In Japanese the following such sentences are seen quite often:
However when you consider the grammar, these are all transitive verbs (in the sense they normally take their object marked by 〜を), so it is odd that they are accepting their objects with 〜が here.
Honestly, to my ear, the sentences sound better when they are followed by some sort of noun "のほうがよく聞く気がする" "のほうがよく聞く表現だ" or are made passive "のほうがよく使われている" "のほうがよく知られている", but of course these all change the meaning.
And it cannot be denied that the bare sentences do exist and are used by native speakers as well.
So, I wonder, is there any formal syntactic analysis of what is going on here? Is the thing marked by が actually a grammatical subject?
As for initial thoughts, I think it is not a subject because:
it can't take subject honorification with the desired reading: *私は社長のほうがよくご存知になっている. While this is a borderline valid sentence, 私 turns into the object because 社長 is forced into a subject by the subject honorification since you can't use it with yourself -- so it's not the intended reading of "I know (the honorable) CEO better (than whatever we were talking about earlier)".
in addition, 自分 doesn't seem to be able to bind to it. ?私はいとこのほうが自分の親よりよく知っている "I know my cousin well more so than my parents". While this sentence sounds incredibly awkward to me in the first place, either way, 自分 cannot bind to いとこ here, just 私.
This suggests that が is instead a so-called "nominative object marker", but normally this is only seen with predicates like 好き、わかる、ほしい、聞こえる, etc. not 聞く or 使う, so it's surprising to see it here...
Is there any analysis which gives this a decent explanation?