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# Language acquisition has long been thought of as a process of imitatio

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Manager
Joined: 08 Jan 2018
Posts: 223
Location: United States (ID)
GPA: 3.33
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
Language acquisition has long been thought of as a process of imitatio  [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2018, 10:49
Question 1
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59% (02:47) correct 41% (02:49) wrong

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Question 2
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Question 3
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This question is for both Gmat and Gre; the question actually is available at Magoosh.

Language acquisition has long been thought of as a process of imitation and reinforcement. Children learn to speak, in the popular view, by copying the utterances heard around them, and by having their response strengthened by the repetitions, corrections, and other reactions that adults provide. In recent years, it has become clear that this principle will not explain all the facts of language development. Children do imitate a great deal, especially in learning sounds and vocabulary; but little of their grammatical ability can be explained in this way. Two kinds of evidence are commonly used in support of this criticism–one based on the kind of language children produce, the other on what they do not produce.

The first piece of evidence derives from the way children handle irregular grammatical patterns. When they encounter such irregular past-tense forms as went and took or such plural forms as mice and sheep, there is a stage when they replace these by forms based on the regular patterns of the language. They say such things as wented, taked, mices, mouses, and sheeps. Evidently, children assume that grammatical usage is regular, and try to work out for themselves what the forms ‘ought’ to be–a reasoning process known as analogy. They could not have learned these forms by a process of imitation. The other kind of evidence is based on the way children seem unable to imitate adult grammatical constructions exactly, even when invited to do so.

1/ By saying, “they could not have learned these forms by a process of imitation” the author is implying that

A some children struggle to learn to use proper syntactical structures
B those who rely on analogously deriving grammatical patterns tend to learn irregular patterns with greater ease
C imitation is not the only means by which children acquire knowledge
D not all children will use the correct grammatical pattern when prompted by adults
E certain grammatical forms used by children, while analogous to regular grammatical structures, are not the same as those employed by adults

2/The primary purpose of the passage is to

A discuss how a common misconception has affected the development of a school of thought
B call into question the findings of a study and describe ways to improve the study
C describe how an explanation does not adequately account for an observed phenomenon
D introduce two theories and illustrate how neither is able to fully explain an occurrence
E reveal the inconsistencies in two theories and propose a new theory to account for an aptitude

3/ According to the passage, the idea that children learn language only through a process of imitation has been called into question because

A some children learn language at an earlier age than do others
B children form grammatical endings that, while consistent with rules of grammar, are not accepted forms
C adults often speak to children by employing grammatical patterns that are different from the ones they would employ when speaking to other adults
D most children have difficulty imitating complex vocabulary even if their caregivers use such words
E only a few children are capable of imitating irregular grammatical patterns

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Re: Language acquisition has long been thought of as a process of imitatio  [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2018, 15:37
can somebody help me the question 3?
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Re: Language acquisition has long been thought of as a process of imitatio  [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2018, 07:54
1
C,C,B
3/ According to the passage, the idea that children learn language only through a process of imitation has been called into question because

A Some children learn language at an earlier age than do others- Out
B children form grammatical endings that, while consistent with rules of grammar, are not accepted forms-
“They say such things as wented, taked, mices, mouses, and sheeps. Evidently, children assume that grammatical usage is regular, and try to work out for themselves what the forms ‘ought’ to be–a reasoning process known as analogy.” - Correct

C adults often speak to children by employing grammatical patterns that are different from the ones they would employ when speaking to other adults
D Most children have difficulty imitating complex vocabulary even if their caregivers use such words
E Only a few children are capable of imitating irregular grammatical patterns
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Re: Language acquisition has long been thought of as a process of imitatio  [#permalink]

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15 May 2018, 17:21
MinHuiii wrote:
can somebody help me the question 3?

The idea that children learn by imitation has been called into question by the fact that they do not imitate adults when the latter use irregular grammatical patterns. Instead, children reason via analogy. For instance, if they hear that past tense verbs are formed by adding –ed, they add an –ed to all past tense verbs, thereby coming up with non-accepted forms. (even the ones with irregular endings). Therefore the answer is (B).

(A) is a statement that is true in the real world, but it is not mentioned in the passage.

(C) is incorrect, though tempting because it mentions how adults use grammatical patterns that are different. But not different compared to the patterns children use. Rather, (C) is saying that adults speak differently to adults than they do to children. True in the real world, perhaps. But not supported by the passage.

(D) is wrong because the focus on the passage is grammatical forms not complex vocabulary.

(E) is wrong because the passage says children do learn by analogy. That’s why they add –ed to all past tense verbs
_________________

Thanks!
Do give some kudos.

Simple strategy:
“Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 1| GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 2 | How to Improve GMAT Quant from Q49 to a Perfect Q51

My Notes:
Reading comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Absolute Phrases | Subjunctive Mood

SC Moderator
Joined: 23 Sep 2015
Posts: 1692
Re: Language acquisition has long been thought of as a process of imitatio  [#permalink]

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15 May 2018, 17:23
Quote:
2/The primary purpose of the passage is to

A discuss how a common misconception has affected the development of a school of thought
B call into question the findings of a study and describe ways to improve the study
C describe how an explanation does not adequately account for an observed phenomenon
D introduce two theories and illustrate how neither is able to fully explain an occurrence
E reveal the inconsistencies in two theories and propose a new theory to account for an aptitude

The first sentence describes a common interpretation: language is learned through imitation. The rest of the passage describes how, “Children do imitate…but little of their grammatical ability can be explained in this way.” Therefore, this explanation cannot account for the way children learn languages. Therefore (C).

(A) is incorrect. While the passage does describe a common misconception (language is learned via imitation), the passage never talks about how this misconception actually affected the development of any one school of thought.

(B) is incorrect because no specific study is mentioned in the passage.

(C) The answer. The "explanation" is the popular view, which cannot adequately explain the two pieces of evidence discussed in the second paragraph.

(D) is incorrect. Sure the passage mentions two theories. But one of them, according to the passage, fully explains language acquisition.

(E) is incorrect because no third theory is proposed.
_________________

Thanks!
Do give some kudos.

Simple strategy:
“Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 1| GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 2 | How to Improve GMAT Quant from Q49 to a Perfect Q51

My Notes:
Reading comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Absolute Phrases | Subjunctive Mood

Intern
Joined: 08 Jul 2016
Posts: 38
Location: Singapore
GMAT 1: 570 Q43 V25
GMAT 2: 640 Q42 V36
WE: Underwriter (Insurance)
Re: Language acquisition has long been thought of as a process of imitatio  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2018, 08:55
Re: Language acquisition has long been thought of as a process of imitatio   [#permalink] 23 Jun 2018, 08:55
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