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Linguistic Enigmatography

Linguistic Enigmatography


This workshop is about transforming linguistic data into logic puzzles for use in contests, entertainment, or education. We are focusing specifically on creating puzzles for high school linguistic Olympiad contests. The workshop is held in five evening sessions so that participants have time to debug and validate each others puzzles.

Linguistic Olympiad puzzles are typically pencil-and-paper puzzles that can be solved using only analytic skills with no pre-requisite knowledge of the language or linguistic phenomenon. Inventories of puzzles and solutions can be found at: (under Past Contests) and (under Practice Problems).

Linguistics Olympiads introduce high school students to linguistics before they go to college. Linguistic Olympiads have been held since 1965 in Moscow ( More than 25 countries now have high school linguistics Olympiads and participate annually in the International Linguistics Olympiad. Because puzzles cannot be re-used after solutions are published, there is a large world-wide need for new puzzles annually.

High school students may not attend this workshop because we will create puzzles for linguistics Olympiads. If there is demand, we can organize a separate workshop for high school students.

You should attend this workshop if any (not necessarily all) of the following are applicable:

1. You want to introduce high school students to linguistics.

2. You enjoy solving logic puzzles.

3. You enjoy making logic puzzles or you would like to learn how to make logic puzzles.

4. You have linguistic data or computational techniques (e.g., finite state machines, context free grammars, parsing algorithms, machine translation, text compression) that you want to make into a puzzle with help from experts.

5. You want to join the organizing committee of the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (, or a linguistics Olympiad in another country, or you want to find out how to start a linguistics Olympiad in another country.

For more information visit

If you plan on attending the workshop, please email and so that we can get an estimate of attendance levels


Monday, July 13, 2015 - 5:00pm to Friday, July 17, 2015 - 6:00pm


Rosenwald 405
1101-11 E. 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

Speakers / Organizers: