Don't look for questions in anything as mundane as French, Spanish or Mandarin at the International Linguistics Olympiad this week at Carnegie Mellon University.
Organizers of the competition prefer their puzzlers in rarefied scripts including Japanese braille, Kazakh, Yoda speak (for the Star Wars character's unique chatter) and button talk, a made-up language that uses a series of four buttons to represent alphabetical characters.
"It's fun. You can, without any previous knowledge of a language, solve a problem," said Canadian national team member William Zehang, 17, of Vancouver, British Columbia.
This is the first time the 9-year-old competition, which …