Fourth International Linguistics Olympiad for Secondary School Students

First Call for Participation

Dear colleagues,

We are happy to announce the Fourth International Linguistics Olympiad for secondary school students, to take place from 1 to 6 August 2006 at the University of Tartu, Estonia. (See, you will find the University’s introductory video and the ‘For visitors’ section under general information).

The world’s First International Olympiad in Linguistics was successfully held in Borovetz, Bulgaria in September 2003 (for more information see The Second Olympiad was held in Moscow, the capital of Russia, in August 2004 ( and the Third Olympiad in Leiden, the Netherlands, in August 2005 (see The idea of holding an International Olympiad stems from a long tradition of Linguistics and Mathematics Olympiads organised in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Since 1984, linguistic contests have also been regularly held in Bulgaria. In recent years similar events have been organised in the United States, the Netherlands, Estonia, Finland and other countries.
We invite the participation of consisting of one team leader and four contestants who at the time of the Fourth International Olympiad must be registered as students at a secondary school or have graduated from secondary school in 2006. Teams may represent individual countries as well as cities (one team per city; the Organising Committee also reserves the right to impose a limit on the number of teams allowed from one country).

Those requiring a visa to enter Estonia will receive assistance with the formalities.

Competitors will need no special knowledge to solve the problem sets presented at the International Olympiad. Each set is informed by an interesting phenomenon in one or several languages. There will be two contests: an individual and a team one.

A selection of problems from past events is available at

in Russian at

in Dutch at

in Estonian at

Please send your expressions of interest to participate in the International Olympiad to Reeli Torn ( or Olga Gerassimenko ( by 15 March 2006. If possible, indicate the approximate age of the contestants and their experience, if any, in solving linguistic problems. Teams that fail to meet the expression of interest deadline will not be guaranteed a place in the contests. Teams will be notified of acceptance by 15 April 2006. The team leader must submit a final application by 31 May 2006; it must contain a list of team members, indicating their languages of preference for the problem sets of the individual contest, as well as the language of preference for the team contest.

Yours sincerely,

Renate Pajusalu
Chair of the Organising Committee
Associate Professor of General Linguistics, University of Tartu

The Organisers of the Fourth International Linguistic Olympics, Tartu 2006:
Chair of General Linguistics, Department of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics, University of Tartu
The Gifted and Talented Development Centre, University of Tartu