Date: Fri, 22 Sep 1995 14:45:17 EDT


Subject: acceptability/grammaticality judgments, please

I've probably been too brainwashed by generations of syntax screeds to have

objective views of my own idiolect on this,

1. Kim and Dale think that each other is the best.

but I do recall that when I encountered the star that this always gets,

from "Standard Theory" treatments of reciprocals as clause-restricted (and

ruled out in subject position) to the Tensed-S condition of Chomsky 1973 and

its heirs, I never had any problems with the star. On the other hand, I've

also heard such sentences many, many times (always registering it in the back

of my mind) in informal speech. I assume it's used party because there's no

alternative "grammatical" way to say it except for the stilted "each think

that the other...", which gets written but, I wager, rarely spoken.

2. Who does she think said ate the cake?

Interesting that respondents have taken this to be essentially a typo for "Who

does she think YOU said ate the cake?" or "Who does she think said 'Ate the

cake'?" I think it's quite impossible on what I assume is the intended

reading, 'For which person x, she thinks x said x ate the cake', as most syn-

tactic theories have no trouble predicting.