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

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


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: January 28th, 2021
  • The Ann Arbor site will not host the test this year, but we encourage you to register to take the exam online from home. Registration opens on September 15th.

To participate, you just need to register at the NACLO web site. If you have questions about the local contest site, please send email to