Date: Sat, 23 Sep 1995 12:02:03 CDT
From: "Donald M. Lance" ENGDL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU
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