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Revisions In Analysis of Archaic Language in Book of Mormon- Skousen and Carmack


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https://interpreterfoundation.org/blog-pre-print-of-revisions-in-the-analysis-of-archaic-language-in-the-book-of-mormon/

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In The Nature of the Original Language [of the Book of Mormon] (hereafter, NOL), Royal Skousen and Stanford Carmack indicated that additional research into the language of the Book of Mormon might mean that some of the archaic words, phrases, and expressions identified at the beginning of NOL would eventually be discovered to have also occurred later in the 1700s. They were hampered by an inability to fully use the Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) database. Now, however, much of that difficulty has been overcome, and Carmack has spent the last year or so reviewing the potentially archaic words, phrases, and expressions discussed in NOL. (During the past few months, Skousen has reviewed these potential archaisms as well.)

In what follows—a pre-print of what will appear in part 8 of volume 3 of the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project—Skousen and Carmack report on what they have found. Some of the examples given in NOL did not die out as early as they had proposed. But a good many solid examples still hold up as almost certainly or probably archaic.

The results are important. For one thing, they illustrate the care and integrity with which the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project has been conducted since its inception. The Interpreter Foundation is honored to be associated with this effort.

— Dan Peterson

I know many here follow this closely.

The article points out that there has to be some revision in the project because some of the language believed to be Early Modern English has proven to be in usage later than the EMODE period.

Edited by mfbukowski
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"But a good many solid examples still hold up as almost certainly or probably archaic."

 

"almost certainly or probably archaic"

 

Why is the default assumption archaic in these instances?

There is a consistent pattern of ancient parallels presented as evidence for Mormonism which has not ruled out modern origins. This type of evidence is not persuasive to anyone outside of belief, nor should it be.

 

 

Edited by CA Steve
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1 hour ago, CA Steve said:

"But a good many solid examples still hold up as almost certainly or probably archaic."

 

"almost certainly or probably archaic"

 

Why is the default assumption archaic in these instances?

There is a consistent pattern of ancient parallels presented as evidence for Mormonism which has not ruled out modern origins. This type of evidence is not persuasive to anyone outside of belief, nor should it be.

That's the way many may see this, for better or worse.

I wanted to raise that question.   My position has always been that the Book of Mormon stands as scripture for its content, not for historical evidence, yet of course historical evidence could be the frosting on the cake. 

I have tremendous respect for brothers Skousen and Carmack.

Edited by mfbukowski
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This inability to fully use the Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) database seems like a major issue.  And as such there should have been a delay in the publishing of this research until they worked this out.  If there would have been peer review of this research, I believe this would have been identified and called out.

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42 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

 

This inability to fully use the Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) database seems like a major issue.  And as such there should have been a delay in the publishing of this research until they worked this out.  If there would have been peer review of this research, I believe this would have been identified and called out.

Interpreter articles ARE peer-reviewed, and this is a pre-publication "sneak preview" on the Interpreter BLOG of some of the details of the effort which has gone into this project- and note also that this was entered onto the site by "Administration" which means that someone in the administration of the Interpreter decided to post it of course with the permission of the authors but not as a fully complete analysis.  THAT is still in process.

As is mentioned, the fact that this is even available to us on the internet is a testament to the honesty of the authors and publishers in transparently presenting the details of the research process, warts and all.

Technically as a blog post it is no more authoritative or subject to peer review than your post above is, or my post, or any post on a blog.

Edited by mfbukowski
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On 11/6/2020 at 7:46 AM, CA Steve said:

"But a good many solid examples still hold up as almost certainly or probably archaic."

 

"almost certainly or probably archaic"

 

Why is the default assumption archaic in these instances?

There is a consistent pattern of ancient parallels presented as evidence for Mormonism which has not ruled out modern origins. This type of evidence is not persuasive to anyone outside of belief, nor should it be.

 

 

I have always been of the opinion, that in religious matters, spiritual evidence is the only relevant evidence, ultimately, yet of course historic evidence is the frosting on the cake.

 

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Of the original 39 archaic vocabulary items discussed...ten of these have persisted through the 1700s.  

What do we do when these all but disappear as candidates?  Say Joseph did write the BoM after all?  

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The EmodE theory should be jettisoned in my opinion or at least toned down until EmodE in Joseph's spoken language can be eliminated.  I think Brant Gardner discussed how supposed EmodE was found in the early D&C and Dr. Carmack discussed how it was there too as well as in the Temple Plot revelation.  Yet, Mr. Gardner pointed out that EmodE disappears from the D&C as Joseph grew older.  I don't think Dr. Carmack disputed this but I may be wrong.  So, it would seem that Joseph probably was the source of the EmodE and perhaps what is taken to be archaic may very well be, but still part of Joseph's spoken vocabulary early on.  Then as Joseph matured and was more educated, the backwoods EmodE forms of his spoken language disappeared.  We just don't know how people of upstate New York spoke in those times and as spoken english tends to be sloppier than written language, perhaps this is the key that kills the theory?

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23 hours ago, stemelbow said:

What do we do when these all but disappear as candidates?  Say Joseph did write the BoM after all?  

It's at a point where easier ones to track have been determined to be persistent, sometimes against the OED.

It's now more difficult to show persistence in about 50 instances.

Textual chain of usage for vocabulary that was apparently in obsolescence needs to be established.

The OED will need to be shown to be inaccurate in quite a few of these cases, sometimes strikingly inaccurate.

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20 hours ago, Robert J Anderson said:

The EmodE theory should be jettisoned in my opinion or at least toned down until EmodE in Joseph's spoken language can be eliminated.  I think Brant Gardner discussed how supposed EmodE was found in the early D&C and Dr. Carmack discussed how it was there too as well as in the Temple Plot revelation.  Yet, Mr. Gardner pointed out that EmodE disappears from the D&C as Joseph grew older.  I don't think Dr. Carmack disputed this but I may be wrong.  So, it would seem that Joseph probably was the source of the EmodE and perhaps what is taken to be archaic may very well be, but still part of Joseph's spoken vocabulary early on.  Then as Joseph matured and was more educated, the backwoods EmodE forms of his spoken language disappeared.  We just don't know how people of upstate New York spoke in those times and as spoken english tends to be sloppier than written language, perhaps this is the key that kills the theory?

Early Doctrine and Covenants revelations were received as the Book of Mormon, so they are under the same conditions. If Gardner is currently using those as evidence for JS translating/authoring the Book of Mormon — and I have no firsthand knowledge that he is — then he wouldn't be proceeding in a rigorous manner.

Two very strong indicators that JS did not author the Book of Mormon are the personal relative pronoun pattern and the verb complementation pattern. I invite anyone to find modern texts with these patterns. Wide-ranging comparative studies indicate that no one proposed as an author of the Book of Mormon would have produced these patterns. The past-tense pattern is another pervasive one which, with the support of these two, clearly indicate the early modern nature of the syntax. There are other patterns, both large and small, that accord with these patterns, which evince early modern sensibilities.

I have added this last paragraph to another recent thread that has to do with Book of Mormon authorship. It is hard to find any stronger evidence than this.

Edited by champatsch
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