Lukas Michelbacher, Stefan Evert, Hinrich Schütze
August 19, 2011
We investigate asymmetry in corpus-derived and human word associations. Most prior work has studied paradigmatic relations, either derived from free association norms or from large corpora using measures of statistical association and semantic relatedness. By contrast, we investigate the syntagmatic relation between words in adjective-noun and noun-noun combinations and present a new experimental design for measuring the strength of human associations. Of particular importance for syntagmatic relations are asymmetric associations, whose associational strength is much larger in one direction (e.g., from Pyrrhic to victory ) than in the other (e.g., from victory to Pyrrhic ). We develop a number of corpus-derived measures of asymmetric association and show that they predict the directedness of human associations with high accuracy.