International Linguistics Olympiad
The International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) is one of the newest in a group of twelve International Science Olympiads. Its abbreviation IOL is deliberately chosen not to correspond to the name of the organization in any particular language, and member organizations are free to choose for themselves how to designate the competition in their own language. This olympiad furthers the fields of mathematical, theoretical, and descriptive linguistics.
The setup differs from other Science Olympiads, in that the program contains both individual and team contests. The individual contest consists of 5 problems, covering the main fields of theoretical, mathematical and applied linguistics – phonetics, morphology, semantics, etc – which must be solved in six hours.
The team contest has consisted of one extremely difficult and time-consuming problem since the 2nd IOL. Teams, which generally consist of four students, are given three to four hours to solve this problem.
Like all International Science Olympiads, its problems are translated and completed in several languages and as such must be written free of any native language constraints. In practice, this is often difficult and competitors may gain some advantage if they are familiar with one or more of the language groups which are the subject of some of the assignments. However, the most helpful ability is analytic and deductive thinking, as all solutions must include clear reasoning and justification (as in solving mathematical problems).
The first linguistic olympiad for secondary school students was organised in 1965 in Moscow, Russia, on the initiative of Alfred Zhurinsky (1938–1991), eventually a prominent philologist but then only a fifth-year student of linguistics, and under the guidance of the mathematician Vladimir Andreevich Uspensky. It was held regularly until 1982 and resumed again in 1988. Similar olympiads were founded in Bulgaria (1984),Oregon, USA (1988) and Saint Petersburg, Russia (1995). Since the foundation of the bulgarian olympiad, teams of winners of the Moscow Linguistic Olympiad have successfully competed in Bulgaria and vice versa, demonstrating good potential for international cooperation in the field.
The first edition of IOL then was realized in September, 2003, in the mountain resort Borovetz, Bulgaria, chaired by Alexander Kibrik from Moscow State University (MSU) and with the participation of six countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Netherlands and Russia. The first International Jury was composed by the professors Ivan Derzhanski (president)(Institute for Mathematics and Informatics of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Alexander Berdichevsky (MSU), Boris Iomdin (Russian Language Institute) and Elena Muravenko (Department for Russian Language, Russian State University for the Humanities).
IOL 2 was held from August 2 to 6, 2004, in the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH), in Moscow, Russia. Seven countries participated, with the first participation of Poland and Serbia and Montenegro.
IOL 4 was held from August 1 to 6, 2006, at the University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia. Chaired by Renate Pajusalu, it received also 13 teams from 9 countries, with Lithuania sending a team for the first time.
IOL 5 was held from July 31 to August 4, 2007, at the Hotel Gelios, Saint Petersburg, Russia. Chaired by Stanislav Gurevich, it received 15 teams from 9 countries; Spain, Sweden and USA came for the first time. In that year, it was decided that each country can send one or two teams, consisting of four students each, with the first team's costs fully covered by the host country. Also, the host country could send a third team.
IOL 6 was held from August 4 to 9, 2008, at the Sunny Beach Resort, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. Chaired by Iliana Raeva, it gathered 16 teams from 11 countries, including the first time for Germany, Slovenia and South Korea. The Problem Committee was chaired by Ivan Derzhanski.
IOL 7 was held from July 26 to 31, 2009, at the University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland. Chaired by Michał Śliwiński, it received 23 teams from 17 countries, with Australia, United Kingdom, India and Ireland sending teams for the first time. The Problem Committee was chaired by Todor Tchervenkov (University of Lyon, France).
IOL 8 was held from July 19 to 24, 2010, at Östra Real Hostel, Stockholm, Sweden. Chaired by Hedvig Skigård, it received 26 teams from 18 countries, including first time for Norway and Singapore. The Problem Committee was chaired by Alexander Piperski.
IOL 9 was held from July 25 to 30, 2011, at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. Chaired by Lori Levin, it received 27 teams from 19 countries, including Brazil, Canada, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam for the first time. The Problem Committee was chaired by Adam Hesterberg.
IOL 10 was held from July 29 to August 4, 2012, at the University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Chaired by Mirko Vaupotic, it received 34 teams from 26 countries, first time for China, Greece, Hungary, Israel and Japan. The Problem Committee was chaired by Ivan Derzhanski.
|2||2004||Moskva, Russia||July 31 – Aug 2||7||43||here|
|3||2005||Leiden, The Netherlands||9||50|
|4||2006||Tartu, Estonia||Aug 1–6||9||51||here|
|5||2007||Sankt-Peterburg, Russia||July 31 – Aug 4||9||61||here|
|6||2008||Slantchev Bryag, Bulgaria||Aug 4–9||11||63||here|
|7||2009||Wrocław, Poland||July 26–31||17||86||here|
|8||2010||Stockholm, Sweden||July 19–24||18||99||here|
|9||2011||Pittsburgh, USA||July 24–30||19||102||here|
|10||2012||Ljubljana, Slovenia||July 29 – Aug 4||26||131||here|
Details of IOL problems by years
The first IOL in 2003 was held in Borovets, Bulgaria. The five problems at the individual contest concerned Jacob Linzbach's "Transcendental algebra" writing system, Egyptian Arabic, Adyghe, and French. The team contest consisted of three problems, on Tocharian, the use of subscripts as indices, and on performative verbs. The problems (with solutions) are available in various languages online.
IOL 4 (2006) was held in Tartu, Estonia. The five problems at the individual contest were in Lakhota, Catalan, Khmer, Udihe and Ngoni (or Chingoni), a language spoken by the Ngoni people in Tanzania. The problems (with solutions) are available in various languages online.
IOL 5 (2007) was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The five problems at the individual contest were in Braille, Movima, Georgian, Ndom, and correspondences between Turkish and Tatar. The team problem was in Hawaiian and focused on genealogical terms. Results are shown on the official web site. The problems (with solutions) are available in various languages at the same site.
IOL 6 (2008) was held in Sunny Beach (Slantchev Bryag), Bulgaria. The five individual problems were in Micmac, Old Norse poetry (specificially, drottkvætt), Drehu and Cemuhî correspondences, Copainalá Zoque, and Inuktitut. The team problem was about correspondences between Mandarin and Cantonese using the fanqie system. The problems (with solutions) are available in various languages online.
IOL 7 (2009) was held in Wrocław, Poland, from July 26 to 30. The subject matter of the five individual problems covered: numerals in the Sulka language, Maninka and Bamana languages in the N'Ko and Latin scripts, traditional Burmese names and their relation with dates of birth, stress position in Old Indic and the relation between grammar and morphology in classical Nahuatl. The team problem was in Vietnamese. The problems (with solutions) are available for download in various languages.
IOL 8 (2010) was held in Stockholm, Sweden, from July 19 to 23. The individual contest consisted of five problems covering: relations between various verb forms in Budukh, the Drehu counting system, Blissymbolics, mRNA coding, and the connection between Sursilvan and Engadine dialects in Romansh. The team problem involved translating extracts from a monolingual Mongolian dictionary. The problems (with solutions) are available in various languages online.
IOL 9 (2011) was held in Pittsburgh, USA, from July 25 to 30. The problems of the individual contest required reasoning about Faroese orthography, Menominee morphology, Vai syntax, Nahuatl semantics and the structure of the barcode language EAN-13. The team contest involved the rules and structure of Sanskrit poetry.
IOL 10 (2012) was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from July 29 to August 5. The five problems at the individual contest were in Dyirbal (Pama-Nyungan), Umbu-Ungu (Trans-New Guinea), Basque (Isolate), Teop (Austronesian), and Rotuman (Austronesian). The team problem was in Lao (Tai-Kadai).
|2003||Borovets, Bulgaria||Alexandra Petrova
|2004||Moscow, Russia||Ivan Dobrev
|2005||Leiden, Netherlands||Ivan Dobrev
|2006||Tartu, Estonia||Maria Kholodilova
|2007||Saint Petersburg, Russia||Adam Hesterberg
|2008||Slanchev Bryag, Bulgaria||Alexander Daskalov
|2009||Wrocław, Poland||Diana Sofronieva
||Min Kyu Kim
||Pedro Neves Lopes
|Nbr||Year||Location||Team Gold||Team Silver||Team Bronze||Winning team in individual competition|
|3||2005||Leiden, The Netherlands||Netherlands||Russia-Moscow||Russia-StPetersburg||Bulgaria-1|
|6||2008||Slantchev Bryag, Bulgaria||USA-2
- IOL official website
- "First International Olympiad in Linguistics (2003)". Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Moskow State University. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "History of Linguistic Challenges". North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "IOL 2003". International Linguistics Olympiad official website. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "Second International Linguistic Olympiad (2004)". Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Moskow State University. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "Fourth International Linguistics Olympiad for Secondary School Students". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "The Fifth International Linguistics Olympiad". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "6th International Linguistics Olympiad". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "7th International Olympiad in Linguistics". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "IOL10". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "IOL 2011: Venue". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "It may be semantics, but linguistics can be a team event". The Age. Australia. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
See also↑Jump back a section
- IOL official website
- Borovetz, 2003 – Official website
- Moscow, 2004 – Official website
- Leiden, 2005 – Official website
- Tartu, 2006 – Official website
- St. Petersburg, 2007 – Official website
- Slanchev Bryag, 2008 – Official website
- Wrocław, 2009 – Official website
- Stockholm, 2010 – Official website
- Pittsburgh, 2011 – Official website