Discussion:
free relative clauses: an experiment
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g***@gmail.com
2017-08-11 05:37:48 UTC
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Which of the sentences below do you find grammatically correct?

(1a) Whomever she dances with, the party ends at ten o’clock.
(1b) With whomever she dances, the party ends at ten o’clock.

(2a) Whatever she eats about, she will dream.
(2b) About whatever she eats, she will dream.

Thank you. Cheers.
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-08-11 05:49:24 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Which of the sentences below do you find grammatically correct?
(1a) Whomever she dances with, the party ends at ten o’clock.
(1b) With whomever she dances, the party ends at ten o’clock.
(2a) Whatever she eats about, she will dream.
(2b) About whatever she eats, she will dream.
Thank you. Cheers.
None of them. OK, some could becalled grammatical, but all are unnatural.
--
athel
Harrison Hill
2017-08-11 08:13:52 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Which of the sentences below do you find grammatically correct?
(1a) Whomever she dances with, the party ends at ten o’clock.
(1b) With whomever she dances, the party ends at ten o’clock.
(2a) Whatever she eats about, she will dream.
(2b) About whatever she eats, she will dream.
Thank you. Cheers.
I agree with Athel. I find "whomever" leaves a nasty taste
in my mouth. I'd rather correct it to "whomsoever"; by which
time we are back in the KJB :(
Peter T. Daniels
2017-08-11 11:45:39 UTC
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Post by Harrison Hill
Post by g***@gmail.com
Which of the sentences below do you find grammatically correct?
(1a) Whomever she dances with, the party ends at ten o’clock.
(1b) With whomever she dances, the party ends at ten o’clock.
(2a) Whatever she eats about, she will dream.
(2b) About whatever she eats, she will dream.
Thank you. Cheers.
I agree with Athel. I find "whomever" leaves a nasty taste
in my mouth. I'd rather correct it to "whomsoever"; by which
time we are back in the KJB :(
No, but that's not the problem.
Peter T. Daniels
2017-08-11 11:45:10 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Which of the sentences below do you find grammatically correct?
(1a) Whomever she dances with, the party ends at ten o’clock.
(1b) With whomever she dances, the party ends at ten o’clock.
(2a) Whatever she eats about, she will dream.
(2b) About whatever she eats, she will dream.
Thank you. Cheers.
(1) are "grammatical," all are stoopid. "Grammatically correct" combines irreconcilable
concepts from two different ways of looking at language.

(2b) might just barely be grammatically possible but perhaps only in an article by Paul Postal.
Jerry Friedman
2017-08-11 12:55:32 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Which of the sentences below do you find grammatically correct?
(1a) Whomever she dances with, the party ends at ten o’clock.
Yes, and conceivable in the right context, though I’d like it better
with "whoever".
Post by g***@gmail.com
(1b) With whomever she dances, the party ends at ten o’clock.
No.
Post by g***@gmail.com
(2a) Whatever she eats about, she will dream.
Grammatical but nonsense of the "colorless green ideas" type.
Post by g***@gmail.com
(2b) About whatever she eats, she will dream.
Grammatical in some sense and much better if you take out the comma, but
still extremely weird. If someone wanted the "eats" part first,
"Whatever she eats she will dream about" would be normal.
--
Jerry Friedman
g***@gmail.com
2017-08-12 06:57:53 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Which of the sentences below do you find grammatically correct?
(1a) Whomever she dances with, the party ends at ten o’clock.
Yes, and conceivable in the right context, though I’d like it better
with "whoever".
Post by g***@gmail.com
(1b) With whomever she dances, the party ends at ten o’clock.
No.
Good. That's what I say, too. I'm surprised that Peter Daniels
thinks it's grammatical. Maybe he wouldn't upon more careful
consideration.

Joan Bresnan and Jane Grimshaw seem to have been correct in
observing, in their 1978 article "The Syntax of Free Relatives
in English," that Pied Piping doesn't work in free relatives.

This "test" was primarily about proving that. The sentences in
(2) I designed as a curve ball: (2b) exhibits topicalization rather
than Pied Piping, and that's why it works.

I find the sentence below of Jane Austen's (_Northanger Abbey_ again)
to be ungrammatical. The reason it's ungrammatical is that it violates
the rule that Pied Piping doesn't work with free relative clauses.

*"With whomsoever he was, or was likely to be connected, his own
consequence always required that theirs should be great; and as his
intimacy with any acquaintance grew, so regularly grew their fortune."

Contrast:

"Whomsoever he was with, or was likely to be connected with, his own
consequence always required that theirs should be great; and as his
intimacy with any acquaintance grew, so regularly grew their fortune."
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by g***@gmail.com
(2a) Whatever she eats about, she will dream.
Grammatical but nonsense of the "colorless green ideas" type.
Right. We're forced to fancy "eat about something" as English.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by g***@gmail.com
(2b) About whatever she eats, she will dream.
Grammatical in some sense and much better if you take out the comma, but
still extremely weird. If someone wanted the "eats" part first,
"Whatever she eats she will dream about" would be normal.
The version you prefer topicalizes the object of the preposition "about,"
whereas (2b) topicalizes the entire prepositional phrase, "about" included.
The important thing is that it makes sense, unlike (2a), as we agree.
Post by Jerry Friedman
--
Jerry Friedman
Peter T. Daniels
2017-08-12 13:08:25 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by g***@gmail.com
Which of the sentences below do you find grammatically correct?
(1a) Whomever she dances with, the party ends at ten o’clock.
Yes, and conceivable in the right context, though I’d like it better
with "whoever".
Post by g***@gmail.com
(1b) With whomever she dances, the party ends at ten o’clock.
No.
Good. That's what I say, too. I'm surprised that Peter Daniels
thinks it's grammatical. Maybe he wouldn't upon more careful
consideration.
Joan Bresnan and Jane Grimshaw seem to have been correct in
observing, in their 1978 article "The Syntax of Free Relatives
in English," that Pied Piping doesn't work in free relatives.
This "test" was primarily about proving that. The sentences in
(2) I designed as a curve ball: (2b) exhibits topicalization rather
than Pied Piping, and that's why it works.
I find the sentence below of Jane Austen's (_Northanger Abbey_ again)
to be ungrammatical. The reason it's ungrammatical is that it violates
the rule that Pied Piping doesn't work with free relative clauses.
All you've shown is tht Bresnan & Grimshaw were Paul Postal lite. Their theory
wouldn't work if (1b) were "grammatical," so they stuck an asterisk onto it.
Post by g***@gmail.com
*"With whomsoever he was, or was likely to be connected, his own
consequence always required that theirs should be great; and as his
intimacy with any acquaintance grew, so regularly grew their fortune."
"Whomsoever he was with, or was likely to be connected with, his own
consequence always required that theirs should be great; and as his
intimacy with any acquaintance grew, so regularly grew their fortune."
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by g***@gmail.com
(2a) Whatever she eats about, she will dream.
Grammatical but nonsense of the "colorless green ideas" type.
Right. We're forced to fancy "eat about something" as English.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by g***@gmail.com
(2b) About whatever she eats, she will dream.
Grammatical in some sense and much better if you take out the comma, but
still extremely weird. If someone wanted the "eats" part first,
"Whatever she eats she will dream about" would be normal.
The version you prefer topicalizes the object of the preposition "about,"
whereas (2b) topicalizes the entire prepositional phrase, "about" included.
The important thing is that it makes sense, unlike (2a), as we agree.
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