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This study aims to investigate the role of head nouns during real-time interpretations of noun-noun compounds in English. A major debate in the first language (L1) psycholinguistics is which constituent (i.e., either a modifier or a head) plays more significant role in the online interpretation of noun-noun compounds. In the second language (L2) literature, this debate has been understudied. Implementing a priming method and focusing on a case where primes and targets share the second constituent, namely, the head noun, this study examines the facilitations of reaction times of the first and the second language speakers; an exposure to a noun-noun compound (e.g., orange tree) speeds up the interpretation of a subsequent compound (e.g., peach tree) when the two noun-noun compounds have the same thematic relation in comparison to a pair that have different thematic relation. On a computerized lexical sense decision task, L1 and L2 participants judged whether a series of compounds is sensible as quickly and accurately possible. Linear mixed-effect models revealed that the response patterns of the L1 and the L2 group did not differ significantly and both groups responded faster to the targets of the same relation than to those of the different relation. The findings were discussed with respect to the L1 debate on the real-time semantic integration and in terms of L2 compound processing.