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# In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed

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In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed  [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2013, 05:34
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In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed that the subdivision of color always follows the same hierarchy. The simplest color lexicons (such as the DugermDani language of New Guinea) distinguish only black/dark and white/light. The next color to be given a separate word by cultures is always centred on the red part of the visible spectrum. Then, according to Geiger, societies will adopt a word corresponding to yellow, then green, then blue. Lazarus’s color hierarchy was forgotten until restated in almost the same form in 1969 by Brent Berlin, an anthropologist, and Paul Kay, a linguist, when it was hailed as a major discovery in modern linguistics. It showed a universal regularity underlying the apparently arbitrary way language is used to describe the world.

Berlin and Kay’s hypothesis has since fallen in and out of favour, and certainly there are exceptions to the scheme they proposed. But the fundamental color hierarchy, at least in the early stages (black/white, red, yellow/green, blue) remains generally accepted. The problem is that no one could explain why this ordering of color exists. Why, for example, does the blue of sky and sea, or the green of foliage, not occur as a word before the far less common red?

There are several schools of thought about how colours get named. “Nativists,” who include Berlin and Kay argue that the way in which we attach words to concepts is innately determined by how we perceive the world. In this view our perceptual apparatus has evolved to ensure that we make “sensible”—that is, useful—choices of what to label with distinct words: we are hardwired for practical forms of language. “Empiricists,” in contrast, argue that we don’t need this innate programming, just the capacity to learn the conventional (but arbitrary) labels for things we can perceive.

In both cases, the categories of things to name are deemed “obvious”: language just labels them. But the conclusions of Loreto and colleagues fit with a third possibility: the “culturist” view, which says that shared communication is needed to help organize category formation, so that categories and language co-evolve in an interaction between biological predisposition and culture. In other words, the starting point for color terms is not some inevitably distinct block of the spectrum, but neither do we just divide up the spectrum in some arbitrary fashion, because the human eye has different sensitivity to different parts of the spectrum. Given this, we have to arrive at some consensus, not just on which label to use, but on what is being labeled.

The idea that the order in which humans name colors follows a fixed pattern is most consistent with which of the following?

1. The empiricists’ position
2. The nativist school of thought
3. The conclusions of Loreto and colleagues
4. Those who disagree with Berlin and Kay’s view
5. The culturist view

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Re: In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed  [#permalink]

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17 Oct 2013, 20:21
6
honchos wrote:
OA is B, But I have doubt why this is correct, does some one Know how to use elimination in RC to get rid of wrong choices.

This question is what we call an Application Question in the Economist GMAT Tutor course. In other words, you aren't looking at something stated in so many words by the author of the passage, but you are culling and integrating information from all over the passage, to answer a question about something that is related to the passage, either directly or indirectly. You need to apply your understanding of the passage in order to answer it.

So this question is asking you which view is compatible with the idea that the color names follow a fixed pattern. The way to proceed is to quickly look back at the names of all the thinkers mentioned in each answer choice and try to determine whether their view supports the idea that naming of colors is "fixed" or "not-fixed". For this, you need to pay attention to words and phrase that might be synonyms or antonyms of "fixed". We must eliminate views that support the ideas of a "non-fixed" pattern.

Answer choice A is incorrect because the empiricists regard color labels as "arbitrary" - the opposite of "fixed" - eliminate
B - save this one because the "innately determined' corresponds more or less to "fixed".
C - the Loreto school is also not about an "inevitably distinct block..."; "inevitable" = "fixed, therefore "not inevitable" = "not fixed" - eliminate
D - since "nativists" include Berlin and Kay - those who disagree with them don't believe in the fixity of color names - eliminate
E - culturalist are identified with Loreto. If we eliminate C, we must also eliminate E.

As you can say, this question is tricky because the 5 answer choices represent only 3 views. Once you notice this, the elimination process occurs very quickly. When you have identified one pair of thinkers with one view you have already eliminated 2 answer choices. When you have identified a second pair of thinkers with another view - presto, there go two more answer choices, leaving you with one.

Remember that Application questions can often be more time consuming than other questions. Why? Because they require you to look at different locations in the passage and at a lot of detail. More commonly, RC questions require you to identify one location where the answer should be found, but here you have to look around a bit more.
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Re: In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed  [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2013, 05:36
1
OA is B, But I have doubt why this is correct, does some one Know how to use elimination in RC to get rid of wrong choices.
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Re: In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed  [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2013, 17:44
IlanaEconomistGMAT wrote:
honchos wrote:
OA is B, But I have doubt why this is correct, does some one Know how to use elimination in RC to get rid of wrong choices.

This question is what we call an Application Question in the Economist GMAT Tutor course. In other words, you aren't looking at something stated in so many words by the author of the passage, but you are culling and integrating information from all over the passage, to answer a question about something that is related to the passage, either directly or indirectly. You need to apply your understanding of the passage in order to answer it.

So this question is asking you which view is compatible with the idea that the color names follow a fixed pattern. The way to proceed is to quickly look back at the names of all the thinkers mentioned in each answer choice and try to determine whether their view supports the idea that naming of colors is "fixed" or "not-fixed". For this, you need to pay attention to words and phrase that might be synonyms or antonyms of "fixed". We must eliminate views that support the ideas of a "non-fixed" pattern.

Answer choice A is incorrect because the empiricists regard color labels as "arbitrary" - the opposite of "fixed" - eliminate
B - save this one because the "innately determined' corresponds more or less to "fixed".
C - the Loreto school is also not about an "inevitably distinct block..."; "inevitable" = "fixed, therefore "not inevitable" = "not fixed" - eliminate
D - since "nativists" include Berlin and Kay - those who disagree with them don't believe in the fixity of color names - eliminate
E - culturalist are identified with Loreto. If we eliminate C, we must also eliminate E.

As you can say, this question is tricky because the 5 answer choices represent only 3 views. Once you notice this, the elimination process occurs very quickly. When you have identified one pair of thinkers with one view you have already eliminated 2 answer choices. When you have identified a second pair of thinkers with another view - presto, there go two more answer choices, leaving you with one.

Remember that Application questions can often be more time consuming than other questions. Why? Because they require you to look at different locations in the passage and at a lot of detail. More commonly, RC questions require you to identify one location where the answer should be found, but here you have to look around a bit more.

On the scale of 10 where will you rate this question, I believe this question is quite tough, I have little difficulty in solving in OG13 edition.

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Re: In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed  [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2013, 02:52
I agree that it is tough, only because, as I mentioned, it requires you to look back at many locations/details. But In this it resembles EXCEPT questions (when all of the answer choices respond to the question, except one). In EXCEPT questions, similarly, you need to look for each point mentioned and verify its relevance.

However, once you figure out the trick to the current question, it isn't that tough.

What was the source for this question? It may be an 'over-the-top' attempt to emulate a GMAT question. OG 13 should be a reliable guide for the difficulty level to expect on the test. I don't think that these kind of trick questions are all that common on the test.

honchos wrote:
IlanaEconomistGMAT wrote:
honchos wrote:
OA is B, But I have doubt why this is correct, does some one Know how to use elimination in RC to get rid of wrong choices.
B
On the scale of 10 where will you rate this question, I believe this question is quite tough, I have little difficulty in solving in OG13 edition.

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Re: In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed  [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2013, 02:56
IlanaEconomistGMAT wrote:
honchos wrote:
OA is B, But I have doubt why this is correct, does some one Know how to use elimination in RC to get rid of wrong choices.

This question is what we call an Application Question in the Economist GMAT Tutor course. In other words, you aren't looking at something stated in so many words by the author of the passage, but you are culling and integrating information from all over the passage, to answer a question about something that is related to the passage, either directly or indirectly. You need to apply your understanding of the passage in order to answer it.

So this question is asking you which view is compatible with the idea that the color names follow a fixed pattern. The way to proceed is to quickly look back at the names of all the thinkers mentioned in each answer choice and try to determine whether their view supports the idea that naming of colors is "fixed" or "not-fixed". For this, you need to pay attention to words and phrase that might be synonyms or antonyms of "fixed". We must eliminate views that support the ideas of a "non-fixed" pattern.

Answer choice A is incorrect because the empiricists regard color labels as "arbitrary" - the opposite of "fixed" - eliminate
B - save this one because the "innately determined' corresponds more or less to "fixed".
C - the Loreto school is also not about an "inevitably distinct block..."; "inevitable" = "fixed, therefore "not inevitable" = "not fixed" - eliminate
D - since "nativists" include Berlin and Kay - those who disagree with them don't believe in the fixity of color names - eliminate
E - culturalist are identified with Loreto. If we eliminate C, we must also eliminate E.

As you can say, this question is tricky because the 5 answer choices represent only 3 views. Once you notice this, the elimination process occurs very quickly. When you have identified one pair of thinkers with one view you have already eliminated 2 answer choices. When you have identified a second pair of thinkers with another view - presto, there go two more answer choices, leaving you with one.

Remember that Application questions can often be more time consuming than other questions. Why? Because they require you to look at different locations in the passage and at a lot of detail. More commonly, RC questions require you to identify one location where the answer should be found, but here you have to look around a bit more.

Magoosh was the source, I am quite comfortable with OG13 level.

Ca you please also look at this question-
guillotined-on-highly-questionable-charges-at-the-height-of-161885.html#p1280797
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Re: In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed  [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2013, 11:41
I chose B because even before the article starts explaining all the different views of each thinker we are told that Berlin and Kay’s hypothesis has since fallen in and out of favour, and certainly there are exceptions to the scheme they proposed. But the fundamental color hierarchy, at least in the early stages (black/white, red, yellow/green, blue) remains generally accepted.

Berlin and Kay are part of the nativist view, and their view is generally accepted along with some exceptions. So each view is built upon their initial thought on how colors are named. Therefore, answer choice B seems the most logical here.
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Re: In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed  [#permalink]

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05 Jul 2018, 19:35
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Re: In the 1860s, the German philologist Lazarus Geiger proposed &nbs [#permalink] 05 Jul 2018, 19:35
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