I am looking to write the present the rules of Aristotelian syllogistic logic in a language that would be unfamiliar to my mostly-American students. So I thought I would do it in an OVS or OSV language. So I would like to have a translation of something like

From All x are y and Some z are x, infer Some z are y

I'd be especially interested to find a language in which the translation of All x are y has y in the sentence before x.

Can anyone here help?

  • 1
    Does it need to be a natural language, or would making up your own notation work too? OVS and OSV languages are extremely rare in the real world, so it may be hard to find one that's also easy for Americans to write/pronounce, doesn't inflect its words in complicated ways, etc.
    – Draconis
    Jan 31, 2021 at 17:55
  • The help that we can offer is that OSV and OVS are so rare that nobody that knows such a real language is here. But Klingon is OSV, and surely there are "native speakers" in your class.
    – user6726
    Jan 31, 2021 at 18:00
  • How about from X and Y are always the same infer X and Y are sometimes the same? And reverse. Quantifiers don't always work the way they do in IE languages.
    – jlawler
    Jan 31, 2021 at 19:51
  • 1
    I prefer a natural language; otherwise, I could make up my own as Draconis points out. I do have the rules of logic in Klingon and in Nyanja (=Chichewa). I am teaching about 'formal inference' as something one should be able to do without knowing the meaning of anything involved, as a computer would do. So I would like a lg which is syntactically different from English regarding the order of the terms x and y. I maybe could use an example like the one jlawler suggests (maybe you remember me from the past, John?), but only if it'd be hard to guess the meaning.
    – Larry Moss
    Jan 31, 2021 at 21:01
  • 2
    @LarryMoss You don’t need a completely OSV or OVS language to get y before x in the sentence ‘All x are y’. Although generally VSO, Goidelic languages (so Irish, Scottish and Manx Gaelic) have the rather unusual quality that classificatory (though not identificatory) copular constructions are VCS rather than VSC, so they will do just fine; e.g., Irish ‘Is y é gach x’ or ‘Is y iad na x go léir’. Feb 1, 2021 at 0:16


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