Date: Sat, 23 Sep 1995 12:02:03 CDT


Subject: Re: acceptability/grammaticality judgments, please

Could it be that "Kim and Dale think that each other is the best" is an

example of a "performance error"? That is, it's sort of anacoluthal.

One would have to have more than one instance of this sentence from the

utterer to make a proper generalization, but it is possible that the

speakeris tooling along in the sentence and gets to "each" and says

"other" somewhat automatically. Then it's too much trouble to back up

and self-correct. What I'm suggesting might apply to some

people but not necessarily to others. I think I might produce it as

what I would, post hoc, term an anacoluthon.

So far no one has commented on the obvious gaffe that Miss Fidditch would

jump on: One uses 'better' in comparisons of two, 'best' is appropriate

only when there are at least three persons to compare.

And another schoolbook matter: With three we use 'one another' rather

than 'each other'. So there's something strange and strained about this

"lexical item" to begin with.

The other sentence in the original posting (Who does she think said ate the

cake) violates Wh-movement in my grammar, though of course I can do

a Reed-Kellog diagram of the sentence and understand it. DMLance