Normally one would say (as Emily Dickinson did) "The heart wants what it wants." But consider these few examples from professional writers (screenwriters in this case).
- "The heart wants what the heart wants." (A Walk in the Clouds)
- "The heart wants what the heart wants." (Lake Placid)
- "I guess the heart just wants what the heart wants." (Me, Myself & Irene)
- "The heart wants what the heart wants." (Wonder Woman)
Does this not violate principle C of binding?
- The two noun phrases ("the heart") are R-expressions [non-pronoun referential expressions];
- the first c-commands the second;
- they surely refer to the same heart.
That is to say, they are bound when they should not be (principle C states that R-expressions should not be bound). Ergo, the sentence is ungrammatical.
Edit for clarification:
- That the sentence is acceptable is not disputed. In fact, it is the first premise of the question (hence the quotes).
- Acceptability and grammaticality are not used synonymously. It is not hard to find sentences that are acceptable but ungrammatical. Also, "ungrammatical" is not used pejoratively.
- "Ungrammatical" is used (in accordance to the dictionary definition) to mean "not conforming to grammatical rules", regardless whether or not there is usage.
- The question is about an apparent exception to a specific grammatical rule, i.e. whether the rule has been misinterpreted or has been or should be revised or rejected in favour of another rule.