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    #1

    TOefl reading 2004-01

    Question 22-31

    The languages spoken by early Europeans are still shrouded in mystery. There is no linguistic continuity between the languages of Old Europe (a term sometimes used for Europe between 7000 and 3000 B.C.) and the languages of the modem world, and we cannot yet translate the Old European script, Scholars have deciphered other ancient languages , such as Sumerian, Akkadian, and Babylonian, which used the cuneiform script, because of the fortuitous discovery of bilingual inscriptions, When cuneiform tablets were first discovered in the eighteenth century, scholars could not decipher them. Then inscriptions found in baa at the end of the eighteenth century provided a link: these inscriptions were written in cuneiform and in two other ancient languages, Old Persian and New Elamite--languages that had already been deciphered. It took several decades, but scholars eventually translated the ancient cuneiform script via the more familiar Old Persian language.


    Similarly, the hieroglyphic writing of the Egyptians remained a mystery until French troops unearthed the famous Rosetta stone in the late eighteenth century. The stone carried the same message written in ancient Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Egyptian hieratic, a simplified form of hieroglyphs. The Rosetta stone thwarted scholars' efforts for several
    decades until the early nineteenth century when several key hieroglyphic phrases were decoded using the Greek inscriptions. Unfortunately, we have no Old European Rosetta stone to chart correspondences between Old European script and the languages that replaced it.



    23. According to the passage, New Elamite is:

    (A) a language that was written in the cuneiform script
    (B) a modem language that came from Old Persian
    (C) one of the languages spoken by the Old Europeans
    (D) a language that was understood by the late eighteenth century

    I chose A but the answer is D. Why?
    These inscriptions were written in cuneiform and in two other ancient languages, Old Persian and New Elamite[
    That language was understood but the passage doesn't state that it was by the late eighteenth century.

    28. According to the passage, which of the following is true of the Rosetta stone?
    (A) It was found by scholars trying to decode anscient language.
    (B) It contains two versions of hieroglyphic script.
    (C) Several of its inscriptions were decoded within a few months of its discovery.
    (D) Most of its inscriptions have still not been decoded.

    I chose D but the answer is B. I doubt it...what do you say ?
    Last edited by san2612; 09-Jun-2011 at 15:02.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: TOefl reading 2004-01

    Question 23:
    Quote Originally Posted by san2612 View Post
    According to the passage, New Elamite is:

    (A) a language that was written in the cuneiform script
    (B) a modem language that came from Old Persian
    (C) one of the languages spoken by the Old Europeans
    (D) a language that was understood by the late eighteenth century

    I chose A but the answer is D. Why?

    When cuneiform tablets were first discovered in the eighteenth century, scholars could not decipher them. Then inscriptions found in baa at the end of the eighteenth century provided a link: these inscriptions were written in cuneiform and in two other ancient languages, Old Persian and New Elamite--languages that had already been deciphered.

    It does not say that New Elamite was written in the cuneiform, but it does say that it had been deciphered, translated
    .


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    #3

    Re: TOefl reading 2004-01

    23
    When cuneiform tablets were first discovered in the eighteenth century, scholars could not decipher them. Then inscriptions found in baa at the end of the eighteenth century provided a link: these inscriptions were written in cuneiform and in two other ancient languages, Old Persian and New Elamite--languages that had already been deciphered.
    I don't get it. I think that Old Persian and New Elamite were deciphered before the end of the eighteenth century. And they were written in cuneiform.

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    #4

    Re: TOefl reading 2004-01

    Quote Originally Posted by san2612 View Post
    I don't get it. I think that Old Persian and New Elamite were deciphered before the end of the eighteenth century. And they were written in cuneiform.
    "... these inscriptions were written in cuneiform and in two other ancient languages, Old Persian and New Elamite"

    The inscriptions were written in cuneiform and (they were also written) in two other languages, OP and NE. So, we have the cuneiform passages and we have the OP and NE passages.

    It is just about possible to understand that they were writen in both cuneiform and in OP and NE, but this is very unlikely, given the other information.

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    #5

    Re: TOefl reading 2004-01

    The inscriptions were written in cuneiform and in two other languages.

    New Elamite is one of these other languages. Other meaning not cuneiform.

    The other languages helped to decode what the cuneiform was saying.

    And this happened in the 18th century, so those other languages must have been understood by then. By then means at some point in time before that. Since they used these to help understand the cuneiform, they must have been understood at that time.

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