Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health


It is often useful in experiments on the psychology of language to have stimuli that resemble real words but are not meaningful. To be more specific, a (written English) pseudoword is defined as a string of letters that is pronounceable and conforms to the English orthographic pattern and is pronounceable, but has no meaning. It is possible to automatically generate pseudowords from a word list; since these are only probably pseudowords by the definition, we call them probable pseudowords.

BBL has chosen to make available a list of 14,000 probable pseudowords, and the software that was used to generate it.

The words on the list, and the software itself, may be used freely provided that proper credit is given; see the file COPYING for details.


Paul Hughett (2006). A Markov Chain Method for Generating Written English Probable Pseudowords. Submitted for publication.

Software and Data

Pword14 - A list of 14,000 written English probable pseudowords, and the software used to generate them.

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