The use of the word "vocabulary" (line 23) serves primarily to

ankita96 on August 10, 2020

Ans Choice B

Hi, I was confused between B and D and ended up wasting up a lot of time making the choice.Not sure I still understand why. Could you please help me out. Thanks in advance!

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shunhe on August 11, 2020

Hi @ankita96,

Thanks for the question! So we’re asked here about how the author uses the word “vocabulary” in line 23, so we should go to that line and read above and below it in order to understand the full context of the usage. What’s being said there? Well, we’re told that birds lose mastery of their developed “vocabulary,” and their songs become unstable like juvenile birds. So what’s the “vocabulary” here? Well, look above at lines 19-20. We’re talking overall about bird songs, so the above lines talk about how the songs get more structured and stable, and are fully developed during the first breeding season, but that repertoire of song isn’t permanently learned. So the “vocabulary” is talking about the developed song. And so why does the passage use the word “vocabulary”? Well, at the beginning of the paragraph, we’re drawing a connection between how young canaries learn to sing and how humans learn to speak. So “vocabulary” makes more salient the connection being drawn between human language and the songs. And so that’s what (D) tells us and why it’s right in the end.

(B), on the other hand, is incorrect because it tells us that the word “vocabulary” is to point out a similarity between the patterned groupings of sounds in a canary’s song and the syllabic structures of words. But does the author ever say that the patterned groupings of sounds in the songs and the syllabic structure of words are similar? No, the author never says that. The similarity being drawn is between how humans learn to speak and how canaries learn to sing, not how the languages vs. songs actually sound. And that’s what makes (B) wrong.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.

ankita96 on August 12, 2020

okay thanks that helped!