Tom: > From: John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> > > Thomas R. Wier scripsit: > > > > > > > (2) a. David was writing on Tuesday, but not Thursday. > > > > > b. **Tuesday was being written on. > > > > > > > > But 2b is perfectly perspicuous if Tuesday is the topic rather > > > > than the date, > > > > > > Whether something is "perspicuous" is rather beside the point; the > > > question is whether it is sensed to be grammatical. And I'm > > > pretty sure I can't get your topic reading. :) > > > > Eh? Are you confused by my use of "topic"? I don't mean it in the > > linguistic sense, but rather as a synonym for "subject matter". > > Ah, well, we *were* talking about linguistics on a rather formal > level, so I just assumed... but I still can't get any reading other > with Tuesday as the patient, and not as the day. I'm pretty sure > that most English speakers will agree with me in this respect. I agree with John. Most English speakers massively overgenerate false negatives, when it comes to acceptability judgements. [...] > Again, this isn't relevant. *"The NEA was given money to by > liberal activists" is grossly ungrammatical, and that's the analogous > structure you're invoking. It's usually considered ungrammatical, but in fact I've collected quite a corpus of actual nonerror examples, and I suspect that the constraint is semantic rather than syntactic, though I haven't been able to put my finger on what it is. --And.