GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: XDF

Nahuatl, like Greek and German, is a language that allows the formation of extensive compounds. By the combination of radicals or semantic elements, single compound words can express complex conceptual relations, often of an abstract universal character.

The tlamatinime ("those who know") were able to use this rich stock of abstract terms to express the nuances of their thought. They also availed themselves of other forms of expression with metaphorical meaning, some probably original, some derived from Toltec coinages. Of these forms the most characteristic in Nahuatl is the juxtaposition of two words that, because they are synonyms, associated terms, or even contraries, complement each other to evoke one single idea. Used as metaphor, the juxtaposed terms connote specific or essential traits of the being they refer to, introducing a mode of poetry as an almost habitual form of expression.

Question List: 1 2

According to the passage, some abstract universal ideas can be expressed in Nahuatl by

  • A taking away from a word any reference to particular instances
  • B removing a word from its associations with other words
  • C giving a word a new and opposite meaning
  • D putting various meaningful elements together in one word
  • E turning each word of a phrase into a poetic metaphor

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