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Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto

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Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 05 Jan 2018, 05:47
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Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto-Indo-European, the language from which it is descended, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages in order to reconstruct the original Proto-Indo-European forms.

A. it is descended, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages
B. Lithuanian descends, and scholars accordingly compare it to the corresponding words in another Indo-European language
C. Lithuanian is descended, and scholars accordingly compare Lithuanian words to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages
D. they descend, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding word in another Indo-European language
E. there is descent, and scholars accordingly compare Lithuanian words to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages

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Originally posted by gmatFalcon on 31 Dec 2017, 11:03.
Last edited by gmatFalcon on 05 Jan 2018, 05:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2018, 16:22
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First, the underlined portion begins with the singular pronoun "it." Logically, "it" must refer to "Lithuanian," since this is the language that is descended from Proto-Indo-European. However, "Lithuanian" is not a noun to which the pronoun can refer. It does appear earlier in the sentence, but as an adjective describing "words." Therefore, the pronoun lacks an antecedent. Furthermore, the sentence then uses "them." Logically, "them" should refer to "Lithuanian words," but the closer noun is "words in Proto-Indo-European." Thus, this pronoun lacks a clear antecedent. The correct answer will address both these issues without introducing new errors.

The choices vary at the beginning. (A) start with "it," (B) and (C) start with "Lithuanian," (D) starts with "they," and (E) starts with "there is." There is also a 3-2 split at the end between "other Indo-European languages" in (A), (C), and (E) and "another Indo-European language" in (B) and (D).

For the reasons noted above, eliminate (A).

By changing "languages" at the end to "language," (B) and (D) slightly alter the meaning of the original sentence. This writer is discussing a process of comparing words across languages descended from Proto-Indo-European, triangulating their features to reconstruct words in the extinct language. You can eliminate both choices on this basis. You might also note that both (B) and (D) use the present tense "descend(s)," suggesting that the Lithuanian words are in the process of deriving their current form and meaning from Proto-Indo-European right now. This does not reflect the meaning of the sentence.

Also, the position of "it" in (B) makes this pronoun refer to "Lithuanian." However, one cannot "compare [Lithuanian] to ... words." The sentence must compare a language to other languages or words to other words.

(D) has other problems as well: the placement of "they" indicates that words in Proto-Indo-European are descended from Proto-Indo-European, which makes no sense. Even if "they" clearly referred to "Lithuanian words," the sentence would say that words descended from a language, which is not parallel. The pronoun "them" that follows also seems to refer to Proto-Indo-European words, but these words cannot be compared to those in "another" Indo-European language because Proto-Indo-European is not an Indo-European language—it's Proto, after all.

Move on to evaluate (C) and (E). (E) avoids using the initial pronoun by employing the passive and ambiguous "there is descent." What descends from Proto-Indo-European? Eliminate.

Choice (C) correctly begins with the noun "Lithuanian," so there is no ambiguity and the sentence describes a language descending from another language. It likewise replaces "them" with "Lithuanian words." The Lithuanian words are sensibly compared to words in multiple other Indo-European languages. The verb "is descended" places the descent in the past. This choice is the winner.

TAKEAWAY: When the underlined portion starts with a pronoun, examine it carefully to make sure it unambiguously refers to a noun and matches that noun in number. Then make sure the answer you pick uses all pronouns correctly or replaces them with nouns.
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Re: Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Dec 2017, 20:17
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gmatFalcon wrote:
Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto-Indo-European, the language from which it is descended, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages in order to reconstruct the original Proto-Indo-European forms.

A. it is descended, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages
B. Lithuanian descends, and scholars accordingly compare it to the corresponding words in another Indo-European language
C. Lithuanian is descended, and scholars accordingly compare Lithuanian words to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages
D. they descend, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding word in another Indo-European language
E. there is descent, and scholars accordingly compare Lithuanian words to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages



Although D seems ok with pronoun error..
But what should descend from a mix of other languages - it should be a language logically....
C clearly specifies this relationship and uses OTHER correctly rather than another..

C
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Re: Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2018, 19:16
mikemcgarry can you please answer this question, also it will be great if you could explain option-wise.
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Re: Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 04:30
gmatFalcon wrote:
Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto-Indo-European, the language from which it is descended, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages in order to reconstruct the original Proto-Indo-European forms.

A. it is descended, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages
B. Lithuanian descends, and scholars accordingly compare it to the corresponding words in another Indo-European language
C. Lithuanian is descended, and scholars accordingly compare Lithuanian words to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages
D. they descend, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding word in another Indo-European language
E. there is descent, and scholars accordingly compare Lithuanian words to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages


gmatFalcon, I can't see the underlined part ..
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Re: Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 05:51
wysiwyg wrote:
gmatFalcon wrote:
Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto-Indo-European, the language from which it is descended, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages in order to reconstruct the original Proto-Indo-European forms.

A. it is descended, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages
B. Lithuanian descends, and scholars accordingly compare it to the corresponding words in another Indo-European language
C. Lithuanian is descended, and scholars accordingly compare Lithuanian words to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages
D. they descend, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding word in another Indo-European language
E. there is descent, and scholars accordingly compare Lithuanian words to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages


gmatFalcon, I can't see the underlined part ..


Sorry for the inconvenience. Check the question now
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Re: Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 15:01
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namita_am wrote:
mikemcgarry can you please answer this question, also it will be great if you could explain option-wise.

Dear namita_am,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Here's the question again:
Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto-Indo-European, the language from which it is descended, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages in order to reconstruct the original Proto-Indo-European forms.

A. it is descended, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages
B. Lithuanian descends, and scholars accordingly compare it to the corresponding words in another Indo-European language
C. Lithuanian is descended, and scholars accordingly compare Lithuanian words to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages
D. they descend, and scholars accordingly compare them to the corresponding word in another Indo-European language
E. there is descent, and scholars accordingly compare Lithuanian words to the corresponding words in other Indo-European languages


This question is throwing a curveball that I am not sure whether the real GMAT would throw.

You see, exactly what has "descended" from "Proto-Indo-European"? It's not the individual Lithuanian words, but instead, the Lithuanian language. One language descends from another. I don't know whether the GMAT would expect a student to recognize this particular fact, but recognizing it is crucial for answering the question.

Only options (B) & (C) get this part correct: these two choices specify that it is the language itself, not the individual words previously mentioned, that descend from "Proto-Indo-European."

Option (B) gets this correct, but then illogically suggest that folks compare "it" (the Lithuanian language) to individual words in Proto-Indo-European." This is illogical and incorrect.

The only possible answer is (C).

I'm not a huge fan of this question. The end of the answer choices, from the word "to" onward, are identical except for (D), which has an illogical difference. I think the question would be tighter if (D) were changed to resemble the other answers, so that the underlined segment would be shorter.

Here's a high quality GMAT SC practice question:
Popular Imagination

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Many Lithuanian words preserve important features of words in Proto &nbs [#permalink] 05 Jan 2018, 15:01
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