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CAT Paragraph Summary Question 16

Question 16:

The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

Language is an autapomorphy found only in our lineage, and not shared with other branches of our group such as primates. We also have no definitive evidence that any species other than Homo sapiens ever had language. However, it must be noted straightaway that ‘language’ is not a monolithic entity, but rather a complex bundle of traits that must have evolved over a significant time frame…. Moreover, language crucially draws on aspects of cognition that are long established in the primate lineage, such as memory: the language faculty as a whole comprises more than just the uniquely linguistic features.

  1. Language, a derived trait found only in humans, has evolved over time and involves memory.
  2. Language evolved with linguistic features building on features of cognition such as memory.
  3. Language is not a single, uniform entity but the end result of a long and complex process of linguistic evolution.
  4. Language is a distinctively human feature as there is no evidence of the existence of language in any other species.
Option: 2

Option 1 goes out because nowhere does the para says that language is a derived trait. It says that it is a human trait, but not a derived trait (a derived trait would be something that was missing in the common ancestor). Option 2 is correct, nothing is distorted or missing in this choice.

Option 3 is very close to 2 except that it misses the crucial point of ‘language drawing on aspects of cognition such as memory’

Option 4 misses two crucial points, one about language evolving over a period of time, and the other about point of ‘language drawing on aspects of cognition such as memory’

This is a very difficult question as there was little difference between 2 and 3. 

We could eliminate 4 because it does not cover two critical points, focussing on the information that is less significant and is not the part of the author’s main focus, which is ‘evolution of language’.

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