I just discovered a Russian Internet Linguistics Olympiad. Even though most linguistics problems are not translatable, this time we are lucky. My favorite problem from this Olympiad is related to chemical elements — their names in Russian have the same logical structure as in English. Keep in mind, the problem doesn’t assume any knowledge of chemistry. Here is the problem:
The formulae for chemical elements and their names are given below in mixed order:
C3H8, C4H6, C3H4, C4H8, C7H14, C2H2;
Heptene, Butine, Propane, Butene, Ethine, Propine.
- Match the formulae with their names. Explain your solution.
- Write the names of the elements with the following formulae: C2H4, C2H6, C7H12.
- Write the formulae for the following elements: Propene, Butane.