Learning to Interpret Novel Noun-noun Compounds: Evidence from a Category Learning Experiment

Barry Devereux, Fintan Costello

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The ability to correctly interpret and produce noun-noun compounds such as WIND FARM or CARBON TAX is an important part of the acquisition of language in various domains of discourse. One approach to the interpretation of noun-noun compounds assumes that people make use of distributional information about how the constituent words of compounds tend to combine; another assumes that people make use of information about the two constituent concepts' features to produce interpretations. We present an experiment that examines how people acquire both the distributional information and conceptual information relevant to compound interpretation. A plausible model of the interpretation process is also presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Acquisition
Place of PublicationStroudsburg, PA, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCACLA '07
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics

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