Grammatical titbit

Tom Bartlett BartlettT at
Fri Sep 16 14:19:43 UTC 2011

Here's an interesting titbit I haven't seen picked up on before:
With mental processes as pseudomodals in relative clauses THAT can be omitted even when it is acting as Subject:
That's the man I think stole my bike.
*That's the man stole my bike.
My first thought was that this was simply because "gardenpathing" caused by the juxtaposition of Subject and Finite had been disrupted, but the same isn't true with modal adverbs:
*That's the man possibly stole my bike.    

This doesn't seem to be down to the influence of the congruent use of the projecting verb either:   
*That's John; I think stole my bike.
Does this jar with anyone's idiolect?  Or, conversely, is anyone happy with:
*That's the man stole my bike.
Is this possible in Northern English English?  I am tempted by other sentences such as:
?You're the one told me to do it! 
Any ideas?  
All the best,

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