Below, I have argued that (or, more accurately, attempted to provoke the *Aha Erlebniss* that) the following three Tagalog sentences:

Titser ang babae.

Maganda ang lalaki.

Umalis ang babae.

…have as their most literal translation something like the following:

Some teacher one equals the woman.

Some gorgeous one equals the man.

Some having left one equals the woman.

How would these sentences be expressed in the Relational Algebra? Let me try to express “Some beautiful one equals Robert Pattinson” (I am switching from Team Jacob to Team Edward for the moment) in the Relational Algebra. (Notice I am switching from ‘the man’ to ‘Robert Pattinson’. Can I get away with this?)

A relation is a set of ordered pairs formed by taking the Cartesian Product of two sets, not necessarily distinct, and obtaining a subset (possibly identical with the entire set) of the set of ordered pairs. Let’s form a particular EQUALS relation, GORGEOUS_EQUALS_GORGEOUS, by taking the Cartesian Product of the set GORGEOUS with the set GORGEOUS, then take from that Product the set of all those ordered pairs in which each member of the pair is identical with the other. So that the relation can be more easily manipulated (conceptually), add in all the stuff necessary to turn this relation into a database relation, complete with tuples and attributes and all that good stuff.

GORGEOUS_EQUALS_GORGEOUS(0) THIS_ONE THAT_ONE Robert Pattinson Robert Pattinson Taylor Lautner Taylor Lautner Kellan Lutz Kellan Lutz Brad Pitt Brad Pitt Ashton Kutchner Ashton Kutchner

Restrict GORGEOUS_EQUALS_GORGEOUS to just the Robert Pattinson tuple:

GORGEOUS_EQUALS_GORGEOUS{THIS_ONE, THAT_ONE} where THIS_ONE = PERSON(NAME(‘Robert Pattinson’))

More attention needs to be paid to the literal selector PERSON(NAME(‘Robert Pattinson’)). Will my worries about this, unarticulated here, eventually blow up in my face?

To get the relation pictured by:

GORGEOUS_EQUALS_GORGEOUS(1a) THIS_ONE THAT_ONE Robert Pattinson Robert Pattinson

Now project on the attribute THAT_ONEi in addition to performing the RESTRICT:

GORGEOUS_EQUALS_GORGEOUS{THAT_ONE} where THIS_ONE = NAME(‘Robert Pattinson’)

To get the relation pictured by:

GORGEOUS_EQUALS_GORGEOUS(1) THAT_ONE Robert Pattinson

(Imagine the surrounding white space as regnant with the matrix from which this relation sprints, namely, the base relation GORGEOUS_EQUALS_GORGEOUS.)

The above relation expresses the proposition that is also expressed in English as:

Some gorgeous one equals Robert Pattinson.

and that is also expressed in Tagalog, I claim, as:

Maganda si Robert Pattinson.

So:

Maganda si Robert Pattinson.Some gorgous one equals Robert Pattinson

have the same semantics. (Well, would have the exact same semantics if ‘gorgeous’ were exactly equivalent to ‘maganda’, which of course may be doubtful.)

Now, in the spirit of Plato’s *Symposium (eros *for gorgeous young men inspires *eros* for the Relational Algebra and the Predicate Logic, and from there to the Form of Beauty itself), let me picture some of the members of that set which inspires my forays into the Relational Algebra. These pictures are a bit more colorful than the pictures of relations shown above.

Do I really have to choose between Team Edward and Team Jacob?

12/04/2012: Updated to remove problematic assertions about the semantics of ‘is’.

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