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North American Computational Linguistics Open Competition


  Why participate in the Linguistics Open Competition?

  • Ever wanted to try deciphering an ancient script, decoding Swahili, or counting in Indonesion?
  • Now you can do it! No prior knowledge of linguistics required, just some curiosity and basic problem-solving skills.
  • Compete for a chance to go to the international competition and meet participants from all over the world.
  • And it's free!
  • Try out the problems on this page--we posted a link to solutions below (you can also download the three problems on our PDF icon flyer.




What is North American Computational Linguistics Open Competition (NACLO)?

If you're interested in language and enjoy problem-solving, come participate in the North American Computational Linguistics Open Competition.  NACLO is a fun and educational contest  for students in grades 6-12 in which you will solve linguistics problems from a variety of languages (natural and artificial).  No prior knowledge of linguistics or any particular language is required.  All you need to bring is your curiosity and enthusiasm!

The first round of the contest will take place on Thursday, January 23, 2020 from 10am to 1pm  (for the Location see below).  Students who perform well on the first round will be invited back for a second invitational round, to take place on March 5 2020.  The Canadian winners of the invitational round will be eligible to represent Canada at the International Linguistics Olympiad. More information about the competition can be found at at the official NACLO website.

If you are interested in entering the French version of the competition in Canada, please visit this website:






Training Session

Curious? Want to learn more and see some example problems?

If you're interested in participating in an information and training session let us know (naclo.montreal [at]!



Registration Deadline:  January 22, 2020, noon PST (on-site registration may be possible, but be there 30min early).

Registration is free, you can register here



On the day of competition: January 23 2020

The competition will take place at McGill:

TIME: 10am-13pm

PLACE:  Department of Linguistics, 1085 Dr. Penfield Ave., Room 104

Please arrive 15 minutes early and allow time to find the room. There will be signs to the appropriate room


Who's organizing this?

The olympiad is organized by linguists at universities across the continent. You can learn more at the general NACLO website.

This year's Olympiad in Montréal is organized by faculty and students in the Montreal area.

You can reach us at naclo.montreal [at]




 Solutions to the Problems

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