International Linguistics Olympiad in Ljubljana

From 29 July to 4 August, the International Linguistics Olympiad will be held in Slovenia, the tenth of this annual competition for secondary school students. With roots going back to 1965 in Moscow, the contest involves competitors from at least 12 countries according to this year’s website.

Also called the International Olympiad in Linguistics, the contest features linguistics problems from living and dead languages. No specific knowledge of the language is needed, but contestants must be able to use their powers of analysis and reasoning to come up with the correct answer.

Sample problems are provided, and include such languages as Aymara (aym), Basque (eus), Guarani (gug), Lalana Chinantec (cnl) and Manam (mva).

Last year’s problems included one on Menominee (mez). To learn about the preparations of the Australian team, read “It may be semantics, but linguistics can be a team event.”

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