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Technical Information

The information below is subject to multiple revisions. Research is ongoing, and current classifications are only temporary.

Linguistics Subjects:

Disclaimer: definitions in ” ” are formal definitions of the subject, the following sentences is how they have been interpreted in the context of UKLO questions and how they have been classified in the table.

Morphology: “the study of the forms of words, in particular inflected forms.” . A question that involves working with morphological rules or morpheme translation to solve questions OR is totally thematic, apparent and based in the study of morphology either strongly or loosely.

Phonology: “the branch of linguistics that deals with systems of sounds (including or excluding phonetics), within a language or between different languages.” A question that involves working with phonological rules to solve questions OR is totally thematic, apparent and based in the study of phonology either strongly or loosely.

Phonetics: “the study and classification of speech sounds.”. A question that involves working with the articulation of speech sounds to solve questions OR is totally thematic, apparent and based in the study of phonetics either strongly or loosely.

Pragmatics: “the branch of linguistics dealing with language in use and the contexts in which it is used, including such matters as deixis, the taking of turns in conversation, text organization, presupposition, and implicature.”. A question that involves observing and formulating conclusions based on the use of language in particular social contexts and scenarios to solve questions OR is totally thematic, apparent and based in the study of pragmatics either strongly or loosely.

Syntax: “the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language.”. A question that involves working with syntactic/grammatical rules to solve questions OR is totally thematic, apparent and based in the study of syntax expressed strongly or loosely.

Semantics: “the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. The two main areas are logical semantics, concerned with matters such as sense and reference and presupposition and implication, and lexical semantics, concerned with the analysis of word meanings and relations between them”. A question that involves word translation, postulating set sizes of the meanings of words/morphemes, or rules that change the metaphysical meaning of a word (this may include, but not exclusive to, word identity, changes in word extension or intension, cause-effect or actionable change)to solve questions OR is totally thematic, apparent and based in the study of semantics or meaning either strongly or loosely.

Specific Categorisations

Disclaimer: in attempt to keep categories separate to ease classifications, certain adjustments have been made to accommodate independent classification of categories. We are confident that the classifications here do accurately resemble the common encounters and subject topics you will find in each linguistic subject, but some theoretical adjustments have been made to create a more vibrant and diverse classification. Some topic areas that come with the style of UKLO questions and cognitive reasoning have also been classified under these categories. Subject boundaries in linguistics are heavily discussed, and for more information on the theoretical accuracy of their boundaries in relation to the information below, please contact your local linguist.

Phonology: Consonants, ( Long/Short) Vowels, Syllable Stress, Diacritics, Nasalisation, Assimilation, Word Forming ( through consonant-vowel-consonant deduction), Mutations, dissimilation, deletion, insertion, Tones and Tonal Patterns, Onset and Coda, Vowel Harmony, Phonotactics

Phonetics: Articulation of consonants and vowels from the IPA alphabet.

Pragmatics: Deciphering meaning from the appropriate usage of pronoun in a particular context. Applying word semantics to a mixture of scenarios. 

Morphology: Affixes, Infixes, Noun Compounding, Affixal/Morphemes (a morpheme, as defined here, does not include singular consonants (or diphthongs)/vowels that do not have an associated semantic meaning or grammatical marking attached to it in the language, it is the simplest unit of grammatical meaning or other meaning exterior to its own marking).  Word Formation (through morpheme compounding). Word segmentation. Picture segmentation (in scripts). N.b. if target language is presented in only single words with morphemes and semantic meaning attached, it is categorised as morphology and not syntax.

Semantics: Noun/Verb Translation, Morpheme Translation, Semantic Matching ( e.g. symbol – IPA transliteration or tasks in match-ups/writing scripts), Word Formation ( through cognitive/pattern reasoning), Animate/Inanimate Nouns, Classifiers (Shape, Verb), Correspondences in meanings with English (either similar words or pronunciations), Polarity ( positive/negative). Different types of Verbs/Nouns, inherent plurality, polysemy.

Syntax: Word Order, Grammatical Functions of Subjects, Objects and Verbs, Grammatical Case, Focus, Transitivity, Affixes (does not include Affixal/Morpheme Order), Tense, Word formation ( through grammatical affixes), Normalisation, Noun Phrases, Inflectional Rules, Grammatical Gender, Singular and Plural. Chunking, Clauses and Phrases, Adjectives. Definite and Indefinite Articles n.b. if grammatical/morphological rules apply to more than one word, it’s also classed as syntax.

Linguistics Topic Areas:

Disclaimer: Categories subject to revision

Writing: They are intrinsically match-ups, but a separate category, characterised by a foreign script. All Writing questions are Single Words

Numbers: Tasks that involve calculation or semantic matching of Numbers that are required in the question. These also include numbers in equations as well as number bases. The vast majority of Numbers questions are Sentences


Disclaimer: Research is ongoing and classifications may change

Hybrid (#H):

Point of reference: Multiple UKLO sub-questions can stem from the same question data ( usually presented in a table or list of examples). We would say those questions all have one point of reference. Hybrids have more than one question style and more than one point of reference.

Hybrid codes come with a brackets code e.g. (SSw = Sentences, Single Words) to show the combination of question styles

Current working hypothesis ( To work out if a question is a hybrid, Y = yes, N = No)

More than one question style found? N >> Not Hybrid

Y: More than one point of reference (the data origin or data source of question)? Y >> Hybrid

N: Does the question style ( in question) come with its own data? Y >> Hybrid: N >> Not Hybrid

Question Styles:

Match-Up (#M): Tasks that involve matching members of a known Set A with another known Set B. Match-ups can include sentences/single words. differentiate between multiple choice,  a correctly answered  match-up cannot have any unpaired elements ( it is a bijection).

Maps: Questions that deal with topological space, diagrammatical representation by relation or distance, networks and navigation. This is a cognitive category that deals with spatial reasoning and orientation in a topological map or space. This includes questions that have locational maps (like train maps, maps of cities), with varying degrees of involvement with spatial reasoning, given the general label ‘Maps’. There are two other subcategories of Maps:

  • Maps (Grid): Questions involving moving on a grid map ( or topological grid) and deals with navigation and perspective
  • Maps (Family): Questions involving family tree maps and networks (kinships), deals with relational reasoning up and down the tree, and the language terminology to represent them.

Multiple Choice (#Mc): Tasks that involve ticking or crossing a correct answer out of a list of possible answers. It could also be selecting an option out of a variety of given options.

Encrypted: These questions are thematic, involving decoding a secret message. These questions have been found to not easily fall into any other category.

Single Words (#Sw): Tasks where the Question Data and the Required Answer or just the required Answer is 1 – 3 words long. This category also includes determiner phrases (e.g. your houses) and their translations. These also include affixes (e.g. answer: -s for plural).

Sentences (#Se): Sentences bring together a mixture of morphology, semantics and syntax. Tasks where either the Question Data and Answer Data or just the Answer Data is sentences (3+ words). N.b. the definition of a sentence is not discussed here, the word ‘sentence’ has been used to mean ‘long string’ where we define a string as long at 3+ words. This threshold is hypothesised and more meant to highlight the change in problem solving aspect as you approach past 3 words, problem solving becomes more sentential and more involved in different cognitive tasks, as well as when strings are generally recognised as sentences.  

  • + Notation, Sentences (Se) = Morphology, Semantics, Syntax.
  • Sentences + Phonology = Morphology, Phonology, Semantics, Syntax


Some questions sit in-between two question styles, here are decision processes that we’ve found help to categorise them (N.b. research is ongoing and may change)

Syntax or Morphology (for classification purposes only)?

Current working hypothesis for questions that are difficult to classify ( only):

One word? Y >> Morphology

N: Affixes only? Y >> Syntax, N >> ?

Sentences or Single Words? ( Research is ongoing to determine the exact algorithm, it has proven to be difficult to formulate)

There are basic principles to follow:

If the wide majority of the question deals with single words, it’s then single words

If there is a 50:50 split between single words and sentences, it’s sentences

If the wide majority of the question deals with sentences, it’s then sentences.

If the answers to the questions are not from the question data, determine its nature from the question data.