First, for the NHPN for the verb babble, my subjects showed a clear preference for [?
My strategy in trying to generate some appropriate corpus data was to come up with a list of 75 transitive verbs that would be likely to take non-human objects and for which I could not think of an item-familiar NHPN.
The answer to this question is that NHPNs do exist in English, but that they seem to constitute a covert category of derivation, and because of this ought to be of inherent interest to morphologists who study English.
In order to look at established or item-familiar forms, I started by constructing a database of verbs that potentially could have NHPNs.
Another way to explore the forms taken by novel NHPNs would be to search for such forms in corpus data.
That said, of the 75 or so verbs I searched, I found that 44 had attested NHPNs.
There is clearly not a single default affix or process that we fall back upon to create NHPNs.
But is there more to be said about these novel forms, beyond that we create meaning extensions from productive nominalization processes to form NHPNs when we need them?
The results of this classification for the item-familiar NHPNs are shown in (7): (118)
What I have tried to establish in this short paper is that NHPNs do exist in English, that they can be studied, albeit with some difficulty, and that they constitute what might be called a covert word formation category.
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