This chapter is the first of a series of four chapters which are concerned with the results of the empirical study of English Prosodic Morphological processes. Whereas the three subsequent chapters will look at individual truncatory patterns, this chapter serves to provide the empirical foundation for the classification of the data into different patterns. We will see that, in spite of the fact that the data have been compiled for independent purposes, the overwhelming majority of base-derivative pairs in the corpora can be assigned to a fixed number of distinct patterns. Secondly, we will see that, contrary to assumptions made in the earlier literature, it is apparently not a general characteristic of truncatory processes that they produce many homophonous forms. Nor does it seem to be true that a multitude of different truncated forms exist for an individual base form. The analysis in this chapter will be preceded by a section (3.2) devoted to the methodology of the empirical study, which will provide an introduction to the basic rationale of the project as well as to the corpora used in the study.
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