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churchistrue

19th century phrases in the BOM -- especially for the EModE'ers

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7 minutes ago, churchistrue said:

This post which I wrote previously was cross posted at Wheat and Tares.  https://wheatandtares.org/2017/11/08/19th-century-protestant-phrases-in-the-book-of-mormon/

I'm very curious what the EModE'ers think about this portion:

Exercise 2: Google N-Gram Historical Trend Viewer

Put in your n-gram here.  I put in “demands of justice”. 19th century protestant phrases in the book of mormon

It’s interesting to see that this was a phrase that maxed out in terms of popularity in Joseph’s day.  That’s not incredibly insightful other than to see that we as a modern audience of the Book of Mormon, may not appreciate how familiar this phrase might have been to those in Joseph’s day.  It sounds kind of old to us, and we might naturally equate “old” to “ancient”, but this is a phrase that was Twitter trending, as we’d say today, in the 1810-1840 time period.

Royal Skousen and Stanford Carmack are doing great research into the Book of Mormon and how it was translated/dictated, and providing some really good insight into the Early Modern English (EModE) in the Book of Mormon.  One theory coming from their research, is that the Book of Mormon contains so much EModE grammar and vocabulary, that it’s translation or creation date is more likely to be in the 1600’s than the 1800’s.  Joseph simply could not or would not have used so much EModE.  I’m obviously a hack, amateur research hobbyist compared to them, but this is what I see.  When I copy/paste these 19th century phrases (from the list below) into this historical trender, over and over it produces results like the above.  I understand there are a handful of phrases and grammar clauses that are real head scratchers, in terms of being popular in EModE and dead in Joseph’s day (especially “save it be” and “save it were”–very puzzling!).  But on the flip side, you have to account for literally hundreds of phrases in the Book of Mormon that were popular in the early 1800’s that don’t seem to be used in the EModE period.

 

Thanks, always enjoy your posts.  As a fellow hack I find the whole EModE stuff to be highly questionable.  Waiting on some scholars with expertise to critique it more in depth.  To me, none of it makes any sense and I think they are likely overstating the evidence significantly, but that is just my hack surface reading of what's happening. 

Part of the reason I don't find it very credible is all the 19th century content in the book, things like this phrase which are found primarily in the 19th century but not in the 15th.  But oh well, I guess that doesn't matter.  Seems like the best strategy for apologists is to keep throwing as many complicated theories out there as they can, and hope that everyone is so overwhelmed that they throw up their hands at how complex it all is and conclude that Joseph couldn't possibly have been the author, therefore God was.  I guess God was really creative picking and choosing phrases and language from all kinds of centuries in order to confuse those evil apostates who would try to critique the BoM.  :lol:

 

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It seems that every new find about the Book of Mormon raises more questions than it does answers. One should not be surprised to find a lot of 19th century religious phrases in the Book of Mormon and even 19th century Christian theology. After all mainstream Christian religion has its roots in the Church and theology that Christ organized and taught during his ministry. Is is the divergence that sets the LDS Church and the Book of Mormon apart. An open canon being one of them.

As to why, if the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, does so much EmodE show up in the Book of Mormon, or why are some scriptures quoted from the Bible verbatim while others have variant readings are anybody's guess. But it is there.

56 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

As a fellow hack I find the whole EModE stuff to be highly questionable

Why? It is scholarship. It is verifiable.

58 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

  I guess God was really creative picking and choosing phrases and language from all kinds of centuries in order to confuse those evil apostates who would try to critique the BoM.  :lol:

You said it. Glad to see you are finally seeing the light ;)

Glenn

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Part of the reason I don't find it very credible is all the 19th century content in the book, things like this phrase which are found primarily in the 19th century but not in the 15th. 

There is no more reason to look for phrases common in the 15th century in the BOM than the 21st century.  I would expect a translation to contain phrases common in the day that the translation was made.   Common phrases do carry over in time however so stuff in earlier centuries might creep into the 19th century.  People just like to nitpick stuff.

Edited by carbon dioxide
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17 minutes ago, carbon dioxide said:

There is no more reason to look for phrases common in the 15th century in the BOM than the 21st century.  I would expect a translation to contain phrases common in the day that the translation was made.   Common phrases do carry over in time however so stuff in earlier centuries might creep into the 19th century.  People just like to nitpick stuff.

Don’t tell this to the EmodE crowd, they go to great lengths to disprove how any 15th century stuff exists anywhere except in the BoM.  

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5 hours ago, churchistrue said:

Put in your n-gram here.  I put in “demands of justice”.   I understand there are a handful of phrases and grammar clauses that are real head scratchers, in terms of being popular in EModE and dead in Joseph’s day (especially “save it be” and “save it were”–very puzzling!).  But on the flip side, you have to account for literally hundreds of phrases in the Book of Mormon that were popular in the early 1800’s that don’t seem to be used in the EModE period.

Thanks for this intersting post. I don't know if I'm using the Historical Trend Viewer correctly, but when I type in the n-gram "save it be" or "save it were" it looks like they were both frequently used in Joseph Smith's time?

 

Edited by Peppermint Patty
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4 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Thanks, always enjoy your posts.  As a fellow hack I find the whole EModE stuff to be highly questionable.  Waiting on some scholars with expertise to critique it more in depth.  To me, none of it makes any sense and I think they are likely overstating the evidence significantly, but that is just my hack surface reading of what's happening. 

Part of the reason I don't find it very credible is all the 19th century content in the book, things like this phrase which are found primarily in the 19th century but not in the 15th.  But oh well, I guess that doesn't matter.  Seems like the best strategy for apologists is to keep throwing as many complicated theories out there as they can, and hope that everyone is so overwhelmed that they throw up their hands at how complex it all is and conclude that Joseph couldn't possibly have been the author, therefore God was.  I guess God was really creative picking and choosing phrases and language from all kinds of centuries in order to confuse those evil apostates who would try to critique the BoM.  :lol:

The scholars who have been examining the Early Modern English phenomenon are not "apologists," and any scholar is free to comment likewise pro or con.  The results are indeed odd and unaccountable, and they do not prove the BofM true or authentic.  However, they do raise serious questions.  Plenty of room for further research on the matter.  Your negative strawman carping does not advance our knowledge and is based on your lack of knowledge, as you yourself seem to admit.  Only you have come up with the theory that "God was really creative picking and choosing phrases and language from all kinds of centuries in order to confuse those evil apostates."  Sounds very much like paranoid ranting.

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Don’t tell this to the EmodE crowd, they go to great lengths to disprove how any 15th century stuff exists anywhere except in the BoM

I know of only two scholars who deal seriously with the Early Modern English phenomenon, and it doesn't appear that you have bothered to read their work.  There is no such "crowd," and no one except you has made the false statement that "they go to great lengths to disprove how any 15th century stuff exists anywhere except in the BoM."  CFR that anyone has said that at all.

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7 hours ago, Peppermint Patty said:

Thanks for this intersting post. I don't know if I'm using the Historical Trend Viewer correctly, but when I type in the n-gram "save it be" or "save it were" it looks like they were both frequently used in Joseph Smith's time?

 

There's virtually no usage of save it be and save it were pre-1830 unless you go back to the EModE period or a handful of works that were quoting from that period. There starts to be hits after 1830, but they are quoting the BOM or D&C. I want to say there's one other usage in Scarlet Letter, but I might be confusing it with another rare BOM phrase.

 

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35 minutes ago, churchistrue said:

There's virtually no usage of save it be and save it were pre-1830 unless you go back to the EModE period or a handful of works that were quoting from that period. There starts to be hits after 1830, but they are quoting the BoM or D&C. I want to say there's one other usage in Scarlet Letter, but I might be confusing it with another rare BoM phrase.

So far we know of 8 instances of "save it be" before the Book of Mormon, 5 by 3 Scottish authors in the late 1600s, and 3 in the early 1800s, one of these American. We know of 2 instances of "save it were" before the Book of Mormon: 1 in a 1646 poem by a Scotsman, and another in a  Scottish folk song, currently known first printing 1751.  Any further finds welcome.

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10 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Don’t tell this to the EmodE crowd, they go to great lengths to disprove how any 15th century stuff exists anywhere except in the BoM.  

Of course this is a misrepresentation and overstatement of things. Perhaps here hope_for_things doesn't realize that the 15th century technically goes from 1401 to 1500.  The Early English Books Online (EEBO) database currently contains the transcriptions of about 60,000 books printed between 1473 and 1700.

I just downloaded the total_counts file from the Google Books Ngram Viewer site.  Here are some stats:

There are only 4 million 16th-century words in Google Books.  By way of comparison, my EEBO Phase 1 WordCruncher database has more than 100 million 16c words.  My database is a somewhat truncated data set of EEBO1.  EEBO Phase 2, which I haven't WordCrunched, probably has more than 100 million 16c words.  Thus the Google Books database which underlies the Ngram Viewer is severely limited.  I barely rely on it.  Also, spelling was all over the place in the 16c.

There are 60 million 17c words in GB, again a very limited set.  My EEBO1 WordCruncher database (which took me two full months to make, using AutoHotkey) has almost 600 million.  All of EEBO probably has at least 1.2 billion 17c words.  So GB is only 5% of EEBO.

17c GB is 15 times the 16c GB in word count.  In my WordCruncher database of EEBO1, the 17c is only 5 times the 16c.  Spelling has less variability in the 17c than in the 16c, but it is still quite variable.

There are 1.75 billion 18c words in GB.   By way of comparison, Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) contains over 33 million pages.  GB is a limited dataset in relation to ECCO if we estimate, perhaps conservatively, 200 words per ECCO page.  That would be one quarter the words in 18c GB as in ECCO.  GB has almost 21,000 18c volumes, three-fourths of these from 1750 on; ECCO has 200,000 18c volumes.  Spelling is more like the modern system, but still subject to a larger degree of variability than in the 19c.

18c GB is 29 times 17c GB.

There are 48 billion 19c words in GB.
19c GB is 27 times 18c GB.

There are 290 billion 20c words in GB.
20c GB is 6 times 19c GB.

It's important to bear all these things in mind when studying usage rates.

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18 minutes ago, champatsch said:

Of course this is a misrepresentation and overstatement of things. Perhaps here hope_for_things doesn't realize that the 15th century technically goes from 1401 to 1500.  The Early English Books Online (EEBO) database currently contains the transcriptions of about 60,000 books printed between 1473 and 1700.

I just downloaded the total_counts file from the Google Books Ngram Viewer site.  Here are some stats:

There are only 4 million 16th-century words in Google Books.  By way of comparison, my EEBO Phase 1 WordCruncher database has more than 100 million 16c words.  My database is a somewhat truncated data set of EEBO1.  EEBO Phase 2, which I haven't WordCrunched, probably has more than 100 million 16c words.  Thus the Google Books database which underlies the Ngram Viewer is severely limited.  I barely rely on it.  Also, spelling was all over the place in the 16c.

There are 60 million 17c words in GB, again a very limited set.  My EEBO1 WordCruncher database (which took me two full months to make, using AutoHotkey) has almost 600 million.  All of EEBO probably has at least 1.2 billion 17c words.  So GB is only 5% of EEBO.

17c GB is 15 times the 16c GB in word count.  In my WordCruncher database of EEBO1, the 17c is only 5 times the 16c.  Spelling has less variability in the 17c than in the 16c, but it is still quite variable.

There are 1.75 billion 18c words in GB.   By way of comparison, Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) contains over 33 million pages.  GB is a limited dataset in relation to ECCO if we estimate, perhaps conservatively, 200 words per ECCO page.  That would be one quarter the words in 18c GB as in ECCO.  GB has almost 21,000 18c volumes, three-fourths of these from 1750 on; ECCO has 200,000 18c volumes.  Spelling is more like the modern system, but still subject to a larger degree of variability than in the 19c.

18c GB is 29 times 17c GB.

There are 48 billion 19c words in GB.
19c GB is 27 times 18c GB.

There are 290 billion 20c words in GB.
20c GB is 6 times 19c GB.

It's important to bear all these things in mind when studying usage rates.

Wow.  How do you account for varied spellings?  I didn't think about that much. 

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9 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The scholars who have been examining the Early Modern English phenomenon are not "apologists," and any scholar is free to comment likewise pro or con.  The results are indeed odd and unaccountable, and they do not prove the BofM true or authentic.  However, they do raise serious questions.  Plenty of room for further research on the matter.  Your negative strawman carping does not advance our knowledge and is based on your lack of knowledge, as you yourself seem to admit.  Only you have come up with the theory that "God was really creative picking and choosing phrases and language from all kinds of centuries in order to confuse those evil apostates."  Sounds very much like paranoid ranting.

I try not to use apologist as a pejorative term, I think its respectable to be an apologist, in some topics I consider myself an apologist too. 

Working for the church alone classifies you as an apologist in some sense, and I've heard enough from Skousen to believe that he's a very conservative apologist, but I haven't heard or read as much directly from Carmack.  

As for EModE, I'll be honest, I don't respect it, and I think the burden of earning respect is on the shoulders of those promoting any new theory.  So, I'm having a little fun about how absurd the whole thing seems to me, that is in jest, not paranoid ranting.  I'm not a scholar and never have claimed to be, I'm just a hack message board participant.  

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9 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I know of only two scholars who deal seriously with the Early Modern English phenomenon, and it doesn't appear that you have bothered to read their work.  There is no such "crowd," and no one except you has made the false statement that "they go to great lengths to disprove how any 15th century stuff exists anywhere except in the BoM."  CFR that anyone has said that at all.

I was using hyperbole and exaggeration with this statement, and it's probably not technically true that people are going around trying to disprove that 15th century statements don't exist outside the BoM.  I retract my poor attempt at humor.  

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39 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

As for EModE, I'll be honest, I don't respect it, and I think the burden of earning respect is on the shoulders of those promoting any new theory. 

Again I ask you why? It is scholarship, by linguists no less. This was not something that Royal Skousen or Stanford were looking for. It was a serendipitous find by Royal during his work on the Book of Mormon critical text project. The EmodE is verifiable. Just get access to the Oxford English dictionary. Just what is it that you find so unsettling about it anyway?

Glenn

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On "demands of justice":

In EEBO, we currently get 54 instances of "demands of justice/iustice".  (I also looked for it using demandes and demaund(e)s, but nothing came up; I didn't look for justise/iustise, since there was only a very slightly possibility that we would find the phrase used with these spellings.)

In ECCO, we currently get 362 hits of "demands of justice".  Probably no false positives to worry about, but a lot of duplicates, and some perhaps in EEBO.

Who wants to spend a week trying to determine a true rate of usage of this phrase, weeding out duplicates, making a spreadsheet, noting the authors, dividing by estimated words in the databases?

First instance in EEBO is by Samuel Rutherford, 1647.  (From Wikipedia I get that he "was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.")  The phrase could have been used much earlier, but 1647 is the earliest attestation we currently get from EEBO.  So the rate of increase into the 18c, over the 17c rate, is actually going to be low, since it began to be used around the midpoint of the 17c, and the number of words printed in the 18c goes up materially, decade by decade. Next thing to be done is to get the large de 3-gram file from GB and try to determine a true rate for the early 19c.  That will probably be a big job as well.

Descriptive linguistic work indicates that the verbal system of the Book of Mormon is mostly of the Early Modern English period.  Breaking it down by tenses, which most can easily contemplate, we have a present-tense system that is archaic and (extra)biblical: lots of -th, some close mixing of -s and -th, plural -th, affirmative do.  The past-tense system is archaic and most like mid to late 16c usage, and markedly different from the relatively low rate of affirmative did found in the King James Bible. The perfect tenses correspond mainly to 17c usage, with a relatively high degree of past participle leveling, and uncommon archaic markers such as "had (been) spake". The future tense is rather biblical, but with a slightly more archaic inversion rate of shall and will with pronouns (similar to the rate of the 1568 Bishops' Bible; higher than the King James rate).  The Book of Mormon also has a large amount of subjunctive shall usage, which makes it archaic and literary in that respect.

So when we see syntactic correspondences such as the following, what is to prevent us from privileging a 17c view of "demands of justice" over a 19c view?

Alma 7:18–19
I had much desire that ye was not in the state of dilemma like your brethren, even so I have found that my desires have been gratified. For I perceive that ye are in the paths of righteousness

1664 EEBO A57970 Samuel Rutherford [1600?–1661] Joshua redivivus
the Lord saw ye was able by his grace to bear the loss of husband and childe, and that ye are that weak and tender

1652 EEBO A57982 Samuel Rutherford The tryal & triumph of faith
the blessednesse of justification, to the which we was intitled before we believed, for before we believed, we was in a cursed estate: This also may be added, that if Faith be but a Declaration or manifestation, that we are justified before we believe;

That is not to say that "demands of justice" must be viewed as a 17c phrase.  In this case, it probably matters little whether we think of the phrase as 17c or 18c or 19c.  What's important is that the grammar and lexis of the Book of Mormon tell us that it almost certainly wasn't Joseph Smith choosing the phraseology from his own language from revealed ideas.  That is an extremely unlikely view of things, because of the massively represented grammar and lexis, a lot of which wasn't Joseph's way of speaking or writing, and wasn't pseudo-biblical.  But there was nothing to prevent modern phrases being used in a matrix of mostly Early Modern English grammar.  And I use "mostly", because there is a little systematic grammatical usage that corresponds to the late 18c or early 19c (e.g. auxiliary selection with unaccusative verbs), and there is lexis that entered the language in the 18c such as derangement.  And of course there are phrases such as "plan of X" which entered English beginning in the 1690s, with a first attestation of some, such as plan of mercy, in the 1740s.  But that doesn't mean there wasn't archaic usage such as but if = 'unless', whereby = 'why?', counsel = 'consult', depart = 'divide', belove = 'love (active)', mar, break = 'hinder, stop', give = 'describe, portray', rebellion = 'opposition', etc.

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1 hour ago, champatsch said:

Of course this is a misrepresentation and overstatement of things. Perhaps here hope_for_things doesn't realize that the 15th century technically goes from 1401 to 1500.  The Early English Books Online (EEBO) database currently contains the transcriptions of about 60,000 books printed between 1473 and 1700.

I just downloaded the total_counts file from the Google Books Ngram Viewer site.  Here are some stats:

There are only 4 million 16th-century words in Google Books.  By way of comparison, my EEBO Phase 1 WordCruncher database has more than 100 million 16c words.  My database is a somewhat truncated data set of EEBO1.  EEBO Phase 2, which I haven't WordCrunched, probably has more than 100 million 16c words.  Thus the Google Books database which underlies the Ngram Viewer is severely limited.  I barely rely on it.  Also, spelling was all over the place in the 16c.

There are 60 million 17c words in GB, again a very limited set.  My EEBO1 WordCruncher database (which took me two full months to make, using AutoHotkey) has almost 600 million.  All of EEBO probably has at least 1.2 billion 17c words.  So GB is only 5% of EEBO.

17c GB is 15 times the 16c GB in word count.  In my WordCruncher database of EEBO1, the 17c is only 5 times the 16c.  Spelling has less variability in the 17c than in the 16c, but it is still quite variable.

There are 1.75 billion 18c words in GB.   By way of comparison, Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) contains over 33 million pages.  GB is a limited dataset in relation to ECCO if we estimate, perhaps conservatively, 200 words per ECCO page.  That would be one quarter the words in 18c GB as in ECCO.  GB has almost 21,000 18c volumes, three-fourths of these from 1750 on; ECCO has 200,000 18c volumes.  Spelling is more like the modern system, but still subject to a larger degree of variability than in the 19c.

18c GB is 29 times 17c GB.

There are 48 billion 19c words in GB.
19c GB is 27 times 18c GB.

There are 290 billion 20c words in GB.
20c GB is 6 times 19c GB.

It's important to bear all these things in mind when studying usage rates.

Interesting stuff about the words in the Google DB.  I admitted I was using hyperbole earlier.  Personally, I haven't used the Google DB much, and I haven't asserted that I can prove the EModE methodology flawed or that I'm even interested in trying to do so, or that I even care, I find the theory quite bazaar personally.    churchistrue who made the OP might find those numbers interesting though, so appreciate you sharing.  

 

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15 minutes ago, champatsch said:

On "demands of justice":

In EEBO, we currently get 54 instances of "demands of justice/iustice".  (I also looked for it using demandes and demaund(e)s, but nothing came up; I didn't look for justise/iustise, since there was only a very slightly possibility that we would find the phrase used with these spellings.)

In ECCO, we currently get 362 hits of "demands of justice".  Probably no false positives to worry about, but a lot of duplicates, and some perhaps in EEBO.

Who wants to spend a week trying to determine a true rate of usage of this phrase, weeding out duplicates, making a spreadsheet, noting the authors, dividing by estimated words in the databases?

First instance in EEBO is by Samuel Rutherford, 1647.  (From Wikipedia I get that he "was a Scottish Presbyterian pastor, theologian and author, and one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly.")  The phrase could have been used much earlier, but 1647 is the earliest attestation we currently get from EEBO.  So the rate of increase into the 18c, over the 17c rate, is actually going to be low, since it began to be used around the midpoint of the 17c, and the number of words printed in the 18c goes up materially, decade by decade. Next thing to be done is to get the large de 3-gram file from GB and try to determine a true rate for the early 19c.  That will probably be a big job as well.

Descriptive linguistic work indicates that the verbal system of the Book of Mormon is mostly of the Early Modern English period.  Breaking it down by tenses, which most can easily contemplate, we have a present-tense system that is archaic and (extra)biblical: lots of -th, some close mixing of -s and -th, plural -th, affirmative do.  The past-tense system is archaic and most like mid to late 16c usage, and markedly different from the relatively low rate of affirmative did found in the King James Bible. The perfect tenses correspond mainly to 17c usage, with a relatively high degree of past participle leveling, and uncommon archaic markers such as "had (been) spake". The future tense is rather biblical, but with a slightly more archaic inversion rate of shall and will with pronouns (similar to the rate of the 1568 Bishops' Bible; higher than the King James rate).  The Book of Mormon also has a large amount of subjunctive shall usage, which makes it archaic and literary in that respect.

So when we see syntactic correspondences such as the following, what is to prevent us from privileging a 17c view of "demands of justice" over a 19c view?

Alma 7:18–19
I had much desire that ye was not in the state of dilemma like your brethren, even so I have found that my desires have been gratified. For I perceive that ye are in the paths of righteousness

1664 EEBO A57970 Samuel Rutherford [1600?–1661] Joshua redivivus
the Lord saw ye was able by his grace to bear the loss of husband and childe, and that ye are that weak and tender

1652 EEBO A57982 Samuel Rutherford The tryal & triumph of faith
the blessednesse of justification, to the which we was intitled before we believed, for before we believed, we was in a cursed estate: This also may be added, that if Faith be but a Declaration or manifestation, that we are justified before we believe;

That is not to say that "demands of justice" must be viewed as a 17c phrase.  In this case, it probably matters little whether we think of the phrase as 17c or 18c or 19c.  What's important is that the grammar and lexis of the Book of Mormon tell us that it almost certainly wasn't Joseph Smith choosing the phraseology from his own language from revealed ideas.  That is an extremely unlikely view of things, because of the massively represented grammar and lexis, a lot of which wasn't Joseph's way of speaking or writing, and wasn't pseudo-biblical.  But there was nothing to prevent modern phrases being used in a matrix of mostly Early Modern English grammar.  And I use "mostly", because there is a little systematic grammatical usage that corresponds to the late 18c or early 19c (e.g. auxiliary selection with unaccusative verbs), and there is lexis that entered the language in the 18c such as derangement.  And of course there are phrases such as "plan of X" which entered English beginning in the 1690s, with a first attestation of some, such as plan of mercy, in the 1740s.  But that doesn't mean there wasn't archaic usage such as but if = 'unless', whereby = 'why?', counsel = 'consult', depart = 'divide', belove = 'love (active)', mar, break = 'hinder, stop', give = 'describe, portray', rebellion = 'opposition', etc.

Interesting. I glanced through this. Too much work going on this morning. Will need to digest more later. Quick question. Let's assume the deeper analysis is done on demands of justice and found that it was very rarely used in 17c and somewhat commonly used in 19c. And then you repeated that analysis for let's say 300 other phrases (see the bottom of that blog post for the list of possible phrases). And let's say the analysis was consistent for each of those 300. Very rare in 17c, very common in 19c. Would that change how you view the text? Or would that fit within your current working theory?

 

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I would like to point out that some scholars think that Skousen and I are merely trying to dignify the text by stating that the bad grammar is Early Modern English.  What's interesting, however, is that there is a lot of "bad grammar" which is actually language we wouldn't expect Joseph Smith to have produced from his own language or his knowledge of King James idiom. Of course Joseph knew how to use the verb form art. Everyone who heard and read biblical texts knew this. But we have:

Alma 32:15
yea, much more blessed than they who art compelled to be humble 
because of their exceeding poverty

1548, Nicholas Udall (translator), Erasmus’s Paraphrase upon the New Testament, volume 1
And a man’s foes shall be they that art of his household.

1612, John Brinsley, The Grammar School
Experience teacheth that those which art apt 
will construe almost as soon without the book,

A caution on this one: there are lots of false positives in databases.

 

Also, the following one, criticized by Alexander Campbell, so far found only before the year 1700.

Ether 13:15
for there were many which rose up 
who were mighty men and sought to destroy Coriantumr 
by their secret plans of wickedness, of which hath been spoken.

1654, Schenckius (translator), Fedro von Rodach’s Physical and Chemical Works, page 71
Though the wound or ulcer must be kept clean from all impurity, 
after these herbes are buried, however for a speedier healing, 
inward and outward medicaments are to be administred; 
of which hath been spoken.

1683, John Pettus (translator), Lazarus Ercker’s The Laws of Art and Nature
FLUSS (of which hath been spoken) is made thus, 
Take one part of Salt-peter and two parts of Argol

If you find new 18c examples of this, please let me know.

 

Alma 6:8
according to the revelation of the truth of the word 
which had been spake by his fathers

1646 EEBO A26759 John Bastwick [1593–1654] The utter routing of the whole army of all the Independents and Sectaries
This had not been spake of at all (saith the Author)

1659 EEBO A30566 Jeremiah Burroughs [1599–1646] Christ inviting sinners to come to him for rest
Now the spiritual afflictions have been spake of much in the handling of the former burden,

1699 EEBO A48010 Gentleman in the City Declaration against Antinomian errors
when he tells him that all had approved of it but One, 
and that One had been spake to about it.

If you find new 18c examples of this, please let me know.

 

3 Nephi 29:4
if ye shall spurn at his doings, 
he will cause it that it shall soon overtake you

1626 EEBO A17306 Henry Burton [1578 –1648] A plea to an appeale trauersed dialogue wise
For how is it meere mercy, if any good in us foreseene, 
first caused it, that it should offer a Saviour to us?

1616 EEBO A00419 Maison rustique, or The countrey farme
To prevent the decay of beere, and to cause it that it may continue and stand good a long time

1634 EEBO A08911 Thomas Johnson, tr. [d. 1644] | Ambroise Paré [1510?–1590] Works
which causeth it that it cannot be discussed and resolved by reason of the weakenesse of the part and defect of heate

1697 EEBO A48873 A common-place book to the Holy Bible
When this Epistle is read among you, cause it that it be read also in the Church of Laodicea

 

Etc. etc. etc.

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16 hours ago, churchistrue said:

This post which I wrote previously was cross posted at Wheat and Tares.  https://wheatandtares.org/2017/11/08/19th-century-protestant-phrases-in-the-book-of-mormon/

I'm very curious what the EModE'ers think about this portion:

I can't speak for EModEers. I've moved from skeptic of Carmack to cautious acceptance. Ironically primarily by searching for the grammatical structures he raises in the Google corpus.

However one thing to keep in mind is the corpus you are using. While Google is a great resource and one I use a lot, the size of it's early 19th through 17th century corpus is pretty small. So I'd honestly be pretty skeptical about using the n-gram graph as being representative of much once you get before 1880 or so. It becomes less and less accurate the further back from that point you go.

I believe there are some more accurate corpuses you can access for the 18th and 17th centuries. It's not something I'm that familiar with so you'll have to search it out. If you're associated with an university it shouldn't be hard to get access. However until someone does that sort of thing I'm not sure one can make the claims that post does.

Edited by clarkgoble
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16 hours ago, churchistrue said:

One theory coming from their research, is that the Book of Mormon contains so much EModE grammar and vocabulary, that its translation or creation date is more likely to be in the 1600’s than the 1800’s.  Joseph simply could not or would not have used so much EModE.  I’m obviously a hack, amateur research hobbyist compared to them, but this is what I see.  When I copy/paste these 19th century phrases (from the list below) into this historical trender, over and over it produces results like the above.  I understand there are a handful of phrases and grammar clauses that are real head scratchers, in terms of being popular in EModE and dead in Joseph’s day (especially “save it be” and “save it were”–very puzzling!).  But on the flip side, you have to account for literally hundreds of phrases in the Book of Mormon that were popular in the early 1800’s that don’t seem to be used in the EModE period.

I think that this critique of their theory needs to be updated. Carmack and Skousen have come to the conclusion that in many ways the Book of Mormon is, according to Skousen, "not a sixteenth or seventeenth century book." See "A Theory! A Theory! We have already got a theory, and there cannot be any more theories!" (around 36:00 in the video presentation).

They are not saying that the text's diversity of vocabulary or the usage rates of all its words and phrases are at the levels you will find them in EModE texts. What they are saying is that there is enough exclusive EModE linguistic features and enough features that do match EModE usage rates, while not matching 18th-19th century rates, that the text undeniably has EModE content. They further argue that these EModE linguistic features are pervasive and diverse enough that it can't reasonably ascribed to mere chance, and is highly unlikely to be derived from dialectic features in Joseph Smith's 19th century environment. Many of these individual features would most likely have been inaccessible to Joseph Smith on their own, and collectively it is virtually impossible that Joseph Smith tracked them all down in EmodE sources at his disposal, and then was able to consistently implement them in his translation, especially so because the text was orally dictated.

That is the core substance of the argument and merely finding features of the text that are exclusively from the 19th century or which have higher rates of usage in the 19th century doesn't do anything to hurt their theory. On the other hand, naturalistic theories significantly struggle to accommodate the pervasive presence of diverse EModE linguistic features that are either exclusive to or much more prevalent in the EModE period. 

Edited by Ryan Dahle
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11 minutes ago, churchistrue said:

Interesting. I glanced through this. Too much work going on this morning. Will need to digest more later. Quick question. Let's assume the deeper analysis is done on demands of justice and found that it was very rarely used in 17c and somewhat commonly used in 19c. And then you repeated that analysis for let's say 300 other phrases (see the bottom of that blog post for the list of possible phrases). And let's say the analysis was consistent for each of those 300. Very rare in 17c, very common in 19c. Would that change how you view the text? Or would that fit within your current working theory?

Large amounts of extra-biblical Early Modern English are indisputably part of the Book of Mormon text.  (Much more than was naturalistically possible, unless you can find a viable candidate who had extensive philological and theological training, access to old texts, and decades to do it.) It mattereth not to me that we call phrases late modern or early modern, as long as we have the meaning right (and most Early Modern English meaning persisted into the modern period).

To your point, a couple of months ago I determined by examining the data underlying the Ngram Viewer that "plan of salvation" was used at a clearly higher rate in the early 19c than in the 18c (it is first attested in the 1720s).  I have no trouble saying that "plan of salvation" is most prominently a 19c phrase.  But that doesn't cloud my vision and make me ignore the fact that the Book of Mormon's "more part" usage is extra-biblical in formation and most prominently a 16c usage (not examining usage in the late Middle English period), or that plural mights in the Book of Mormon is most like Malory's usage in 1470, quite heavy and almost always noncontextual, unlike rare modern usage.

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39 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I think that this critique of their theory needs to be updated. Carmack and Skousen have come to the conclusion that in many ways the Book of Mormon is, according to Skousen, "not a sixteenth or seventeenth century book." See "A Theory! A Theory! We have already got a theory, and there cannot be any more theories!" (around 36:00 in the video presentation).

They are not saying that the text's diversity of vocabulary or the usage rates of all its words and phrases are at the levels you will find them in EModE texts. What they are saying is that there is enough exclusive EModE linguistic features and enough features that do match EModE usage rates, while not matching 18th-19th century rates, that the text undeniably has EModE content. They further argue that these EModE linguistic features are pervasive and diverse enough that it can't reasonably ascribed to mere chance, and is highly unlikely to be derived from dialectic features in Joseph Smith's 19th century environment. Many of these individual features would most likely have been inaccessible to Joseph Smith on their own, and collectively it is virtually impossible that Joseph Smith tracked them all down in EmodE sources at his disposal, and then was able to consistently implement them in his translation, especially so because the text was orally dictated.

That is the core substance of the argument and merely finding features of the text that are exclusively from the 19th century or which have higher rates of usage in the 19th century doesn't do anything to hurt their theory. On the other hand, naturalistic theories significantly struggle to accommodate the pervasive presence of diverse EModE linguistic features that are either exclusive to or much more prevalent in the EModE period. 

So what percentage of the Book of Mormon contains EmodE versus 19th century language anything else that might be found? 

If it is so pervasive and diverse that could possible speak to Joseph using many sources to come up with the Book of Mormon, extending to different eras, or that whoever was on the other end putting words before his face was using many sources transcending eras.  How does this type of thinking work regarding the Book of Abraham? 

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30 minutes ago, champatsch said:

Large amounts of extra-biblical Early Modern English are indisputably part of the Book of Mormon text.  (Much more than was naturalistically possible, unless you can find a viable candidate who had extensive philological and theological training, access to old texts, and decades to do it.) It mattereth not to me that we call phrases late modern or early modern, as long as we have the meaning right (and most Early Modern English meaning persisted into the modern period).

To your point, a couple of months ago I determined by examining the data underlying the Ngram Viewer that "plan of salvation" was used at a clearly higher rate in the early 19c than in the 18c (it is first attested in the 1720s).  I have no trouble saying that "plan of salvation" is most prominently a 19c phrase.  But that doesn't cloud my vision and make me ignore the fact that the Book of Mormon's "more part" usage is extra-biblical in formation and most prominently a 16c usage (not examining usage in the late Middle English period), or that plural mights in the Book of Mormon is most like Malory's usage in 1470, quite heavy and almost always noncontextual, unlike rare modern usage.

OK, I get that. 

My question is, let's say you had 300 phrases like "plan of salvation", reason to rejoice, temporally and spiritually, mortal body, bowels of mercy, lost and fallen state, probationary state, flesh becoming subject. Let's say we have a list of 300 of these. And they all fit the pattern for plan of salvation. My question is would it change your theory or would that be expected with your current theory? I'm not really trying to challenge you here. Just wondering more about your theory and what evidence like that would do.

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12 minutes ago, churchistrue said:

My question is, let's say you had 300 phrases like "plan of salvation", reason to rejoice, temporally and spiritually, mortal body, bowels of mercy, lost and fallen state, probationary state, flesh becoming subject. Let's say we have a list of 300 of these. And they all fit the pattern for plan of salvation. My question is would it change your theory or would that be expected with your current theory? I'm not really trying to challenge you here. Just wondering more about your theory and what evidence like that would do.

What do you think his theory is? From what I can tell he's arguing for a composite text not a purely 15th century one. It seems unambigous that there are post-15th century phrases. Exactly what all this means isn't at all clear. I'm not sure Carmack or Skousen, from what I can tell, really have much of a theory for any of this. (I might be wrong in that)

I know there were a few people postulating Moroni learning English in the 15th century and doing most of the translation work and communicating that to Joseph via the U&T. That seems wildly speculative to my eyes and avoids the question of Blake Ostler's expansion theory. It seems to me pretty apparent we have at best a loose translation likely with a reasonable amount of expansion made to the text at the time of Joseph. Arguably somewhat like the JST is to the Bible.

Edited by clarkgoble
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