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#36722
Complete Question Explanation
(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=14608)

The correct answer choice is (A)

The author’s interpretation of the study involving the family is that not all of the code-switching in their
conversations could be explained by situational factors. If another study showed that all of the family’s
code-switching could be explained by situational factors, it would cast doubt on the interpretation
given in the passage. Demonstrating that the presumed cause (i.e. changes in situational factors) and
the predicted effect (i.e. code-switching) have consistently occurred together in the past makes it more
difficult to believe that the effect ever occurs without that cause.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. This is the same scenario as the one described
in the third paragraph, however in this instance the code-switching was situational and not rhetorical.
This casts doubt on the rhetoric-based code-switching that the author proposes in lines 46-49.

Answer choice (B): Here, the presumed cause is shown to be present several times without the
accompanying effect. Since the author believes that the presumed cause is not always linked to the
effect, this study would not cast doubt on the author’s interpretation.

Answer choice (C): This answer choice says that on some occasions, code-switching did not occur. But
this does not help to evaluate whether or not all code-switching which does occur can be explained by
situational factors. Therefore, it cannot cast doubt on the author’s interpretation.

Answer choice (D): Discussing the results of the study in English does not constitute code-switching,
even if the family was discussing Spanish. Therefore, this answer choice cannot help to evaluate the
author’s claim regarding the causes of code-switching.

Answer choice (E): The passage indicates that the family was not even aware of their occasional use of
Spanish prior to their discussions with the researchers. When the family discovered this code-switching
and how they interpreted it is not relevant to this question.
 ebertasi
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#4211
For this question, I quickly knocked out answers C and D. But A, B and E were all contenders for me. After looking back at E, I guess it is incorrect because it just doesn't really matter what they said to anyone else before? For A and B, I feel like you can say the both weaken the argument rather well. As for B, for 12 months code-switching never occurs. I know the third paragraph says it happened only occasionally, but I feel like during a 12 month study if it never happened then the previous study seems pretty unreliable. Now that I have just typed this out I think i just reasoned with an error of evidence, just because I don't have evidence for it doesn't mean it is false. I see why A weakens, but now that I talked it out, I think I answered my own question.

Can you clarify these thoughts for me and let me know if I might be missing something else?

Thank you.
 Jon Denning
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#4226
Hey ebertasi - thanks for the question. I'll talk a little about the argument, and then the three answers you mention.

The author’s interpretation of the study involving the family is that not all of the code-switching in their conversations could be explained by situational factors. So if another study showed that all of the family’s code-switching could be explained by situational factors, it would cast doubt on the interpretation given in the passage. Demonstrating that the presumed cause (i.e. changes in situational factors) and the predicted effect (i.e. code-switching) have consistently occurred together
in the past makes it more difficult to believe that the effect ever occurs without that cause.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. This is the same scenario as the one described in the third paragraph, however in this instance the code-switching was situational and not rhetorical. This casts doubt on the rhetoric-based code-switching that the author proposes in lines 46-49.

Answer choice (B): Here, the presumed cause is shown to be present several times without the accompanying effect. Since the author believes that the presumed cause is not always linked to the effect, this study would not cast doubt on the author’s interpretation (seems to go along with it, in fact).

Answer choice (E): The passage indicates that the family was not even aware of their occasional use of Spanish prior to their discussions with the researchers. So when the family discovered this code switching and how they interpreted it is not relevant to this question.


I hope that helps!
 blade21cn
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#80796
In ¶3, the author talks about code-switching in two situations that cannot be explained by situational factors: (1) when the domain would not dictate it; and (2) situational factors do not change. The first situation is straightforward: code-switching could not be explained by situational factors as delineated in ¶2. Note in the second situation, the author did not say that situational factors changing from one that does not dictate code-switching to one that does (otherwise it'll be the same as the first situation), but just purely changing of situational factors. In essence, the author just tries to emphasize that such code-switching has nothing to do with situational factors whatsoever.

The author's overall explanation of code-switching is causal in nature, the cause being situational or rhetorical factors and the effect code-switching. The way to weaken such a causal claim is to disrupt the cause-effect pattern. This question asks us to weaken the causal relationship between rhetorical factors and code-switching. Since the author already stated that rhetorical factors kick in in the absence of situational factors, we want to weaken by showing rhetorical factors present but no code-switching.

(A) talks about situational factors (changed significantly) with code-switching. This is a totally different scenario and it merely shows that code-switching has something to do with situational factors, though not the one delineated in ¶2 (i.e., certain situational factors would dictate code-switching). However, this does not exclude rhetorical factors as a possible cause for some other occurrences of code-switching. So it begs for a different justification for (A) being the credited response.

I agree with previous posts that the distinction between "previous" and "subsequent" has no bearing on the discussion. But I think the operative words are "twelve-month study." This indicates a long term study, which seems to say there's got to be some situations where the family members came across opportunities that they wanted to express certain attitudes, yet there was no code-switching. Indeed, my initial thought on these answer choices is: OK, so there is no code-switching due to rhetorical factors, but what if they just never had the need to emphasize certain attitudes. Then, I realize the reason that some answer choices contain the language "twelve-month study" is to imply that it's almost impossible not to come across any such opportunities in such a long period of time. So once an answer choice says all code-switching has been accounted for by way of situational factors and no other code-switching existed, that's the correct answer! Any thoughts? Thanks!
 Adam Tyson
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#84083
So once an answer choice says all code-switching has been accounted for by way of situational factors and no other code-switching existed, that's the correct answer!
This is the essence of the analysis, blade, and shows why A is the correct answer. The author thinks the study indicates that situational factors cannot account for all code-switching, based on what we saw in the study of this one family. Answer A shows a more extensive study of the same family in which situational factors did account for all such incidents. That weakens the argument, although it may not entirely disprove it.
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 ashpine17
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#89051
I still don't understand how A is correct. It says when situational factors don't change, then their conversations were entirely in english....what does that prove exactly?

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