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#7 - Gotera: Infants lack the motor ability required to

jonwg5121
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Can you please explain how to approach #7? I got the question correct but can't explain it to myself why I chose (A). I know the conclusion had speech acquisition and the premises did not include that phrase so I knew the answer choice should include that phrase.

Also, how would I negate answer choice (A) using the Assumption Negation technique?

Thank you.
Jon Denning
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Hey Jon,

Thanks for the question. What stood out to me here was the strength of language in the final sentence: speech acquisition is entirely a motor control process. The assumption then, of course, is that speech acquisition only depends on one's capacity to physically make the needed sounds, which is exactly what we see in answer choice (A). You're also right to make the connection between the last sentence and the first one.

To negate it, simply add a "not": speech acquisition is not a function only of... What that means is that it also depends on other things, which runs entirely counter to the last sentence where we're told it's entirely (only) based on motor control.

A good rule of thumb--not universally true, but nearly always--is that the first 10-12 LR questions tend to be reasonably straightforward, so an Assumption as #7 is likely to rely on fairly basic logic. Certainly that's the case here.
Jon Denning
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jrc3813
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Jon Denning wrote:Hey Jon,

Thanks for the question. What stood out to me here was the strength of language in the final sentence: speech acquisition is entirely a motor control process. The assumption then, of course, is that speech acquisition only depends on one's capacity to physically make the needed sounds, which is exactly what we see in answer choice (A). You're also right to make the connection between the last sentence and the first one.

To negate it, simply add a "not": speech acquisition is not a function only of... What that means is that it also depends on other things, which runs entirely counter to the last sentence where we're told it's entirely (only) based on motor control.

A good rule of thumb--not universally true, but nearly always--is that the first 10-12 LR questions tend to be reasonably straightforward, so an Assumption as #7 is likely to rely on fairly basic logic. Certainly that's the case here.


Can you explain how to diagram this? I got the answer right because b-e were pretty bad answers and A was the only one that attempted to link the premises to the conclusion. But I don't really understand the conditional logic of it.
Jonathan Evans
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JRC,

Good question, and I understand why this question may present some challenges. First, in assumption questions, I'm often leery of language as strong as what we have in the credited answer (A). Second, the premises included in the stimulus actually offer very little support for the conclusion. The disconnect/flaw is so stark as to make wrapping your head around this author's thought process somewhat challenging in and of itself.

However, as Jon noted, the actual structure of this argument is not terribly complex. To analyze this argument, you might start by getting a very clear grasp of the conclusion itself.

    Speech Acquisition :arrow: Only Motor Control Process
The premises, weak as they are, in some ways only distract from your task here, which is to show exactly that:

    Speech Acquisition :arrow: Only Motor Control Process
Kinda goofy, but that's what's going on here! And guess what? That's what answer choice (A) says almost verbatim. To negate we would just need to show that Speech Acquisition is NOT ONLY Motor Control Process. Since this statement directly contradicts the conclusion, it passes the Assumption Negation Test™.

I hope this helps!
LSAT2018
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I understand why answer (A) is the correct answer, but I thought answer (B) was a defender assumption in that intentionally moving the tongue involved some kind of mental process? Why is B not required?
Shannon Parker
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Hey,

B is not a defender because there is nothing linking the premise with the answer choice. Remember to stay in the "LSAT" world. While we may very well know that we need to use our tongues, nothing says so in the premise. Based just on the rules of the premise infants could able to move their tongues without any effect on the conclusion. Using the assumption negation technique, answer choice B reads "during the initial babbling stage infants CAN intentionally move their tongues while they are babbling." As I said, this has no effect on the conclusion that "speech acquisition is entirely a motor control process rather than a process that is abstract or mental," because nothing in the premise links the use of the tongue to the speech acquisition.

Hope this helps.