MTSU Linguistics Olympiad

The 13th Annual MTSU LO is on March 16, 2019.



  1. All participants must provide a signed copy (parents' signature) of the Liability and Image Release Form in order to participate.
  2. To register for the competition, please go to the registration form.
  3. Please bring payment ($18 / student participation fee) in cash or a check to the MTSU English Department on March 16.

Note: Later registrations will be possible, but we will not be able to promise t-shirts or lunch choices for late registrants.

History of the Competition

Since 2007, the English Department at Middle Tennessee State University has organized an annual competition in linguistics for middle and high school students. This competition is an excellent opportunity for students with an interest in language or logic to shine. Participants are greeted by an enthusiastic group of MTSU faculty and student volunteers, and in a two-hour written competition, they attempt to solve linguistic puzzles, none of which assumes background knowledge. While judges score the entries, we provide lunch followed by fun activities. We promise to challenge, educate, and entertain students interested in language structure and use.

The 13th Annual MTSU LO will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at MTSU.

The participation fee is due on the day of the competition and can be paid by cash or check to MTSU English Department.

Participants may compete individually or in teams of up to four students (in which case they work as a group to solve the problems). All participants will receive a competition t-shirt and winners will receive medals. We will also hold a drawing for prizes (word puzzle games and riddle books).

This year's competition is partially funded by an MTSU Public Service Grant. The participation fee is $18 / student.

We hope you will join us on March 16.


Aleka A. Blackwell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Linguistics
MTSU Linguistics Olympiad Founder

Linguistics Olympiad Logo

Thirteenth Annual MTSU Linguistics Olympiad

Do you like . . .

…solving word puzzles?
…tackling linguistic challenges?
…deciphering coded messages?

If so, join students from across Tennessee at this year’s MTSU Linguistics Olympiad. 

Compete for medals and prizes, play word games, and meet other budding linguists.

When: Saturday, March 16, 2019

Where: BAS Building, MTSU

Cost: $18