1. Introduction

1.1 Definition of the APLO

The Asia Pacific Linguistics Olympiad (henceforth ‘the APLO’ or ‘the contest’) is an international linguistics competition for secondary school students in solving self-sufficient linguistic problems.

For the purpose of the APLO, the Asia-Pacific region is defined as the geographical region roughly including East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and Oceania.

1.2 Aims of the APLO

The APLO pursues the following aims:

  • To escalate attention and awareness towards language and linguistics among pre-university students and the general public in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • To enhance the cooperation between teachers and experts involved in school linguistics and to motivate the launching of new linguistic contests in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • To promote the participation of pre-university students from the Asia-Pacific region in local and international linguistics contests, including the International Linguistics Olympiad (henceforth ‘IOL’);
  • To enrich the genre of linguistics problems and the general awareness by bringing forth the work of linguists from the Asia-Pacific region or languages of the Asia-Pacific region;
  • To develop logical thinking and an appreciation for language among pre-university students.

2. Organisation of the APLO

2.1 Contest Format

The APLO is a one-day paper-based contest occurring annually between March and May. Individuals compete within their home countries. There is no team contest. The contest runs for five hours, within which contestants are asked to solve five problems featuring language, logic, and linguistics.

• Each delegation must run one or more official contest site(s) that is/are fully supervised by the invigilator(s) designated by the local organizers. All contestants must sit the contest at one of the official contest sites.

• In extraordinary circumstances, remote participation may be allowed. Any “remote participation” must be approved by the Board yearly and must be announced to the Board at least 1 month before the official contest date.

2.2 Accreditation

Countries or regions seeking to participate for the first time should seek accreditation from the International Board. Accreditation can be sought at any time, but the deadline for a particular year must be met to guarantee participation in the upcoming APLO.

To be accredited, Local Organizers should either (a) be local organizers of a country or region that is accredited by the IOL or (b) fulfill the following criteria:

  • must not be an individual;
  • have a general contact for local inquiries (an email address, and, preferably, a website or social media page);
  • have at least one person (coordinator) who arranges the contest and serves as a point of contact with the board and at least one person (jury) who can translate the problems and mark the papers and send back to the International Jury;
  • advertise the contest to a non-negligible number of students, and report the results to the board. If the country or region has a first round before the APLO, they should mention the APLO on the notice of their national contest.

2.3 Yearly Schedule

Beginning of OctoberInvitation to the upcoming APLO. Accreditation process opens.
End of JanuaryAccreditation process closes; Working language claiming deadline.
4 weeks before APLOFinalization of the problem set (by International Jury)
2 weeks before APLOAPLO problem package distributed to Local Organizers.
March – AprilAPLO
Within 2 weeks from APLOFinalization and publication of the results
July – AugustGrand annual meeting of APLO (All delegations, including guests, are invited)

2.4 Candidate Selection and Eligibility

Candidates are eligible for the APLO if and only if they are eligible for the IOL in the same year. Local organizers are free to choose the number of candidates participating in APLO as a part of their delegation. However, only the top eight candidates from each delegation will be awarded and recorded as official participants.

2.5 Contest Invigilation and Grading

It is the responsibility of local organizers to ensure the fairness of the APLO being hosted in their region.

Once the official contest has concluded, local organizers will receive solutions and grading schemes. It is the responsibility of local organizers and local jury to grade the solutions of their delegation and send the results to the International Jury by the published deadline, according to the specific Rules and Guidelines for Local Organisers and Rules and Guidelines for Local Jury.

Systems will be set up during both the contest and grading period to address local organizers’ questions and concerns.

2.6 Guest delegations

Any country or region from outside the Asia-Pacific region is welcome to take part in APLO as a guest country. Guest delegations may be accredited by the same process as official delegations.

Regulations specific to guest delegations follow:

  • contestants are given certificates of participation but not awards;
  • contests must start during or after the official starting time of APLO, and must conclude no later than two weeks after the official APLO has concluded.

2.7 Languages

Each delegation has the right to claim one local language to be added to the official languages of the APLO. To do so, the delegation must:

  1. recommend a member to the International Jury who has the competence to translate problems into the claimed language, and
  2. have Local Jury with the ability to grade submissions written in the claimed language.

Each delegation should claim their working language on an yearly basis, before the deadline, even if that language has already been used in the previous APLO editions.

Every contestant, regardless of the region they represent or are located in for the contest, has the right to choose any working language from among the official languages of the APLO. No choice of working language will cause an advantage or disadvantage.

2.8 Award guidelines

Medals and honourable mentions will be assigned according to the following scheme.

• Let m and s be the mean and the standard deviation of all official participants (i.e. top 8 participants from each official delegation, excluding guest countries). Then:

  • m + s is the cut-off score for Gold medals;
  • m is the cut-off score for Silver medals;
  • m − s is the cut-off score for Bronze medals.

The actual cut-off scores can be adjusted at the International Jury chair’s discretion based on the distribution of the scores.

• The Maximum number of medals within a delegation:

  • Gold ≤ 1;
  • Gold + Silver ≤ 4;
  • Gold + Silver + Bronze ≤ 8

Official participants who have not received a medal will be awarded Honorable Mentions.

3. Bodies of the APLO

Following are the bodies that constitute the APLO, and their responsibilities.

3.1 International Board

The International Board of the APLO

  • establishes and amends constitutions of the APLO,
  • internationally coordinates the competition,
  • accredits the delegations, and
  • shall be (re-)elected every year, at the grand annual meeting where all delegations are present.

For APLO 2024, the members of the International Board of APLO are: Minkyu Kim (General Chair), Simona Klemenčič (Public Relations Chair), Suhaimi Ramly, Shu-Kai Hsieh, Vlad A. Neacșu, Hoju Cha (International Jury Chair).

3.2 Local Organizers

Local Organizers for each delegation

  • represent the delegation and locally coordinate the competition,
  • advertise the APLO in the region they represent, and
  • distribute certificates after the results are published.

3.3 International Jury (Problem Committee)

The International Jury of the APLO

  • creates the problem set in all official languages,
  • collects and verifies the results reported by Local Jury, and
  • awards contestants according to the award guidelines of APLO.

3.4 Local Jury

The Local Jury of each delegation

  • marks the submissions of that particular delegation and reports the scores to the International Jury.

This document is subject to amendment, conditional upon approval by a majority vote at the General Meeting. Any of the above regulations may be subject to temporary exceptions, granted by the Board, in the face of special circumstances surrounding the organization of the next Olympiad. Any such exceptions expire after the next Olympiad has concluded.

[End of Document]

Last modified 16 July 2023

Approved at the 2023 General Meeting