It did cross my mind (I confess it) that Mark Liberman and Bill Poser might
be making up their exotic-looking noun-noun-noun-noun-noun-noun compounds
(
Volume Feeding Management Success Formula Award and
East-ward Communist-Party Lifestyle Consultation Center
and so on); but yesterday I found that I was being required to
write a letter of formal response to the Narrative_{[1]}
Evaluation_{[2]} Student_{[3]} Grievance_{[4]}
Hearing_{[5]} Committee_{[6]} on my campus. This was because
of a couple of students who objected to the F grades I gave them after
a winter_{[1]} quarter_{[2]} undergraduate_{[3]}
computer_{[4]} science_{[5]} course_{[6]}
assignment_{[7]} plagiarism_{[8]} incident_{[9]}.
They really are all around us, these compounds that are six nouns deep
or more.

Incidentally, if you want to know how to work out how many
different bracketings there are for a string of *N* nouns, the answer is
given by the function *f* such that *f*(1) = 1 and for each
*N* > 0 you compute *f*(*N*) by taking the
sum of all the products of all the *f*(*i*) values for all
the non-singleton sequences of nonzero choices of *i* that add up to *N*.

For 2 this comes to 1, because the only list of positive integers that has
more than one item and
adds up to 2 is <1, 1>, and *f*(1) times *f*(1)
= 1. For 3, the value of *f* comes out to 3, because we have 3
different lists of positive integers that add up to 3: <1, 1, 1>,
<1, 2>, and <2, 1>; and when we take the products
of all the *f*(*i*) for the integers *i* in each list we
get *f*(1) times *f*(1) times *f*(1) = 1, and *f*(1)
times *f*(2) = 1, and *f*(2) times *f*(1) = 1, and when
we sum the products we get 1 + 1 + 1 = 3. This corresponds to the fact
there are three bracketings for *lifestyle consultation center*:
[*lifestyle* *consultation* *center*], [[*lifestyle*
*consultation*] *center*], and [*lifestyle*
[*consultation* *center*]].

To work out *f*(*N*) for *N* = 6, and thus
the bracketings for *volume feeding management success formula award* or
*Narrative Evaluation Student Grievance Hearing Committee*,
just make a
table of all the values of *f* for numbers from 1 up to 5; then make
a list of all the lists of numbers that sum to 6; then take the value of
*f* for each number in each list and write down those lists; then take
the product of the numbers in each list and record those; and then sum all
the products. This may take a while. In fact, for Americans it will
entirely solve the problem of what to do with the long dull afternoons
of the current four-day Thanksgiving holiday. Have a good one.