from right to left and had been for about two centuries.
- The author carries on in the same direction (notice the use of the word "and" in the beginning). He says that even though these people (from whom the Greeks adopted the whole thing) wrote the text in an inconsistent way originally, by the 8th century BC they had been writing consistently for about two centuries. So, timing-wise, this means that from some-time in the 10th century they fixed the direction of the text and carried it on in one direction only. Now, this information makes the author's conclusion more believable - before 10th century.

So, timing-wise this is what we get:

Phonecians originally inconsistent----Greeks adopt writing form alongwith the inconsistent direction ---- sometime in 10th century Phonecians fix direction ---- 8th century Greek inscriptions written.

Now, when you look back at the analysis, you see that practically everything in the argument, except for statement no.1, helps the author draw the conclusion given in statement 3. The two bold-face portions also fall in the reason/support category.

Choice D says just the same and is, hence, correct.

You should be able to discount B after going through the above analysis. However, do let me know if you get stuck somewhere.

Cheers!
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2017, 05:42
neeshpal wrote:

Source : Official Guide 2017

Question : CR 636
Page : 537

Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C., the fact that the text of these Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right indicates that the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before these inscriptions were produced. After all, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and presumably, along with the alphabet, they also adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of text. And although Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction, by the eighth century B.C. Phoenician was consistently written from right to left and had been for about two centuries.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

(A) The first and the second each describe evidence that has been used to challenge the position that the argument seeks to establish.

(B) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.

(C) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is a consideration that is introduced to counter the force of that evidence.

(D) The first and the second each provide evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish.

(E) The first provides evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.

Greek Inscriptions

Step 1: Identify the Question

The boldface font and the words play which of the following roles in the question stem indicate that this is a Describe the Role question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

For Role questions, find the author’s conclusion, then determine how the boldface statements relate to that conclusion.

The argument begins with some facts. First, the oldest Greek inscriptions date from the 8th century B.C. The text in these inscriptions runs in two different directions. According to the author, this fact means that alphabetic writing had to have started at least two centuries before the inscriptions were made.

The argument then presumes that the Greeks would have adopted the Phoenician practice regarding the direction in which the text ran: initially, it ran in both directions, but by the 8th century, Phoenicians were writing only right to left and had been doing so for 2 centuries.

The information here is pretty jumbled. Here’s the chronological story (according to this author):

10th century B.C. or earlier: P’s wrote in both directions
Shortly after: P’s started writing only right to left
8th century B.C.: G’s made inscriptions with writing in both directions

The author concludes from this sequence that the G’s must have learned from the P’s before the P’s started writing in only one direction. Otherwise, the G’s would have presumably only written in one direction, too. In other words, the conclusion is that the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before these inscriptions were produced.

(Note: 2 centuries earlier than the 8th century B.C. is the 10th century B.C.)

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On Role questions, the goal is to determine how the boldface portions relate to the conclusion. In this argument, the conclusion is that the G’s started writing at least two centuries before the inscriptions were produced.

The language indicates that signals that the first boldface is designed to support the conclusion; in other words, the first boldface is a premise.

The second boldface provides additional evidence in support of the author’s conclusion: originally, the P’s writing went in both directions (as the Greek inscriptions do), and then it changed to one direction only.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) The two boldfaces support the argument; they do not challenge the argument.
(B) The two boldfaces support the argument; the first one is not an objection to the argument, nor is the second one the author’s position, or conclusion of the argument.
(C) The two boldfaces support the argument; the first one is not an objection to the argument, and the second one does not counter the first one.
(D) CORRECT. The two boldfaces both support the argument.
(E) The first boldface does support the argument, but the second is not the position, or conclusion, of the argument. Rather, the second is also support for the argument’s conclusion.
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Re: Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written   [#permalink] 29 Apr 2017, 05:42
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