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There are a lot of natural languages. Some of them have written scripts. Decipherment implies some familiarity with candidate languages (although significant steps can be taken even without a candidate language in mind). You will be required to give a short presentation (~10 minutes) on a particular language that has a written script and that you do not speak natively, e.g., Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Hindi, Italian, or Maltese.

You should prepare three to six slides for your presentation, covering language facts (demographics, location, etc.) important linguistic characteristics (orthography, morphology, syntax), computational efforts such as resources, tools, papers and most important the script and how it maps to the spoken language. For instance, how many entries are there about the language in the World Atlas of Language Structures and what are the features of the language?

Be creative and have fun. Asking for help from native speakers or language experts is great. But you are ultimately responsible for the presentation.

Nizar Habash inspired this assignment. For inspiration, check out: