, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 463-469,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 06 Oct 2012

Noun–noun combination: Meaningfulness ratings and lexical statistics for 2,160 word pairs


The combining of individual concepts to form an emergent concept is a fundamental aspect of language, yet much less is known about it than about processing isolated words or sentences. To facilitate research on conceptual combination, we provide meaningfulness ratings for a large set of (2,160) noun–noun pairs. Half of these pairs (1,080) are reversed versions of the other half (e.g., ski jacket and jacket ski), to facilitate the comparison of successful and unsuccessful conceptual combination independently of constituent lexical items. The computer code used for obtaining these ratings through a Web interface is provided. To further enhance the usefulness of this resource, ancillary measures obtained from other sources are also provided for each pair. These measures include associate production norms, contextual relatedness in terms of latent semantic analysis distance, total number of letters, phrase-level usage frequency, and word-level usage frequency summed across the words in each pair. Results of correlation and regression analyses are also provided for a quantitative description of the stimulus set. A subset of these stimuli was used to identify neural correlates of successful conceptual combination Graves, Binder, Desai, Conant, & Seidenberg, (NeuroImage 53:638–646, 2010). The stimuli can be used in other research and also provide benchmark data for evaluating the effectiveness of computational algorithms for predicting meaningfulness of noun–noun pairs.