MTSU Linguistics Competition

Our contest returns to MTSU on Saturday, April 20, 2024!


Registration Deadline: Monday, March 25, 2024 *

Please Note

  • All participants must provide a signed copy (parents' signature) of the Liability and Image Release Form in order to participate.
  • To register for the competition, please complete the registration form by March 25, 2024.
  • Please bring payment ($20 / student participation fee) in cash or a check to the MTSU English Department on April 20.

* Later registrations will be possible, but we will not be able to promise t-shirts for late registrants.

The MTSU Linguistics Competition, now in its 17th year, is a competition for middle and high school students with an interest in language and a fascination with puzzles.  The competition is designed to challenge, educate, and entertain those interested in language structure and use. This competition is an excellent opportunity for students with an interest in language or logic to shine.  The competition is sponsored by the MTSU Department of English and organized by Dr. Aleka Blackwell, co-chair of the North American Computational Linguistics Competition.

The competition consists of linguistic puzzles representing languages from around the world and lasts approximately three hours. The puzzles do not assume background knowledge. All of the data needed to solve the puzzles are supplied. Participants can choose to compete individually or in teams of 2 or 4 students. Teams can represent individual schools or consist of friends who want to compete together.

Following the competition, while judges score the entries, participants have lunch at McCallie Dining Hall and then participate in enrichment acitivities related to linguistics.  All participants will receive a competition t-shirt. The top-scorers in each category will receive medals. We will also hold a drawing for prizes.

The participation fee is $20 per student, is due on the day of the competition, and can be paid by cash or check to MTSU English Department.  Make sure you are registered for the 17th Annual MTSU LC by March 25, 2024.  If you have questions, contact Aleka Blackwell.

We look forward to spending the day with you on April 20!

Aleka A. Blackwell, Ph.D.

17th Annual MTSU Linguistics Competition

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 Competition. 

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

When: April 20, 2024

Where: BAS Building, MTSU

Cost: $20

For safety reasons, participants and chaperones will be asked to wear face masks during the morning welcome, the break activities, and the awards ceremony. That is when a large number of people are gathered in close proximity indoors.