Providing Sources and Answers in NACLO Problem Submissions


The questions below are intended for authors who are submitting problems to NACLO. Answering the questions is optional—you should feel free to submit problems even if you don’t feel like answering these questions. However, if you do answer the questions, it will make our lives easier—and that will make us more likely to use your problem(s)!

The easiest way to answer the questions is by providing the information in an extra page (or pages) inside your problem submission. If that doesn’t work for you, you can instead email us at

The questions

Question 1: Sources. What source(s) did you use for the data in the problem? We ask for this information because we aim to verify the accuracy of any materials we release. The more detail you can provide, the better (e.g., you could provide page numbers for the specific sentences that you used, or page numbers describing the rules that you focused on). See the bottom of this page for more details and examples.

Question 2: Answers. What are the answers to your problem? It’s especially helpful if you include a description of the linguistic information behind the answers. E.g., if the problem is about syntax, you could provide a brief description of the syntax rules that drive the problem; or if the problem is about a writing system, you could provide a key showing how each symbol in the writing system corresponds to phonetic characters or Roman letters. Note that such descriptions do not need to be elaborate—often a simple table is sufficient. And if you don’t have time to provide a full description of the rules, it is still helpful to provide the answers to the questions.

More details about providing your sources

If you used published sources, please point us to these sources and describe how you used them in as much detail as possible. Ideally, we will be able to figure out where each example came from, so anything that helps us toward this goal is much appreciated. Here are some types of information that are especially helpful:

Here are examples of what a description of your sources might look like:

If the data have been verified by a native speaker of the language, or by a linguist who is an expert in the language, please let us know. (The native speaker or linguist could be you, or someone else whom you consulted with.) Some of our best problems have been created by, or in consultation with, native speakers or expert linguists. To be clear, it is not necessary for you to consult with an expert—but if you have done so, it is helpful for us to know about it!

For some problems, sources may not be needed; e.g., this is often the case for computational problems that use exclusively English data. In such cases, feel free to write "Sources: Not applicable" in your problem submission.