I have seen some debate on EL&U about whether or not sentence fragments are acceptable to use, and under what circumstances. I am not of the persuasion that they should be used, but if I must concede that they are permissible to use, I would like to know the rules that render them acceptable. For instance, it seems that most "acceptable" sentence fragment constructions function in a similar way to pronouns: they refer back to an antecedent. With pronouns, the antecedent is a noun, and with sentence fragments, the antecedent is a subject-verb group. Here is an example to clarify:
"The dog bit the child five times. Every day."
While I would prefer to solve the issue by using a dash ("The dog bit the child five times – every day"), how would one who allows sentence fragments justify the construction? What are general rules by which one can determine the acceptable construction of sentence fragments? My intuition tells me that not even fragment-lovers would accept constructions such as "The dog bit the. Child five. Times every day." . . . on what grounds would such constructions not be acceptable? To state it positively, on what grounds does one determine the grammatical acceptability of a sentence fragment group? By "sentence fragment group" I am revealing a presupposition that a sentence fragment derives necessary contextual data from a nearby complete sentence.