BYU North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad 2019

The overall organization

NACLO is an abbreviation for the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. It is a fun and educational contest for high school (and younger) students that has them solve linguistics problems drawn from a variety of languages (natural and artificial). Though no prior knowledge of particular languages or of linguistics is required, a good knowledge of logic, reasoning, and problem solving skills is helpful.

The first round of NACLO competition is held locally at various locations in the U.S. and Canada. Students who score well on the test advance to a second invitational round of competition.

The Computational Linguistics Olympiad is a worldwide movement which began in Moscow in the 1960's. The U.S. first entered the competition in 1998. Teams from many other places of the world, including a team of top-scoring students from the U.S. NACLO, compete in the worldwide championship.

Last year

In 2018 some 1,766 high school students from across the USA and Canada competed in the twelfth annual North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. The 2018 competions featured problems about Gilbertese, Northern and Central Pame, Albanian, Palauan, Vietnamese, the N’ko script, Menya, Chalcatongo Mixtec, Sinhalese, Nivkh, Fijian, Tamil, Beja, as well as more computational problems such as synchronic context-free grammars and tokenization, semantic ambiguities, phonological assimilation, and shift-reduce parsers. The top 192 students (roughly 10% of all participants) advanced to the invitational round, a more difficult five-hour test. The top eight NACLO winners from the U.S. advanced to the International Olympiad of Linguistics, held in Prague, Czech Republic.

Participate this year!

For the eighth year in a row, BYU will host a local session of the NACLO competition. If you're a high school student (or even a middle school student) you can participate in the competition here at BYU. To find out more, consult the "Local information" menu above. When you're ready to register, click on the button below.