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Normally, the attributive clause precedes the predicative phrase:

The bag that he bought cost forty dollars.

Those verbal valency complementations that are referentially identical with some of nominal complementations are expressed.

The second sentence is hard to read—the attributive clause is too long. In such cases, the predicative phrase is sometimes put before the attributive clause:

Those verbal valency complementations are expressed that are referentially identical with some of nominal complementations.

Those types of things are indicators that are going to heighten our safety awareness

Those angles are equal that are opposite the corresponding sides

Those things are morally wrong that are so unreasonable (according to the greatest happiness principle, as far as we can see that it applies) that it would be reasonable (according to the greatest happiness principle, as far as we can see that it applies) for us to punish those who did them

To what extent is this inverted structure common in English? (Except for "Those verbal valency complementations...", the examples are from the Web.) Are there any rules about its usage?

  • I find 'Those verbal valency complementations that are referentially identical with some nominal complementations are expressed.' and 'Those verbal valency complementations are expressed that are referentially identical with some [of the] nominal complementations.' both unwieldy (but neither is ungrammatical). I'd prefer 'Here we find / have expressed those verbal valency complementations that are referentially identical with some nominal complementations.' – Edwin Ashworth Jan 15 '15 at 14:18
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These structures, given in your second set of examples, are often known as "extraposed relative clauses". Both corpus studies (i.e. studies of naturally occurring data) and experimental studies have found that relative clause extraposition is more common or more acceptable when the relative clauses are significantly longer than the verbal phrase (predicative phrase in the cases you give). This 2010 paper presents some results, if you're interested in the details. There may be other factors to do with the meaning that also play a role, as this paper argues.

I'm not aware of any rules, prescriptive or otherwise, regarding when it's acceptable to do this. I think it's a gradient matter, and writers should let themselves be guided by their own intuitions.

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