Although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C., the fact that the text of these Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right indicates that the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before these inscriptions were produced. After all, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and presumably, along with the alphabet, they also adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of text. And although Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction, by the eighth century B.C. Phoenician was consistently written from right to left and had been for about two centuries.


In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?


(A) The first and the second each describe evidence that has been used to challenge the position that the argument seeks to establish.


(B) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.


(C) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is a consideration that is introduced to counter the force of that evidence.


(D) The first and the second each provide evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish.


(E) The first provides evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.


Let’s understand the details of the argument.


  1. the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C.
  2. But the fact that the text of these Greek inscriptions sometimes runs from right to left and sometimes from left to right 

indicates that 

Conclusion- the Greeks adopted alphabetic writing at least two centuries before these inscriptions were produced.


3) After all, the Greeks learned alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, and presumably, along with the alphabet, they also adopted the then-current Phoenician practice with respect to the direction of the text.

4) And although Phoenician writing was originally inconsistent in direction, by the eighth century B.C. Phoenician was consistently written from right to left and had been for about two centuries.


The conclusion of the argument is that the Greeks adopted writing at least two centuries before these inscriptions (Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C.) were produced.

The first and the second BF statements are details or evidence that support the conclusion.


Let’s examine the options now.


(A) The first and the second each describe evidence that has been used to challenge the position that the argument seeks to establish.


Even though the first and the second each describe the evidence, they are not used to challenge the main point of the conclusion. Instead, they are used to support the main point of the conclusion. Eliminate A


(B) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.


The first is not evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the main point/ conclusion of the argument. Both the first and the second BF statements provide support to the main point that the argument seeks to establish. Eliminate B


(C) The first is evidence that forms the basis for an objection to the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is a consideration that is introduced to counter the force of that evidence


Same as B. Eliminate C.


(D) The first and the second each provide evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish.


The conclusion/main point of the argument is that although the earliest surviving Greek inscriptions written in an alphabet date from the eighth century B.C, the Greeks adopted writing at least two centuries before the eighth century B.C.The first and the second BF statements are details or evidence that support the conclusion. Hence D is the correct answer.


(E) The first provides evidence in support of the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second is that position.

 

The second is not the main point of the argument. Eliminate E