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The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) is an annual competition in which high school students solve linguistics problems drawn from a variety of languages. Only logic and reasoning skills are necessary; no prior knowledge of particular languages or of linguistics is required. You can see examples of the sort of problems involved here.

There is an Open Round in which anyone can participate. Those who do well in the open round are invited to participate in a second, Invitational Round, and the top scoring students in the invitational round are considered for spots on the US team that competes at the International Linguistics Olympiad.

The home page for NACLO is

NACLO is run by faculty members at the University of Michigan and Carnegie-Mellon University.

[edit] Participating locally

The Open Round competition takes place at contest sites across the country. The University of Michigan Linguistics department is one of the contest sites. This year, the Open Round takes place:

  • Date: Thursday, Jan 24, 2019
  • Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Participants should arrive 15 minutes ahead of time - the competition starts promptly at 10:00, and we will go over rules and any questions beforehand.
  • Place: Vandenberg Room, Michigan League, second floor.

To participate, you just need to register at the NACLO web site. Do register early - there is a cap on the number of participants we can accommodate, and registrations are accepted first-come first-served.

If you have questions about the local contest site, please send email to

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