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 Page 1


CAT 2021 Slot 3
VARC
Instructions [1 - 4 ]
The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Starting in 1957, [Noam Chomsky] proclaimed a new doctrine: Language, that most human of all attributes, was innate. The grammatical
faculty was built into the infant brain, and your average 3-year-old was not a mere apprentice in the great enterprise of absorbing English
from his or her parents, but a “linguistic genius.” Since this message was couched in terms of Chomskyan theoretical linguistics, in
discourse so opaque that it was nearly incomprehensible even to some scholars, many people did not hear it. Now, in a brilliant, witty and
altogether satisfying book, Mr. Chomsky's colleague Steven Pinker . . . has brought Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman. In “The
Language Instinct” he has gathered persuasive data from such diverse fields as cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology and
speech therapy to make his points, and when he disagrees with Mr. Chomsky he tells you so. . . .
For Mr. Chomsky and Mr. Pinker, somewhere in the human brain there is a complex set of neural circuits that have been programmed
with “super-rules” (making up what Mr. Chomsky calls “universal grammar”), and that these rules are unconscious and instinctive. A half-
century ago, this would have been pooh-poohed as a “black box” theory, since one could not actually pinpoint this grammatical faculty in
a specific part of the brain, or describe its functioning. But now things are different. Neurosurgeons [have now found that this] “black box”
is situated in and around Broca’s area, on the left side of the forebrain. . . .
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution. He effectively disposes of all claims that intelligent nonhuman primates like chimps have any abilities to learn and use
language. It is not that chimps lack the vocal apparatus to speak; it is just that their brains are unable to produce or use grammar. On the
other hand, the “language instinct,” when it first appeared among our most distant hominid ancestors, must have given them a selective
reproductive advantage over their competitors (including the ancestral chimps). . . .
So according to Mr. Pinker, the roots of language must be in the genes, but there cannot be a “grammar gene” any more than there can be
a gene for the heart or any other complex body structure. This proposition will undoubtedly raise the hackles of some behavioral
psychologists and anthropologists, for it apparently contradicts the liberal idea that human behavior may be changed for the better by
improvements in culture and environment, and it might seem to invite the twin bugaboos of biological determinism and racism. Yet Mr.
Pinker stresses one point that should allay such fears. Even though there are 4,000 to 6,000 languages today, they are all sufficiently alike
to be considered one language by an extraterrestrial observer. In other words, most of the diversity of the world’s cultures, so beloved to
anthropologists, is superficial and minor compared to the similarities. Racial differences are literally only “skin deep.” The fundamental
unity of humanity is the theme of Mr. Chomsky's universal grammar, and of this exciting book.
1. Which one of the following statements best summarises the author’s position about Pinker’s book?
A    Culture and environment play a key role in shaping our acquisition of language.
B    Anatomical developments like the voice box play a key role in determining language acquisition skills.
C    The evolutionary and deterministic framework of Pinker’s book makes it racist.
D    The universality of the “language instinct” counters claims that Pinker’s book is racist.
A n s w e r : D
  
Explanation:
The fundamental unity of humanity is the theme of Mr. Chomsky's universal grammar, and of this exciting book.
Throughout the passage, the author seems to support the points made by Mr Pinker. The above line also shows that the opinion of the
author towards the book is positive, and the author does not think that the book is racist in any way, but promotes unity and
cohesion. Option D captures this point correctly and is the answer.
So according to Mr. Pinker, the roots of language must be in the genes, but there cannot be a “grammar gene” any more than there can be
a gene for the heart or any other complex body structure. This proposition will undoubtedly raise the hackles of some behavioral
psychologists and anthropologists, for it apparently contradicts the liberal idea that human behavior may be changed for the better by
improvements in culture and environment....
The book does not support that a complex anatomical structure like a 'voice box' plays a key role in determining language acquisition
skills. Nor does it support the role of culture and environment in shaping human behaviour Options A and B are eliminated.
Option C portrays the book as racist, which is directly in contradiction with the author's opinion. C is eliminated too.
  
.
Page 2


CAT 2021 Slot 3
VARC
Instructions [1 - 4 ]
The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Starting in 1957, [Noam Chomsky] proclaimed a new doctrine: Language, that most human of all attributes, was innate. The grammatical
faculty was built into the infant brain, and your average 3-year-old was not a mere apprentice in the great enterprise of absorbing English
from his or her parents, but a “linguistic genius.” Since this message was couched in terms of Chomskyan theoretical linguistics, in
discourse so opaque that it was nearly incomprehensible even to some scholars, many people did not hear it. Now, in a brilliant, witty and
altogether satisfying book, Mr. Chomsky's colleague Steven Pinker . . . has brought Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman. In “The
Language Instinct” he has gathered persuasive data from such diverse fields as cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology and
speech therapy to make his points, and when he disagrees with Mr. Chomsky he tells you so. . . .
For Mr. Chomsky and Mr. Pinker, somewhere in the human brain there is a complex set of neural circuits that have been programmed
with “super-rules” (making up what Mr. Chomsky calls “universal grammar”), and that these rules are unconscious and instinctive. A half-
century ago, this would have been pooh-poohed as a “black box” theory, since one could not actually pinpoint this grammatical faculty in
a specific part of the brain, or describe its functioning. But now things are different. Neurosurgeons [have now found that this] “black box”
is situated in and around Broca’s area, on the left side of the forebrain. . . .
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution. He effectively disposes of all claims that intelligent nonhuman primates like chimps have any abilities to learn and use
language. It is not that chimps lack the vocal apparatus to speak; it is just that their brains are unable to produce or use grammar. On the
other hand, the “language instinct,” when it first appeared among our most distant hominid ancestors, must have given them a selective
reproductive advantage over their competitors (including the ancestral chimps). . . .
So according to Mr. Pinker, the roots of language must be in the genes, but there cannot be a “grammar gene” any more than there can be
a gene for the heart or any other complex body structure. This proposition will undoubtedly raise the hackles of some behavioral
psychologists and anthropologists, for it apparently contradicts the liberal idea that human behavior may be changed for the better by
improvements in culture and environment, and it might seem to invite the twin bugaboos of biological determinism and racism. Yet Mr.
Pinker stresses one point that should allay such fears. Even though there are 4,000 to 6,000 languages today, they are all sufficiently alike
to be considered one language by an extraterrestrial observer. In other words, most of the diversity of the world’s cultures, so beloved to
anthropologists, is superficial and minor compared to the similarities. Racial differences are literally only “skin deep.” The fundamental
unity of humanity is the theme of Mr. Chomsky's universal grammar, and of this exciting book.
1. Which one of the following statements best summarises the author’s position about Pinker’s book?
A    Culture and environment play a key role in shaping our acquisition of language.
B    Anatomical developments like the voice box play a key role in determining language acquisition skills.
C    The evolutionary and deterministic framework of Pinker’s book makes it racist.
D    The universality of the “language instinct” counters claims that Pinker’s book is racist.
A n s w e r : D
  
Explanation:
The fundamental unity of humanity is the theme of Mr. Chomsky's universal grammar, and of this exciting book.
Throughout the passage, the author seems to support the points made by Mr Pinker. The above line also shows that the opinion of the
author towards the book is positive, and the author does not think that the book is racist in any way, but promotes unity and
cohesion. Option D captures this point correctly and is the answer.
So according to Mr. Pinker, the roots of language must be in the genes, but there cannot be a “grammar gene” any more than there can be
a gene for the heart or any other complex body structure. This proposition will undoubtedly raise the hackles of some behavioral
psychologists and anthropologists, for it apparently contradicts the liberal idea that human behavior may be changed for the better by
improvements in culture and environment....
The book does not support that a complex anatomical structure like a 'voice box' plays a key role in determining language acquisition
skills. Nor does it support the role of culture and environment in shaping human behaviour Options A and B are eliminated.
Option C portrays the book as racist, which is directly in contradiction with the author's opinion. C is eliminated too.
  
.
    
2. According to the passage, all of the following are true about the language instinct EXCEPT that:
A    all intelligent primates are gifted with it.
B    developments in neuroscience have increased its acceptance.
C    it confers an evolutionary reproductive advantage.
D    not all intelligent primates are gifted with it.
A n s w e r : A
  
Explanation:
A half-century ago, this would have been pooh-poohed as a “black box” theory, since one could not actually pinpoint this grammatical
faculty in a specific part of the brain, or describe its functioning. But now things are different. Neurosurgeons [have now found that this]
“black box” is situated in and around Broca’s area, on the left side of the forebrain. . . .
On the other hand, the “language instinct,” when it first appeared among our most distant hominid ancestors, must have given them a
selective reproductive advantage over their competitors (including the ancestral chimps). . . .
He effectively disposes of all claims that intelligent nonhuman primates like chimps have any abilities to learn and use language.
The above excerpts provide support for Options B, C, and D respectively. Option A is in direct contradiction with Option D, and hence, is
the answer.
3. On the basis of the information in the passage, Pinker and Chomsky may disagree with each other on which one of the following
points?
A    The language instinct.
B    The inborn language acquisition skills of humans.
C    The Darwinian explanatory paradigm for language.
D    The possibility of a universal grammar.
A n s w e r : C
  
Explanation:
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution.
The passage suggests that Mr. Pinker and Mr. Chomsky agree on almost all topics. However, the above line indicates that they both
disagreed on the application of the Darwinian framework to explain language instinct. Where Mr. Pinker was in favour of the same, Mr.
Chomsky was against. Hence, Option C is the answer.
4. From the passage, it can be inferred that all of the following are true about Pinker’s book, “The Language Instinct”, EXCEPT that
Pinker:
A    draws extensively from Chomsky’s propositions.
B    disagrees with Chomsky on certain grounds.
C    
draws from behavioural psychology theories.
D    
writes in a different style from Chomsky.
A n s w e r : C
Downloaded from cracku.in
.
Page 3


CAT 2021 Slot 3
VARC
Instructions [1 - 4 ]
The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Starting in 1957, [Noam Chomsky] proclaimed a new doctrine: Language, that most human of all attributes, was innate. The grammatical
faculty was built into the infant brain, and your average 3-year-old was not a mere apprentice in the great enterprise of absorbing English
from his or her parents, but a “linguistic genius.” Since this message was couched in terms of Chomskyan theoretical linguistics, in
discourse so opaque that it was nearly incomprehensible even to some scholars, many people did not hear it. Now, in a brilliant, witty and
altogether satisfying book, Mr. Chomsky's colleague Steven Pinker . . . has brought Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman. In “The
Language Instinct” he has gathered persuasive data from such diverse fields as cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology and
speech therapy to make his points, and when he disagrees with Mr. Chomsky he tells you so. . . .
For Mr. Chomsky and Mr. Pinker, somewhere in the human brain there is a complex set of neural circuits that have been programmed
with “super-rules” (making up what Mr. Chomsky calls “universal grammar”), and that these rules are unconscious and instinctive. A half-
century ago, this would have been pooh-poohed as a “black box” theory, since one could not actually pinpoint this grammatical faculty in
a specific part of the brain, or describe its functioning. But now things are different. Neurosurgeons [have now found that this] “black box”
is situated in and around Broca’s area, on the left side of the forebrain. . . .
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution. He effectively disposes of all claims that intelligent nonhuman primates like chimps have any abilities to learn and use
language. It is not that chimps lack the vocal apparatus to speak; it is just that their brains are unable to produce or use grammar. On the
other hand, the “language instinct,” when it first appeared among our most distant hominid ancestors, must have given them a selective
reproductive advantage over their competitors (including the ancestral chimps). . . .
So according to Mr. Pinker, the roots of language must be in the genes, but there cannot be a “grammar gene” any more than there can be
a gene for the heart or any other complex body structure. This proposition will undoubtedly raise the hackles of some behavioral
psychologists and anthropologists, for it apparently contradicts the liberal idea that human behavior may be changed for the better by
improvements in culture and environment, and it might seem to invite the twin bugaboos of biological determinism and racism. Yet Mr.
Pinker stresses one point that should allay such fears. Even though there are 4,000 to 6,000 languages today, they are all sufficiently alike
to be considered one language by an extraterrestrial observer. In other words, most of the diversity of the world’s cultures, so beloved to
anthropologists, is superficial and minor compared to the similarities. Racial differences are literally only “skin deep.” The fundamental
unity of humanity is the theme of Mr. Chomsky's universal grammar, and of this exciting book.
1. Which one of the following statements best summarises the author’s position about Pinker’s book?
A    Culture and environment play a key role in shaping our acquisition of language.
B    Anatomical developments like the voice box play a key role in determining language acquisition skills.
C    The evolutionary and deterministic framework of Pinker’s book makes it racist.
D    The universality of the “language instinct” counters claims that Pinker’s book is racist.
A n s w e r : D
  
Explanation:
The fundamental unity of humanity is the theme of Mr. Chomsky's universal grammar, and of this exciting book.
Throughout the passage, the author seems to support the points made by Mr Pinker. The above line also shows that the opinion of the
author towards the book is positive, and the author does not think that the book is racist in any way, but promotes unity and
cohesion. Option D captures this point correctly and is the answer.
So according to Mr. Pinker, the roots of language must be in the genes, but there cannot be a “grammar gene” any more than there can be
a gene for the heart or any other complex body structure. This proposition will undoubtedly raise the hackles of some behavioral
psychologists and anthropologists, for it apparently contradicts the liberal idea that human behavior may be changed for the better by
improvements in culture and environment....
The book does not support that a complex anatomical structure like a 'voice box' plays a key role in determining language acquisition
skills. Nor does it support the role of culture and environment in shaping human behaviour Options A and B are eliminated.
Option C portrays the book as racist, which is directly in contradiction with the author's opinion. C is eliminated too.
  
.
    
2. According to the passage, all of the following are true about the language instinct EXCEPT that:
A    all intelligent primates are gifted with it.
B    developments in neuroscience have increased its acceptance.
C    it confers an evolutionary reproductive advantage.
D    not all intelligent primates are gifted with it.
A n s w e r : A
  
Explanation:
A half-century ago, this would have been pooh-poohed as a “black box” theory, since one could not actually pinpoint this grammatical
faculty in a specific part of the brain, or describe its functioning. But now things are different. Neurosurgeons [have now found that this]
“black box” is situated in and around Broca’s area, on the left side of the forebrain. . . .
On the other hand, the “language instinct,” when it first appeared among our most distant hominid ancestors, must have given them a
selective reproductive advantage over their competitors (including the ancestral chimps). . . .
He effectively disposes of all claims that intelligent nonhuman primates like chimps have any abilities to learn and use language.
The above excerpts provide support for Options B, C, and D respectively. Option A is in direct contradiction with Option D, and hence, is
the answer.
3. On the basis of the information in the passage, Pinker and Chomsky may disagree with each other on which one of the following
points?
A    The language instinct.
B    The inborn language acquisition skills of humans.
C    The Darwinian explanatory paradigm for language.
D    The possibility of a universal grammar.
A n s w e r : C
  
Explanation:
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution.
The passage suggests that Mr. Pinker and Mr. Chomsky agree on almost all topics. However, the above line indicates that they both
disagreed on the application of the Darwinian framework to explain language instinct. Where Mr. Pinker was in favour of the same, Mr.
Chomsky was against. Hence, Option C is the answer.
4. From the passage, it can be inferred that all of the following are true about Pinker’s book, “The Language Instinct”, EXCEPT that
Pinker:
A    draws extensively from Chomsky’s propositions.
B    disagrees with Chomsky on certain grounds.
C    
draws from behavioural psychology theories.
D    
writes in a different style from Chomsky.
A n s w e r : C
Downloaded from cracku.in
.
  
Explanation:
Since this message was couched in terms of Chomskyan theoretical linguistics, in discourse so opaque that it was nearly
incomprehensible even to some scholars, many people did not hear it. Now, in a brilliant, witty and altogether satisfying book, Mr.
Chomsky's colleague Steven Pinker . . . has brought Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman.
From the above excerpt, it is clear that Mr. Pinker's style of writing is much more comprehensible to the common man. Hence, their
writing styles are quite different. Also, the above excerpt mentions that the book brings Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman, hence, it is
clear that it draws heavily from the findings. Options A and D are eliminated.
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution.
The above excerpt shows that they both disagreed on a certain point. Hence, Option B is eliminated too.
Option C finds no mention in the passage, hence, is the answer.
       
Instructions [5 - 8 ]
The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Today we can hardly conceive of ourselves without an unconscious. Yet between 1700 and 1900, this notion developed as a genuinely
original thought. The “unconscious” burst the shell of conventional language, coined as it had been to embody the fleeting ideas and the
shifting conceptions of several generations until, finally, it became fixed and defined in specialized terms within the realm of medical
psychology and Freudian psychoanalysis.
The vocabulary concerning the soul and the mind increased enormously in the course of the nineteenth century. The enrichments of
literary and intellectual language led to an altered understanding of the meanings that underlie time-honored expressions and traditional
catchwords. At the same time, once coined, powerful new ideas attracted to themselves a whole host of seemingly unrelated issues,
practices, and experiences, creating a peculiar network of preoccupations that as a group had not existed before. The drawn-out attempt
to approach and define the unconscious brought together the spiritualist and the psychical researcher of borderline phenomena (such as
apparitions, spectral illusions, haunted houses, mediums, trance, automatic writing); the psychiatrist or alienist probing the nature of
mental disease, of abnormal ideation, hallucination, delirium, melancholia, mania; the surgeon performing operations with the aid of
hypnotism; the magnetizer claiming to correct the disequilibrium in the universal flow of magnetic fluids but who soon came to be
regarded as a clever manipulator of the imagination; the physiologist and the physician who puzzled over sleep, dreams, sleepwalking,
anesthesia, the influence of the mind on the body in health and disease; the neurologist concerned with the functions of the brain and the
physiological basis of mental life; the philosopher interested in the will, the emotions, consciousness, knowledge, imagination and the
creative genius; and, last but not least, the psychologist.
Significantly, most if not all of these practices (for example, hypnotism in surgery or psychological magnetism) originated in the waning
years of the eighteenth century and during the early decades of the nineteenth century, as did some of the disciplines (such as
psychology and psychical research). The majority of topics too were either new or assumed hitherto unknown colors. Thus, before 1790,
few if any spoke, in medical terms, of the affinity between creative genius and the hallucinations of the insane . . .
Striving vaguely and independently to give expression to a latent conception, various lines of thought can be brought together by some
novel term. The new concept then serves as a kind of resting place or stocktaking in the development of ideas, giving satisfaction and a
stimulus for further discussion or speculation. Thus, the massive introduction of the term unconscious by Hartmann in 1869 appeared to
focalize many stray thoughts, affording a temporary feeling that a crucial step had been taken forward, a comprehensive knowledge
gained, a knowledge that required only further elaboration, explication, and unfolding in order to bring in a bounty of higher understanding.
Ultimately, Hartmann’s attempt at defining the unconscious proved fruitless because he extended its reach into every realm of organic
and inorganic, spiritual, intellectual, and instinctive existence, severely diluting the precision and compromising the impact of the concept.
5. Which one of the following statements best describes what the passage is about?
A    The discovery of the unconscious as a part of the human mind.
B    The growing vocabulary of the soul and the mind, as diverse processes.
C    
The collating of diverse ideas under the single term: unconscious.
D    The identification of the unconscious as an object of psychical research.
A n s w e r : C
  
.
Page 4


CAT 2021 Slot 3
VARC
Instructions [1 - 4 ]
The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Starting in 1957, [Noam Chomsky] proclaimed a new doctrine: Language, that most human of all attributes, was innate. The grammatical
faculty was built into the infant brain, and your average 3-year-old was not a mere apprentice in the great enterprise of absorbing English
from his or her parents, but a “linguistic genius.” Since this message was couched in terms of Chomskyan theoretical linguistics, in
discourse so opaque that it was nearly incomprehensible even to some scholars, many people did not hear it. Now, in a brilliant, witty and
altogether satisfying book, Mr. Chomsky's colleague Steven Pinker . . . has brought Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman. In “The
Language Instinct” he has gathered persuasive data from such diverse fields as cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology and
speech therapy to make his points, and when he disagrees with Mr. Chomsky he tells you so. . . .
For Mr. Chomsky and Mr. Pinker, somewhere in the human brain there is a complex set of neural circuits that have been programmed
with “super-rules” (making up what Mr. Chomsky calls “universal grammar”), and that these rules are unconscious and instinctive. A half-
century ago, this would have been pooh-poohed as a “black box” theory, since one could not actually pinpoint this grammatical faculty in
a specific part of the brain, or describe its functioning. But now things are different. Neurosurgeons [have now found that this] “black box”
is situated in and around Broca’s area, on the left side of the forebrain. . . .
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution. He effectively disposes of all claims that intelligent nonhuman primates like chimps have any abilities to learn and use
language. It is not that chimps lack the vocal apparatus to speak; it is just that their brains are unable to produce or use grammar. On the
other hand, the “language instinct,” when it first appeared among our most distant hominid ancestors, must have given them a selective
reproductive advantage over their competitors (including the ancestral chimps). . . .
So according to Mr. Pinker, the roots of language must be in the genes, but there cannot be a “grammar gene” any more than there can be
a gene for the heart or any other complex body structure. This proposition will undoubtedly raise the hackles of some behavioral
psychologists and anthropologists, for it apparently contradicts the liberal idea that human behavior may be changed for the better by
improvements in culture and environment, and it might seem to invite the twin bugaboos of biological determinism and racism. Yet Mr.
Pinker stresses one point that should allay such fears. Even though there are 4,000 to 6,000 languages today, they are all sufficiently alike
to be considered one language by an extraterrestrial observer. In other words, most of the diversity of the world’s cultures, so beloved to
anthropologists, is superficial and minor compared to the similarities. Racial differences are literally only “skin deep.” The fundamental
unity of humanity is the theme of Mr. Chomsky's universal grammar, and of this exciting book.
1. Which one of the following statements best summarises the author’s position about Pinker’s book?
A    Culture and environment play a key role in shaping our acquisition of language.
B    Anatomical developments like the voice box play a key role in determining language acquisition skills.
C    The evolutionary and deterministic framework of Pinker’s book makes it racist.
D    The universality of the “language instinct” counters claims that Pinker’s book is racist.
A n s w e r : D
  
Explanation:
The fundamental unity of humanity is the theme of Mr. Chomsky's universal grammar, and of this exciting book.
Throughout the passage, the author seems to support the points made by Mr Pinker. The above line also shows that the opinion of the
author towards the book is positive, and the author does not think that the book is racist in any way, but promotes unity and
cohesion. Option D captures this point correctly and is the answer.
So according to Mr. Pinker, the roots of language must be in the genes, but there cannot be a “grammar gene” any more than there can be
a gene for the heart or any other complex body structure. This proposition will undoubtedly raise the hackles of some behavioral
psychologists and anthropologists, for it apparently contradicts the liberal idea that human behavior may be changed for the better by
improvements in culture and environment....
The book does not support that a complex anatomical structure like a 'voice box' plays a key role in determining language acquisition
skills. Nor does it support the role of culture and environment in shaping human behaviour Options A and B are eliminated.
Option C portrays the book as racist, which is directly in contradiction with the author's opinion. C is eliminated too.
  
.
    
2. According to the passage, all of the following are true about the language instinct EXCEPT that:
A    all intelligent primates are gifted with it.
B    developments in neuroscience have increased its acceptance.
C    it confers an evolutionary reproductive advantage.
D    not all intelligent primates are gifted with it.
A n s w e r : A
  
Explanation:
A half-century ago, this would have been pooh-poohed as a “black box” theory, since one could not actually pinpoint this grammatical
faculty in a specific part of the brain, or describe its functioning. But now things are different. Neurosurgeons [have now found that this]
“black box” is situated in and around Broca’s area, on the left side of the forebrain. . . .
On the other hand, the “language instinct,” when it first appeared among our most distant hominid ancestors, must have given them a
selective reproductive advantage over their competitors (including the ancestral chimps). . . .
He effectively disposes of all claims that intelligent nonhuman primates like chimps have any abilities to learn and use language.
The above excerpts provide support for Options B, C, and D respectively. Option A is in direct contradiction with Option D, and hence, is
the answer.
3. On the basis of the information in the passage, Pinker and Chomsky may disagree with each other on which one of the following
points?
A    The language instinct.
B    The inborn language acquisition skills of humans.
C    The Darwinian explanatory paradigm for language.
D    The possibility of a universal grammar.
A n s w e r : C
  
Explanation:
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution.
The passage suggests that Mr. Pinker and Mr. Chomsky agree on almost all topics. However, the above line indicates that they both
disagreed on the application of the Darwinian framework to explain language instinct. Where Mr. Pinker was in favour of the same, Mr.
Chomsky was against. Hence, Option C is the answer.
4. From the passage, it can be inferred that all of the following are true about Pinker’s book, “The Language Instinct”, EXCEPT that
Pinker:
A    draws extensively from Chomsky’s propositions.
B    disagrees with Chomsky on certain grounds.
C    
draws from behavioural psychology theories.
D    
writes in a different style from Chomsky.
A n s w e r : C
Downloaded from cracku.in
.
  
Explanation:
Since this message was couched in terms of Chomskyan theoretical linguistics, in discourse so opaque that it was nearly
incomprehensible even to some scholars, many people did not hear it. Now, in a brilliant, witty and altogether satisfying book, Mr.
Chomsky's colleague Steven Pinker . . . has brought Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman.
From the above excerpt, it is clear that Mr. Pinker's style of writing is much more comprehensible to the common man. Hence, their
writing styles are quite different. Also, the above excerpt mentions that the book brings Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman, hence, it is
clear that it draws heavily from the findings. Options A and D are eliminated.
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution.
The above excerpt shows that they both disagreed on a certain point. Hence, Option B is eliminated too.
Option C finds no mention in the passage, hence, is the answer.
       
Instructions [5 - 8 ]
The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Today we can hardly conceive of ourselves without an unconscious. Yet between 1700 and 1900, this notion developed as a genuinely
original thought. The “unconscious” burst the shell of conventional language, coined as it had been to embody the fleeting ideas and the
shifting conceptions of several generations until, finally, it became fixed and defined in specialized terms within the realm of medical
psychology and Freudian psychoanalysis.
The vocabulary concerning the soul and the mind increased enormously in the course of the nineteenth century. The enrichments of
literary and intellectual language led to an altered understanding of the meanings that underlie time-honored expressions and traditional
catchwords. At the same time, once coined, powerful new ideas attracted to themselves a whole host of seemingly unrelated issues,
practices, and experiences, creating a peculiar network of preoccupations that as a group had not existed before. The drawn-out attempt
to approach and define the unconscious brought together the spiritualist and the psychical researcher of borderline phenomena (such as
apparitions, spectral illusions, haunted houses, mediums, trance, automatic writing); the psychiatrist or alienist probing the nature of
mental disease, of abnormal ideation, hallucination, delirium, melancholia, mania; the surgeon performing operations with the aid of
hypnotism; the magnetizer claiming to correct the disequilibrium in the universal flow of magnetic fluids but who soon came to be
regarded as a clever manipulator of the imagination; the physiologist and the physician who puzzled over sleep, dreams, sleepwalking,
anesthesia, the influence of the mind on the body in health and disease; the neurologist concerned with the functions of the brain and the
physiological basis of mental life; the philosopher interested in the will, the emotions, consciousness, knowledge, imagination and the
creative genius; and, last but not least, the psychologist.
Significantly, most if not all of these practices (for example, hypnotism in surgery or psychological magnetism) originated in the waning
years of the eighteenth century and during the early decades of the nineteenth century, as did some of the disciplines (such as
psychology and psychical research). The majority of topics too were either new or assumed hitherto unknown colors. Thus, before 1790,
few if any spoke, in medical terms, of the affinity between creative genius and the hallucinations of the insane . . .
Striving vaguely and independently to give expression to a latent conception, various lines of thought can be brought together by some
novel term. The new concept then serves as a kind of resting place or stocktaking in the development of ideas, giving satisfaction and a
stimulus for further discussion or speculation. Thus, the massive introduction of the term unconscious by Hartmann in 1869 appeared to
focalize many stray thoughts, affording a temporary feeling that a crucial step had been taken forward, a comprehensive knowledge
gained, a knowledge that required only further elaboration, explication, and unfolding in order to bring in a bounty of higher understanding.
Ultimately, Hartmann’s attempt at defining the unconscious proved fruitless because he extended its reach into every realm of organic
and inorganic, spiritual, intellectual, and instinctive existence, severely diluting the precision and compromising the impact of the concept.
5. Which one of the following statements best describes what the passage is about?
A    The discovery of the unconscious as a part of the human mind.
B    The growing vocabulary of the soul and the mind, as diverse processes.
C    
The collating of diverse ideas under the single term: unconscious.
D    The identification of the unconscious as an object of psychical research.
A n s w e r : C
  
.
  
Explanation:
The passage starts by highlighting that the term 'unconscious', widely held today, came in conception not long ago. With the coining of
this term, many unrelated activities/ideas found a common umbrella under which they could be categorized and also allowed them to
prosper. The author then writes the following line, which gives us a clear conception of the main theme:
Thus, the massive introduction of the term unconscious by Hartmann in 1869 appeared to focalize many stray thoughts, affording a
temporary feeling that a crucial step had been taken forward, a comprehensive knowledge gained a knowledge that required only further
elaboration, explication, and unfolding in order to bring in a bounty of higher understanding.
Thus, the passage is about the assembly of many stray thoughts under the banner of the unconscious. Option C perfectly captures this,
and hence, is the answer.
The author does not primarily deal with the unconscious as a part of the mind. Nor does he focus upon the expansion of the vocabulary
of the mind and the soul. Thus, Options A and B can be rejected.
'Psychical research' is not the main focus of the passage. The author says that the term allowed certain 'psychic' activities to flourish. He
does not focus on the term as an object of psychical research. Hence, Option D can be eliminated too.
6. “The enrichments of literary and intellectual language led to an altered understanding of the meanings that underlie time-
honored expressions and traditional catchwords.” Which one of the following interpretations of this sentence would be closest in
meaning to the original?
A    All of the options listed here.
B    Time-honored expressions and traditional catchwords were enriched by literary and intellectual language.
C    Literary and intellectual language was altered by time-honored expressions and traditional catchwords.
D    The meanings of time-honored expressions were changed by innovations in literary and intellectual language.
A n s w e r : D
  
Explanation:
Let us try to break the sentence down and interpret its meaning:
“The enrichments of literary and intellectual language led to an altered understanding of the meanings that underlie time-honored
expressions and traditional catchwords.”
In simple words |Enrichments of language| led to |change in understanding| of | time-honoured expressions|. 
In the context of the passage, the line means that when the terms related to 'the unconscious' were coined, they enriched the vocabulary
of the language and this, in turn, changes the meanings of many old expressions related to this term.
Option D comes the closest in capturing the meaning, and hence, is the answer.
B: The meanings of the catchwords were altered. They were not enriched. Can be eliminated.
C: The catchwords did not cause a change. Their own meaning was changed. Can be eliminated.
7. Which one of the following sets of words is closest to mapping the main arguments of the passage?
A    Unconscious; Latent conception; Dreams.
B    Literary language; Unconscious; Insanity.
C    Language; Unconscious; Psychoanalysis.
D    
Imagination; Magnetism; Psychiatry.
A n s w e r : C
  
  
.
Page 5


CAT 2021 Slot 3
VARC
Instructions [1 - 4 ]
The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Starting in 1957, [Noam Chomsky] proclaimed a new doctrine: Language, that most human of all attributes, was innate. The grammatical
faculty was built into the infant brain, and your average 3-year-old was not a mere apprentice in the great enterprise of absorbing English
from his or her parents, but a “linguistic genius.” Since this message was couched in terms of Chomskyan theoretical linguistics, in
discourse so opaque that it was nearly incomprehensible even to some scholars, many people did not hear it. Now, in a brilliant, witty and
altogether satisfying book, Mr. Chomsky's colleague Steven Pinker . . . has brought Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman. In “The
Language Instinct” he has gathered persuasive data from such diverse fields as cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology and
speech therapy to make his points, and when he disagrees with Mr. Chomsky he tells you so. . . .
For Mr. Chomsky and Mr. Pinker, somewhere in the human brain there is a complex set of neural circuits that have been programmed
with “super-rules” (making up what Mr. Chomsky calls “universal grammar”), and that these rules are unconscious and instinctive. A half-
century ago, this would have been pooh-poohed as a “black box” theory, since one could not actually pinpoint this grammatical faculty in
a specific part of the brain, or describe its functioning. But now things are different. Neurosurgeons [have now found that this] “black box”
is situated in and around Broca’s area, on the left side of the forebrain. . . .
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution. He effectively disposes of all claims that intelligent nonhuman primates like chimps have any abilities to learn and use
language. It is not that chimps lack the vocal apparatus to speak; it is just that their brains are unable to produce or use grammar. On the
other hand, the “language instinct,” when it first appeared among our most distant hominid ancestors, must have given them a selective
reproductive advantage over their competitors (including the ancestral chimps). . . .
So according to Mr. Pinker, the roots of language must be in the genes, but there cannot be a “grammar gene” any more than there can be
a gene for the heart or any other complex body structure. This proposition will undoubtedly raise the hackles of some behavioral
psychologists and anthropologists, for it apparently contradicts the liberal idea that human behavior may be changed for the better by
improvements in culture and environment, and it might seem to invite the twin bugaboos of biological determinism and racism. Yet Mr.
Pinker stresses one point that should allay such fears. Even though there are 4,000 to 6,000 languages today, they are all sufficiently alike
to be considered one language by an extraterrestrial observer. In other words, most of the diversity of the world’s cultures, so beloved to
anthropologists, is superficial and minor compared to the similarities. Racial differences are literally only “skin deep.” The fundamental
unity of humanity is the theme of Mr. Chomsky's universal grammar, and of this exciting book.
1. Which one of the following statements best summarises the author’s position about Pinker’s book?
A    Culture and environment play a key role in shaping our acquisition of language.
B    Anatomical developments like the voice box play a key role in determining language acquisition skills.
C    The evolutionary and deterministic framework of Pinker’s book makes it racist.
D    The universality of the “language instinct” counters claims that Pinker’s book is racist.
A n s w e r : D
  
Explanation:
The fundamental unity of humanity is the theme of Mr. Chomsky's universal grammar, and of this exciting book.
Throughout the passage, the author seems to support the points made by Mr Pinker. The above line also shows that the opinion of the
author towards the book is positive, and the author does not think that the book is racist in any way, but promotes unity and
cohesion. Option D captures this point correctly and is the answer.
So according to Mr. Pinker, the roots of language must be in the genes, but there cannot be a “grammar gene” any more than there can be
a gene for the heart or any other complex body structure. This proposition will undoubtedly raise the hackles of some behavioral
psychologists and anthropologists, for it apparently contradicts the liberal idea that human behavior may be changed for the better by
improvements in culture and environment....
The book does not support that a complex anatomical structure like a 'voice box' plays a key role in determining language acquisition
skills. Nor does it support the role of culture and environment in shaping human behaviour Options A and B are eliminated.
Option C portrays the book as racist, which is directly in contradiction with the author's opinion. C is eliminated too.
  
.
    
2. According to the passage, all of the following are true about the language instinct EXCEPT that:
A    all intelligent primates are gifted with it.
B    developments in neuroscience have increased its acceptance.
C    it confers an evolutionary reproductive advantage.
D    not all intelligent primates are gifted with it.
A n s w e r : A
  
Explanation:
A half-century ago, this would have been pooh-poohed as a “black box” theory, since one could not actually pinpoint this grammatical
faculty in a specific part of the brain, or describe its functioning. But now things are different. Neurosurgeons [have now found that this]
“black box” is situated in and around Broca’s area, on the left side of the forebrain. . . .
On the other hand, the “language instinct,” when it first appeared among our most distant hominid ancestors, must have given them a
selective reproductive advantage over their competitors (including the ancestral chimps). . . .
He effectively disposes of all claims that intelligent nonhuman primates like chimps have any abilities to learn and use language.
The above excerpts provide support for Options B, C, and D respectively. Option A is in direct contradiction with Option D, and hence, is
the answer.
3. On the basis of the information in the passage, Pinker and Chomsky may disagree with each other on which one of the following
points?
A    The language instinct.
B    The inborn language acquisition skills of humans.
C    The Darwinian explanatory paradigm for language.
D    The possibility of a universal grammar.
A n s w e r : C
  
Explanation:
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution.
The passage suggests that Mr. Pinker and Mr. Chomsky agree on almost all topics. However, the above line indicates that they both
disagreed on the application of the Darwinian framework to explain language instinct. Where Mr. Pinker was in favour of the same, Mr.
Chomsky was against. Hence, Option C is the answer.
4. From the passage, it can be inferred that all of the following are true about Pinker’s book, “The Language Instinct”, EXCEPT that
Pinker:
A    draws extensively from Chomsky’s propositions.
B    disagrees with Chomsky on certain grounds.
C    
draws from behavioural psychology theories.
D    
writes in a different style from Chomsky.
A n s w e r : C
Downloaded from cracku.in
.
  
Explanation:
Since this message was couched in terms of Chomskyan theoretical linguistics, in discourse so opaque that it was nearly
incomprehensible even to some scholars, many people did not hear it. Now, in a brilliant, witty and altogether satisfying book, Mr.
Chomsky's colleague Steven Pinker . . . has brought Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman.
From the above excerpt, it is clear that Mr. Pinker's style of writing is much more comprehensible to the common man. Hence, their
writing styles are quite different. Also, the above excerpt mentions that the book brings Mr. Chomsky's findings to everyman, hence, it is
clear that it draws heavily from the findings. Options A and D are eliminated.
Unlike Mr. Chomsky, Mr. Pinker firmly places the wiring of the brain for language within the framework of Darwinian natural selection and
evolution.
The above excerpt shows that they both disagreed on a certain point. Hence, Option B is eliminated too.
Option C finds no mention in the passage, hence, is the answer.
       
Instructions [5 - 8 ]
The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Today we can hardly conceive of ourselves without an unconscious. Yet between 1700 and 1900, this notion developed as a genuinely
original thought. The “unconscious” burst the shell of conventional language, coined as it had been to embody the fleeting ideas and the
shifting conceptions of several generations until, finally, it became fixed and defined in specialized terms within the realm of medical
psychology and Freudian psychoanalysis.
The vocabulary concerning the soul and the mind increased enormously in the course of the nineteenth century. The enrichments of
literary and intellectual language led to an altered understanding of the meanings that underlie time-honored expressions and traditional
catchwords. At the same time, once coined, powerful new ideas attracted to themselves a whole host of seemingly unrelated issues,
practices, and experiences, creating a peculiar network of preoccupations that as a group had not existed before. The drawn-out attempt
to approach and define the unconscious brought together the spiritualist and the psychical researcher of borderline phenomena (such as
apparitions, spectral illusions, haunted houses, mediums, trance, automatic writing); the psychiatrist or alienist probing the nature of
mental disease, of abnormal ideation, hallucination, delirium, melancholia, mania; the surgeon performing operations with the aid of
hypnotism; the magnetizer claiming to correct the disequilibrium in the universal flow of magnetic fluids but who soon came to be
regarded as a clever manipulator of the imagination; the physiologist and the physician who puzzled over sleep, dreams, sleepwalking,
anesthesia, the influence of the mind on the body in health and disease; the neurologist concerned with the functions of the brain and the
physiological basis of mental life; the philosopher interested in the will, the emotions, consciousness, knowledge, imagination and the
creative genius; and, last but not least, the psychologist.
Significantly, most if not all of these practices (for example, hypnotism in surgery or psychological magnetism) originated in the waning
years of the eighteenth century and during the early decades of the nineteenth century, as did some of the disciplines (such as
psychology and psychical research). The majority of topics too were either new or assumed hitherto unknown colors. Thus, before 1790,
few if any spoke, in medical terms, of the affinity between creative genius and the hallucinations of the insane . . .
Striving vaguely and independently to give expression to a latent conception, various lines of thought can be brought together by some
novel term. The new concept then serves as a kind of resting place or stocktaking in the development of ideas, giving satisfaction and a
stimulus for further discussion or speculation. Thus, the massive introduction of the term unconscious by Hartmann in 1869 appeared to
focalize many stray thoughts, affording a temporary feeling that a crucial step had been taken forward, a comprehensive knowledge
gained, a knowledge that required only further elaboration, explication, and unfolding in order to bring in a bounty of higher understanding.
Ultimately, Hartmann’s attempt at defining the unconscious proved fruitless because he extended its reach into every realm of organic
and inorganic, spiritual, intellectual, and instinctive existence, severely diluting the precision and compromising the impact of the concept.
5. Which one of the following statements best describes what the passage is about?
A    The discovery of the unconscious as a part of the human mind.
B    The growing vocabulary of the soul and the mind, as diverse processes.
C    
The collating of diverse ideas under the single term: unconscious.
D    The identification of the unconscious as an object of psychical research.
A n s w e r : C
  
.
  
Explanation:
The passage starts by highlighting that the term 'unconscious', widely held today, came in conception not long ago. With the coining of
this term, many unrelated activities/ideas found a common umbrella under which they could be categorized and also allowed them to
prosper. The author then writes the following line, which gives us a clear conception of the main theme:
Thus, the massive introduction of the term unconscious by Hartmann in 1869 appeared to focalize many stray thoughts, affording a
temporary feeling that a crucial step had been taken forward, a comprehensive knowledge gained a knowledge that required only further
elaboration, explication, and unfolding in order to bring in a bounty of higher understanding.
Thus, the passage is about the assembly of many stray thoughts under the banner of the unconscious. Option C perfectly captures this,
and hence, is the answer.
The author does not primarily deal with the unconscious as a part of the mind. Nor does he focus upon the expansion of the vocabulary
of the mind and the soul. Thus, Options A and B can be rejected.
'Psychical research' is not the main focus of the passage. The author says that the term allowed certain 'psychic' activities to flourish. He
does not focus on the term as an object of psychical research. Hence, Option D can be eliminated too.
6. “The enrichments of literary and intellectual language led to an altered understanding of the meanings that underlie time-
honored expressions and traditional catchwords.” Which one of the following interpretations of this sentence would be closest in
meaning to the original?
A    All of the options listed here.
B    Time-honored expressions and traditional catchwords were enriched by literary and intellectual language.
C    Literary and intellectual language was altered by time-honored expressions and traditional catchwords.
D    The meanings of time-honored expressions were changed by innovations in literary and intellectual language.
A n s w e r : D
  
Explanation:
Let us try to break the sentence down and interpret its meaning:
“The enrichments of literary and intellectual language led to an altered understanding of the meanings that underlie time-honored
expressions and traditional catchwords.”
In simple words |Enrichments of language| led to |change in understanding| of | time-honoured expressions|. 
In the context of the passage, the line means that when the terms related to 'the unconscious' were coined, they enriched the vocabulary
of the language and this, in turn, changes the meanings of many old expressions related to this term.
Option D comes the closest in capturing the meaning, and hence, is the answer.
B: The meanings of the catchwords were altered. They were not enriched. Can be eliminated.
C: The catchwords did not cause a change. Their own meaning was changed. Can be eliminated.
7. Which one of the following sets of words is closest to mapping the main arguments of the passage?
A    Unconscious; Latent conception; Dreams.
B    Literary language; Unconscious; Insanity.
C    Language; Unconscious; Psychoanalysis.
D    
Imagination; Magnetism; Psychiatry.
A n s w e r : C
  
  
.
Explanation:
Unconscious is the primary focus of the passage. Since D does not have that as a main point, it can be eliminated.
Dreams find a single, small mention as an example in the passage. Hence, Option A can be eliminated too.
Insanity finds a small mention in the passage and is not a main point. Hence, Option B is incorrect.
The author initially deals with how the enrichment of vocabulary on the matter of unconscious has a deep effect and how this later
became a subject of psychoanalysis. Hence, Option C is the correct answer.
    
8. All of the following statements may be considered valid inferences from the passage, EXCEPT:
A    
Without the linguistic developments of the nineteenth century, the growth of understanding of the soul and the mind
may not have happened.
B    Eighteenth century thinkers were the first to perceive a connection between creative genius and insanity.
C    
New conceptions in the nineteenth century could provide new knowledge because of the establishment of fields such
as anaesthesiology.
D    
Unrelated practices began to be treated as related to each other, as knowledge of the mind grew in the nineteenth
century.
A n s w e r : C
  
Explanation:
The “unconscious” burst the shell of conventional language, coined as it had been to embody the fleeting ideas and the shifting
conceptions of several generations until, finally, it became fixed and defined in specialized terms within the realm of medical psychology
and Freudian psychoanalysis.
In the passage, the author has clearly outlined the importance of linguistic developments in helping the knowledge of the field grow.
Since the option is not extreme in certainty ('may' not have happened), Option A can be inferred.
Significantly, most if not all of these practices (for example, hypnotism in surgery or psychological magnetism) originated in the waning
years of the eighteenth century and during the early decades of the nineteenth century, as did some of the disciplines (such as
psychology and psychical research). The majority of topics too were either new or assumed hitherto unknown colors. Thus, before 1790,
few if any spoke, in medical terms, of the affinity between creative genius and the hallucinations of the insane . . .
From the above excerpt, we can infer that the affinity between genius and insanity was not looked into before the 18th century.
At the same time, once coined, powerful new ideas attracted to themselves a whole host of seemingly unrelated issues, practices, and
experiences, creating a peculiar network of preoccupations that as a group had not existed before.
The above excerpt and the examples the author provides after this excerpt can help us infer that as the knowledge of the mind grew,
unrelated activities found a common title. Option D can be inferred.
The passage does not imply anywhere that the new conceptions were able to provide new knowledge only because some fields were
established. Option C is out of the scope of the passage and cannot be inferred.
Instructions [9 - 12 ]
The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Back in the early 2000s, an awesome thing happened in the New X-Men comics. Our mutant heroes had been battling giant robots called
Sentinels for years, but suddenly these mechanical overlords spawned a new threat: Nano-Sentinels! Not content to rule Earth with their
metal fists, these tiny robots invaded our bodies at the microscopic level. Infected humans were slowly converted into machines, cell by
cell.
Now, a new wave of extremely odd robots is making at least part of the Nano-Sentinels story come true. Using exotic fabrication materials
like squishy hydrogels and elastic polymers, researchers are making autonomous devices that are often tiny and that could turn out to be
more powerful than an army of Terminators. Some are 1-centimetre blobs that can skate over water. Others are flat sheets that can roll
themselves into tubes, or matchstick-sized plastic coils that act as powerful muscles. No, they won’t be invading our bodies and turning
us into Sentinels - which I personally find a little disappointing - but some of them could one day swim through our bloodstream to heal
us. They could also clean up pollutants in water or fold themselves into different kinds of vehicles for us to drive. . . .
  
.
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