Guess the language

Description and scope

 Guess the Language?© was designed to help players understand the axes of variation which account for the heterogeneity encountered across natural languages. It facilitates this by stimulating the comprehension of what languages have in common.

The game shows a number of deep and superficial language attributes, and illustrates how they are realized across languages that are not genealogically related. It follows the principle that every attribute must be reduced to a binary choice (i.e., attested, not attested in a given language), allowing for a game experience similar to that of the original Hasbro game “Guess who?”®, by which it was inspired.

Adapting the game

Adapting the game through the addition/removal of individual languages and features is something that both instructors and students can do with minimal manipulation of the game code, once they download the game zip file on their terminal. In order to do so, however, they will have to understand the logic behind the organization of the linguistic data and the functions of the files that constitute the structure of the game. 

We recommend that any adaptations are supervised by the instructor, following the detailed instructor’s guide to the game-code that we have prepared. In order to help the instructor explain the game-code to the students, should the need arise, we are also offering a tailor-made presentation on understanding the game code that can be used in class. We have also embedded dedicated activities to the same effect in the dedicated Upskilling your “Introduction to Language variation” course learning block on Moodle, so make sure to check it out too. 

Creative Commons License

This UPSKILLS game is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Please forward any type of feedback on this game to Margherita Pallottino from the University of Geneva

Game design

Elias Abderraziq, Molham Al-Sidawi, Angelica Cabellero, Chloe Chevalley, Gavish Kawol, Adrien Negro, Margherita Pallottino, Laura Paredes, Alexis Perillo, Genoveva Puskas, Karen Roulin, Perrine Wang

Game implementation

Marie Berthouzoz, Zayna Chanel, Chunyang Jiang, Luka Nerima