North American Computational Linguistics Open competition (NACLO) 2020

Calling local high-school students: We have an exciting competition in linguistic puzzles at the University of North Texas this January!

About the Competition

This olympiad is a contest in which high-school students solve linguistic puzzles. In solving the problems, students learn about the diversity and consistency of language, while exercising logic skills. No prior knowledge of linguistics or second languages is necessary. Professionals in linguistics, computational linguistics and language technologies use dozens of languages to create engaging problems that represent cutting edge issues in their fields. The competition has attracted top students to study and work in those same fields. It is truly an opportunity for young people to experience a taste of natural-language processing in the 21st century.

Event Date (Open Round)

Thursday, January 23, 2020
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

The competition starts promptly at 8:45 am, and will end at 12:00 pm. Please plan to arrive 30 minutes early (i.e., around 8:15 am), to allow for the time needed to find the room and sign in.


The competition will take place at the University of North Texas Discovery Park, in rooms F204 (Laboratory for Recreational Computing) and F205 (Human Intelligence and Language Technologies Lab).


Further details about the competition, including the contest rules and practice problems, are available from the central NACLO site. Top scorers in the open round of the competition will be eligible to compete in the invitational round on Thursday, March 5, 2020. Winners of the invitational round will be eligible to compete in the International Linguistics Olympiad. More information is available in the handbook for this event.

How to Register

Interested students can participate in the open round of NACLO at the University of North Texas. Participating students will have to register for the contest online with the central organization at

Day of the Event

If you are driving and someone is just dropping you off, there is no need to have a visitor parking tag. Just have your driver drive past the parking guard house and turn to the left and they can drop you off at the front door of the building (if you ride the UNT Discovery Park bus, it will also drop you off at the front of the building). If you want to park for the duration of the event, please make sure to stop at the gate to ask about visitor parking. The best place to park is probably the first parking lot in the back. From that back parking lot, you should enter the building at the door to the left of the loading docks, near the end of the soccer field. Once inside, go up the stairs and then look for the signs for the Computer Science Department. The NACLO registration desk will be right in front of F204.

PDF map of the second floor of Discovery Park.


You should bring black ink pens and pencils. You will have to write the solutions in black ink, and may use pencils only for scratch work. Blank paper can be used for scratch work; however, the final solutions should be copied into the spaces provided in the problem booklet. You may not use any electronic devices except basic wristwatches. In particular, you may not use calculators, computers, palm pilots, cell phones, pagers, or wristwatches with built-in calculators. The NACLO handbook includes more information about the event.


Participation is invited from all high-school students in the area.