EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Symmachus »

Agosh wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:18 am
Thank you for that enlightening excursus, most esteemed Symmachus. I hesitate to ask for any further explanations as I do not wish to take up any more of your valuable time. You surely have more pressing and important pursuits to attend to.
Yes, my graduate course on "Topics in Jaredite Meter" and my ever popular undergraduate survey "Introduction to Nephite Socio-linguistics" don't put themselves online, my worthy Agosh.

Let me say at the outset that I agree with your reading of the telegram quoted in Foote; perhaps I wasn't clear in saying: I take it back. I provided the context not only that you might see how I was lead into a hasty judgement (the placement on the page + lack of punctuation), offered parenthetically, but also how an idea, once in the mind, can easily mislead. If I hadn't had it somewhere in my mind that "if-and" syntax in 19th century spoken English was something to notice, then, quite obviously, I wouldn't have noticed it as such. One should work from the phenomenon to the idea and not the other way around. It seems to me, though, that Skousen has done that on a grand scale.
Agosh wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:18 am
Yet you asked for some examples, and simple examples at that, but it looks like Skousen himself stipulates that the Book of Mormon's extra and is never simple, unlike what it can be in Hebrew. There's always a complicating phrase or clause between the initial subordinate clause and the main clause, as in this well-known case:
Moroni 10:4 (extra and removed for the 1837 edition)
and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart,
with real intent, having faith in Christ, 
and he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Or this one:
Helaman 13:28 (extra and removed for the 1837 edition)
and because he speaketh flattering words unto you
and he saith that all is well,
and then ye will not find no fault with him.
I thank you for providing these. I remember the example of Moroni from Skousen's Yale edition but did not know or had forgotten about the other. Your description stands out to me because this is not usually the case in Hebrew. Biblical Hebrew, as you know, favors paratactic syntax rather than hypotactic constructions. In other words, subordination is actually not that frequent, and this manifests in terms of the number of subordinating particles: there aren't that many (the main ones being kī, 'im, ašer), especially as compared to English. As a result, you find constructions using prepositions with an infinitive construct, for example, which are translated as subordinate clauses but are in fact not formally subordinators at all. This is also why the Hebrew wa (= "and") is put to so many uses, including as an inferential particle in conditional statements. The tense system also plays a role to an extent.

What you have given here, though, shows what's actually going on. Hypotactic syntax—that is, syntax with a relatively high use of clauses that are subordinate to a main clause—is in many written traditions a marker of education and rhetorical ability: in Greek and Latin, most obviously, but also in English and most European languages that have been influenced by the Greco-Roman rhetorical tradition, as well as in Classical Arabic. You find it used hardly at all in Homer or early Latin, but by the fifth century BCE in Greece and certainly by the second in Rome the ability manipulate syntactically complex sentences was one of the primary indicators of high style, because it leads to sentences that are formally more complex. The inverse of this, of course, is that lack of subordination (paratactic constructions where main clauses are just put next to each other but one is not subordinated to another) indicates lack of education or rhetorical ability. There is definitely a direct correspondence between expertise in writing and hypotaxis, and an inverse relationship between writing and parataxis (children, for example, largely speak paratactically until they get some schooling). If you look at the earliest written traditions of highly synthetic languages, as most Indo-European languages and some Semitic languages are, you will find this same phenomenon (e.g. English was largely a paratactic written language until the influence of Latin rhetorical theories in the early modern period, which is one of the reason you get the old use of "and" to mean "if"). You can think even of everyday speech in contemporary English, where paratactic construction is quite common and where utterances are strung together with connective particles like "and."

So, what I see in the examples above, where the basic conditional is interrupted by subordination in style that is not at all like BIblical Hebrew, is someone who is attempting to inject a hypotactic style into the everyday, paratactic style of speaking. The subordination is getting beyond his control, which is usual with most speakers without special training. That is even clearer to me from the examples offered by Gadianton above. An uncharitable way to read it is as "bad grammar," which as I say is to me not is the right way of thinking about it. I see this, rather, as Joseph Smith composing (for me) or performing (for the believer) the Book of Mormon text spontaneously in the manner of oral composition not unknown around the world.

What makes me hesitant about Skousen's scholarship is that he is deciding about where the breaks are. That may be based on his best judgment independent of his theory, but it may be conditioned by the theory. For example, staying with our Civil War theme, one could re-punctuate a section of Abaham Lincoln's "House Divided" speech, which was performed orally and only later published, and then engineer some "if-and" syntax. The original is:
If we could first know where we are and whither we are tending, we could better judge:what to do, and how to do it.
But let's change the comma:
If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending we could better judge: what to do, and how to do it.
Let's assume that is a real example for this thought experiment of "if-and" conditional syntax; to test whether it works, let's replace the "and" to an inferential particle in a conditional construction:
If we could first know where we are, then whither we are tending we could better judge: what to do, and how to do it.
If I found the original manuscript had the misplaced comma, should I conclude this is "not-English" as Skousen does as regards the Book of Mormon, and then publish theory that this non-English is explained as Hebraic influence on Abraham Lincoln? Obviously not.

The purpose of punctuation is to reduce points of confusion like this in writing, which tone of voice and other paralinguistic clues do in the spoken instance. The Book of Mormon manuscript is a transcription of an oral performance without sporadic and incomplete punctuation, so I think Skousen is reading far more into it than is actually there. It's only a problem if you don't edit it properly, and the orally dictated text of the Book of Mormon was obviously thought by its proprietor and translator not to have been properly edited. I'm not sure I agree with Physics Guy that these were "mistakes," then, but I see no reason why I should interpret them as reflective of an underlying syntactical pattern from Hebrew.
Physics Guy wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:33 am
This kind of construction might just be a mistake in dictation, no? Even today I think there are two alternative ways to express conditions and conclusions:

If you ask, then he will manifest.
Ask, and he will manifest.

Because he speaks, therefore you will not find.
He speaks, and you will not find.

So a person dictating might simply forget which choice they had made at the beginning of a long sentence, and inadvertently complete the sentence in the second form, having started it in the first.

A test for this possibility might be to see how often the if ... and construction happened with a long ... in between the if and the and, compared to how often it happened with shorter intervals between. The EModE grammar hypothesis would not seem to me to predict any difference in these two frequencies, but the forgetful mixing of constructions would be more common with the longer intervening clauses than with shorter ones.

It might also be worth seeing how often one gets the opposite kind of mixing, "Ask ... then he will manifest". Forgetfulness might not necessarily be symmetrical for the two kinds of mixing but one would expect some amount of mixing of both kinds, I think,
I'm not as sure about the second example, but I'm glad we agree on the first as an instance where "and" is equivalent to "then" in a conditional construction (see my initial comments on this above). Of course, "if"-deletion is only permissible with an imperative verb; the reason the "if" is deleted is because imperative verbs in English cannot be syntactically subordinate). I think the rest is not substantially different from what I have said, although obviously I characterize it differently from you.
Gadianton wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:16 pm
Here is a FAIR rundown of Skousen's Hebraism. I think, Symmachus, that a long time ago anything that wasn't quite right was attributed to Hebrew, not realizing that one day they would discover EmodE, and that in that future day, everything not quite right would be EmodE instead.
Ha! Well, I hope you can forgive my confusion on this, because Skousen lists this as "non-English" in the introduction to his Yale edition, but in that same discussion of language he also includes a section on the supposed examples of Early Modern English. So, in that edition, the only one I have of his work, these exist side by side, although he does not attribute, as I recall, the "if-then" to Hebrew. He simply says it is not English, which is bizarre on one level (whatever a native English speaker produces is by definition English, so what else is it supposed to be?), but is definitely a subtle bait-and-switch on a deeper level: he produces a transcription of an oral text that is as close the what Joseph actually spoke as it is possible to get but then he judges that by a written standard. That introduces unnecessary confusion, and to dispel that confusion he introduces the theory of a Hebrew origin (in other papers, not in his Yale edition, where it is left unexplained).
Gadianton wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:16 pm
These are pretty clear conditionals. Skousen's list isn't so clear to me. Here is some of the surrounding text of one example he gave:

if he say saieth unto the earth move & it is moved yea
if he saieth unto1245 the waters of the great deep be thou dried up & it is done behold
if he saieth unto this Mountain be thou raised up & come over & fall upon that City that it be buried up & behold it is done
if a man hideth up a treasure in the earth & the Lord shall say let it be acursed because of the iniquity of him that hath had it up behold it shall be acursed

it seems like he wants to say if...behold, not if...and
if...behold is really common. Here are a few examples:

if our brethren seek to destroy us behold we will h
if our brethren destroy us behold we shall
if thou shalt deny again behold God shall
if so blessed are ye behold thy broth
if the seed were <​was​> good & behold as the tr
if a man murdereth behold will our
if ye transgress the commandments of God behold these thi
if ye will not repent behold this grea
if ye will in this thing seek to destroy me behold I say unt
if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life behold mine arm
if he endureth to the end behold him will
if it so be that the water come in upon thee behold ye shall
if ye will but have <​have​> faith behold it was by
if I go not out soon against the Lamanites behold the pride

I think there are around 40 if...behold 's
None of these strike me as reflective of Hebrew syntax. They look rather like examples of aposiopesis—ending a sentence or clause right in the middle and then moving on to something else without picking up the thought later—which I have discussed here before in relation to this issue, and which is something that happens in everyday speech all the time. It has a fancy rhetorical name for reasons we can discuss, but it is not because it is something that only people with rhetorical education do (it's actually quite rare in polished rhetoric, and for that reason was noticed by the rhetoricians). Any transcription of spoken language will show you how common it is in everyday speech.
"As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them."

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Agosh »

I must apologize, Symmachus, for misreading you. I do indeed see that you retracted your judgment, and that I lightly skipped over your full explanation. At any rate, you have certainly provided a master class in linguistic analysis, for which I thank you.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Gadianton »

One linguistic theory put forward by our resident Symmachus was that Joseph Smith is trying to make the text sound archaic.

Returning to the 'if..behold' instances in the KJV, there are actually very few:

if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy so
if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all t
if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms
if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I b
if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow
if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick

The Bible is a much longer book than the Book of Mormon, which has ~40 of these. Looking at what these have in common, I'd say Joseph Smith was trying to make the Book of Mormon sound ancient, majestic and powerful. That very long run-on example that I partially quoted that was the key example on that FAIR write-up (The FAIR person may not have got the memo that 'not English' doesn't necessarily mean Hebrew) and to me it's "shock and awe" if...beholds. You can think of something impossible to do? Behold! God has already been there and done it.
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Agosh »

Was following an exchange on this topic elsewhere a few days ago, with some amusement, and noticed that Karnak threw out a veiled challenge, as it were, to find some later examples of what he called "nonbiblical referential phraseology "of which/whom [ø] hath/has been spoken", without an it where the null sign is." Also, "two rare variants present in the Book of Mormon: "a more part" and "the more parts"." Has anyone come across these in modern non-Mormon writings?

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Symmachus »

Agosh wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:53 am
Was following an exchange on this topic elsewhere a few days ago, with some amusement, and noticed that Karnak threw out a veiled challenge, as it were, to find some later examples of what he called "nonbiblical referential phraseology "of which/whom [ø] hath/has been spoken", without an it where the null sign is." Also, "two rare variants present in the Book of Mormon: "a more part" and "the more parts"." Has anyone come across these in modern non-Mormon writings?
Much like Nibley's famed challenge to Book of Mormon skeptics, the basis needed to test this is impossible to arrange before applying the test. Just as there is no uneducated person from the 19th century skeptics could find to answer Nibley's challenge by miraculously scoring all of those Book of Mormon bullseyes that Nibley descries, in this case there simply are no significant corpora of 19th century spoken English analogous to the Book of Mormon manuscript: a dictated text unmediated either by the education of the speaker or educated editorial interference. How many unedited dictated texts do we have from the New England frontier anyway? And to top it all off, he excludes the Bible—the most obvious model of the Book of Mormon ("the more part" does occur in KJV a few times—why isn't that an influence on Smith, given that he pasted whole chapters from the Bible into the Book of Mormon?). It's not as if the Book of Mormon is a handbook on black-smithing, for Christ's sake. It is self-consciously analogous to the Bible (the "stick of Joseph" and all that).

But this is all irrelevant; the burden is on Carmack and Skousen to explain why we should see any of this as Early Modern English (we've not even explored what that really means yet, but whatever) and not the result of scribal error, or any number of other possibilities that don't require us to accept an absurdity. This is so typical of apologists: first they set up a few tiny details like flimsy sticks on which to set their traditionalist view of the Book of Mormon but then they never follow up and provide the necessary intellectual supports to hold up such a clumsy and incoherent mass. There is no firm foundation for it. When it collapses we're told to just think about the mere existence of the flimsy sticks and not about the fact that they don't hold up.

A theory like Early Modern English is a perfect fit for data-oriented sort of people who think piling up numbers means something and that the act of numerating liberates them from actually having to know something. Has Carmack actually even read an early modern English text? He does a bunch of words searches in isolation from the context and then tabulates occurrences, seemingly oblivious to the fact that language is not congeries of utterances but a self-referential system. What is sytematically Early Modern English about the Book of Mormon? Nothing. This is why I keep emphasizing the need to read some English from the late 15th to late 16th century for those who find this theory worthy of consideration because some professors believe it: you can intuit a lot about that system that marks it as something different, even if it is hard for a non-linguist to describe those markers. But then if you read the Book of Mormon after reading even a small bit of English from the early modern period, you will grasp that it doesn't really "feel" like what you were reading when you were reading English from early modern period. That's because it isn't.
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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

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...theory like Early Modern English is a perfect fit for data-oriented sort of people who think [mindlessly] piling up numbers means something and that the act of [meaninglessly] numerating liberates them from actually having to know something.
On behalf of us numbers people who actually use our brains properly: Fixed That For You.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

Lemmie wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:19 pm

...theory like Early Modern English is a perfect fit for data-oriented sort of people who think [mindlessly] piling up numbers means something and that the act of [meaninglessly] numerating liberates them from actually having to know something.
On behalf of us numbers people who actually use our brains properly: Fixed That For You.
Love it! :lol:
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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Lemmie »

Everybody Wang Chung wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:35 pm
Lemmie wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:19 pm
On behalf of us numbers people who actually use our brains properly: Fixed That For You.
Love it! :lol:
Lol. I hope Symmachus didn’t find that offensive. His complaint is actually the identical one I make virtually every single time I read an Interpreter article that uses data in any way. Their “playground peer review” doesn’t seem to be working, at least in that respect.
symmachus wrote:
What is systematically Early Modern English about the Book of Mormon? Nothing.
Carmack’s research completely summed up in a single sentence.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

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Lemmie wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:38 pm
I hope Symmachus didn’t find that offensive.
Not at all. I welcome the correction. It's not the numbers approach per se that I have a problem with but its use as a substitute for thinking and, in the instance I'm referring to, for knowing something. Carmack is either engaging in a soft kind of deception or else he has little experience with early modern English. I honestly doubt whether he has actually read the authors of the period apart from the sentences he culls from their works through his corpora searches.
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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Physics Guy »

Recently on the other board Carmack was touting the use of "but if" to mean "unless" as a uniquely Early Modern item without any more recent attestations. I have only family connections to linguistics but it occurred to me right away that one doesn't have to see this as "but if" meaning "unless" at all. One can merely see it as "but" being used to mean "except", and then "except if" being equivalent to "unless" just as it is to this day.

Using "but" to mean "except" is common in the King James Bible, I believe. "We have no king but Caesar." It even crops up still today in such idioms as, "It never rains but it pours."

"But" is not necessarily interchangeable with "except" in all uses. Which constructions can accept either word may well be the kind of thing that changes over time. So suppose Carmack is right that "but if" has not been used for "except if" since 1600 or whatever. It still does not follow at all that one would have had to know pre-1600 grammar to know that "but if" was in common use at one time. One could simply be using "but" for "except", because that way has that good old Bible-ish sound, and accidentally overuse the replacement, in particular contexts where it was obsolete in King James times, through ignorance of how dialects have changed over time.

Not all of Carmack's examples may be this faulty, and on the other hand his method has faults besides this kind of thing. But I suspect that this sort of problem may be common in Carmack's analysis. He pores through tons of texts and crunches all kinds of numbers but doesn't think hard enough about explanations that he doesn't want to be true. He's quick to see opportunities on his own side but slow to recognize alternatives.

That's by no means a besetting scientific sin of Stanford Carmack alone. On the contrary it's an original sin that taints almost all human thought. The one great thing about peer review, outweighing all its many faults as a practice, is that it tends to correct this particular kind of common error, by letting someone go over your evidence and arguments who has different wishes from yours about what should be true.

So this is an example of why it's such a bad sign for the Skousen-Carmack theory that it has not been subjected to real peer review.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

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That's by no means a besetting scientific sin of Stanford Carmack alone. On the contrary it's an original sin that taints almost all human thought. The one great thing about peer review, outweighing all its many faults as a practice, is that it tends to correct this particular kind of common error, by letting someone go over your evidence and arguments who has different wishes from yours about what should be true.

So this is an example of why it's such a bad sign for the Skousen-Carmack theory that it has not been subjected to real peer review.
Excellent point, physics guy. The part I bolded also explains why Interpreter’s policy of only using people for their peer review who are ‘not hostile to LDS truth claims’ fails as a true peer review.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Lemmie »

Symmachus has commented similarly many times, but still, an interesting comment from MDD:
Benjamin McGuire
Posted 18 hours ago

On 8/17/2020 at 3:10 PM, champatsch said:
“What is the best match for the tenses used in the Book of Mormon? Present, past, future, perfect. Early modern or late modern?“


Is there language in the text that is later than Early Modern English? If there is, then the text cannot be Early Modern English, and your argument is irrelevant. Yes, it may incorporate elements which are Early Modern English. But this does not make the text-as-it-is an Early Modern English text.

To put it into a biblical context, we don't date a Hebrew text based on the earliest Hebrew words and forms that we find in the text - those can be borrowed or copied from earlier texts and sources. We work from the most recent language and forms to determine the date of the text that we read. We may use the earlier language to argue that it incorporates an earlier text, or that the text before us represents a revision of an earlier text. But it doesn't change the fact that the text that we have isn't a text from that earlier period. We can always find earlier language in later texts. We don't as a general rule, find more recent language in earlier texts. The argument that you raise is even more problematic in this sense, since it is much easier to identify the introduction of new language than it is to identify when language disappears from the grammar and vocabulary. Language has something of a shelf life - even after it moves out of style, simply because the population that understands that language doesn't disappear overnight.

The negative argument is to simply demonstrate the same forms in contemporary literature - even one or two will tend to disprove the idea that it must be considered Early Modern English. And just as importantly, if the text is deliberately using archaic language as a feature to encourage its intended audience to read and understand it in a certain way, then the inclusion of the archaic language cannot be construed as evidence of earlier authorship. When we combine these issues with the clear fact that the Book of Mormon does include language which post-dates the Early Modern English period, it makes the idea that the text is Early Modern English more than highly problematic.

https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/73 ... 1209987861
Benjamin McGuire
Posted 18 hours ago

22 hours ago, JarMan said:
“A small amount of “later” stuff doesn’t shift the date of the bulk of the work.”

It isn't merely a small amount of "later" stuff. There is a significant amount of later stuff. This is one of the major issues with the theory. There has been no real effort made to identify all of the language which cannot be Early Modern English. So perhaps you could enlighten me. What percentage of the Book of Mormon text is exclusively Early Modern English?
[bolding added to note what I see as the overarching issue.]

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Lemmie »

Carmack’s response to B. McGuire:

The production history of the Book of Mormon is, of course, different from other texts, so a lot of what you write here is irrelevant. Nor are we interested in vague general discussions. We're more interested in the data. Still waiting for you to find late modern examples of specific items mentioned above and mentioned in NOL. That could be helpful. And it would be helpful if you could find modern texts with the Book of Mormon's verb complementation or relative pronoun or nominative absolute or agentive of or non-3sg {-th} or subjunctive shall or more part or subordinate that patterns.

You like to be a contrarian, when possible. And you use the Early Modern English label to be one. In the final analysis, it's not even necessary to label the language. It's only used as a convenience because it's more often than not fitting. What's important, until it's specifically refuted, is that the text has quite a few patterns and usage that are archaic though non(pseudo)biblical. These indicate that Joseph Smith wasn't the author. Where you direct the discussion deliberately distracts from these striking realities.

ttps://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/73094-davi ... 1209987933

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Lemmie »

Continuing:
Benjamin McGuire
Posted 3 hours ago

7 hours ago, champatsch said:
“The production history of the Book of Mormon is, of course, different from other texts, so a lot of what you write here is irrelevant. Nor are we interested in vague general discussions. We're more interested in the data. Still waiting for you to find late modern examples of specific items mentioned above and mentioned in NOL. That could be helpful. And it would be helpful if you could find modern texts with the Book of Mormon's verb complementation or relative pronoun or nominative absolute or agentive of or non-3sg {-th} or subjunctive shall or more part or subordinate that patterns.“


There is a term that gets used for this notion: Special Pleading. It's a logical fallacy (and I am sure you have heard of it). How is the production history of the Book of Mormon different from other texts? And when you assert its difference, does the assertion actually prevent anyone from providing some sort of negative check?

But for the record, here is what I have time for this morning. So let's start with your "the more part of" ok? I notice in your one article that you mention a late use by Edward Freeman (well several uses, since I think it occurs seven times in that text right?).

Quote
“Even though most OED quotations occur before the 17th century, the last-dated example in the dictionary is surprisingly late — 1871. This was a conscious, scholarly use by an Oxford historian, Edward Freeman, apparently well-versed in old historical writings such as Holinshed’s Chronicles — heavily used by Shakespeare — which employed many instances of “the more part (of )”

Somehow the OED misses his later volume which uses it three times: General sketch of history. Adapted for American students. (pp. 76, 183, and 198). Or perhaps we should discuss the poet William Morris (1834-1896) who uses this language in his The Life and Death of Jason (published in Boston in 1867), or his The Earthy Paradise, also published in Boston in 1871. The text (just so that we are clear) reads in the first case "That on an island builded was the place the more part of it;" and in the second: "I led ashore the more part of our men".

Perhaps as a poet, he liked archaic language too. So then we see it in William Roberton's (1823-1892) The History of Scotland, during the reign of Queen Mary and King James VI (published in New York in 1856), which gives us "and yet the more part of them was reduced".

But he's another historian right? So let's look at something completely different. In 1875, North Carolina (the State) published a Report of the Geological Survey of North Carolina prepared by Washington Kerr (the state geologist). It gets used twice in that volume (pp. 34 and 136): "It is noticeable that both these rivers receive the more part of their water and all their larger tributaries from the north" and "including the mass of the Smoky Mountains and its eastern escarpment for the more part of its course"

There are a lot more (and I don't have the time to list them). But there is another reference worth mentioning. I am sure you are aware of Poutsma's Grammar of Late Modern English? This is from Part II The Parts of Speech, Section 1, A. (1914). (p. 437).

Quote
“The more part is still in use as an archaism.
The more part of them perished by falling over the rocks. Freeman, Norm. Conq. IV, XVIII, 117
I led ashore the more part of our men W. Morris, The Earthly Par., Prol., 16b.“


Archaic, yes. In use long after the publication of the Book of Mormon? Yes. The 1871 language isn't all that surprising once you start seeing it in many places.

I will get back with you on the other request you make of me when I have a few minutes (and have physical access to my library), but let me ask your opinion (since I am not a linguistic expert by any stretch of the imagination). Would any of these work as absolute nominative syntax?

1) Frank Stribling, as he was called, possessed a limited education, but considerable poetic energy as well as matrimonial enterprise, he having been married three times.

2) Mr. J. D. Vanhoovenburgh was the first sheriff, as stated by Mr. Dewey, he having been appointed by the governor to that office at the first organization of the county, and while Michigan was a territory.

3) The friends of Dr. Pitcher in other States have given gratifying tokens of their respect by making him a member of their various scientific organizations, he having been elected an honorary member of the New York and Rhode Island Medical Societies, corresponding member of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, of the New York Lyceum of Natural History, and of the New York and Minnesota Historical Societies, and trustee of the Michigan State Insane Asylum.

4) Mr. Hunt was probably the oldest Mason in Michigan at the time of his death, he having been a member of that order for over seventy years.

5) Mr. O'Neill's demise was rather sudden, he having been confined to the house less than a week.

6) Mr. Shearer was probably most known as supervisor and as a member of the board of supervisors, he having been elected to that office many times after he moved to his farm in 1864.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Lemmie »

And Carmack’s latest response:

champatsch
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Posted 1 hour ago (edited)
We can of course find rare scattered examples of various things. That's not the issue. The Book of Mormon has a concentration of many archaic features in abundance, and many more than I've mentioned above (and below). Why don't you find us a text that approaches the nonbiblical archaic features the Book of Mormon possesses, if it is, as you continually imply, merely a run-of-the-mill early 19c pseudobiblical text.

I am well aware of late-19c scholarly instances of the more part. None of these scholars, however, employ the two rare variants found in the Book of Mormon, and its use is less biblical than Freeman's or Morris's or Stevenson's. In fact, it's anti-biblical in its use: 11 of its 24 non-adverbial instances could've been like the King James Bible's two instances, but none of the 11 are. Why don't you show us a 19c text with the Book of Mormon's two rare early modern variants and a dozen or so instances of more part phraseology, half of what the Book of Mormon has.

Of course there is some nominative absolute in the late modern period, but hardly ever or not at all to the degree we find it in the Book of Mormon. It has 62 instances of "<subj.porn.> being/having" in nonbiblical sections. If this had been common late modern usage, then we should be able to find thousands of texts with these levels. And if this was something to be expected, then the usage should be higher in pseudobiblical texts. In the 25 pseudobiblical texts I've consulted, however, I encounter no more than five of these in any single text — nothing approaching even 10 or 20. The peak period of use was the 1540s to the 1690s. There was a sharp dropoff after that, as shown by ECCO. That 150 year stretch is when we frequently find textual usage rates that exceed the Book of Mormon's. We don't find such a cluster in the late modern period. By the 1820s, the textual average is about one in 100,000 words. The Book of Mormon is 25/100k.

How about pointing us to a text that has hundreds of instances of finite complementation after the verbs cause, command, desire, grant, and suffer. How about pointing us to some late modern texts that have some of the striking personal relative pronoun patterns of the Book of Mormon, also some with the text's "he that" and "they which" divergence. What about showing us texts that exhibit the early modern pronoun constraint on non-3sg {-th} usage, or texts with varied early modern non-2sg art usage. How about finding some late modern texts with eight different types of subordinate/pleonastic that usage, with shall and should employed multiple times as subjunctive markers in the subordinate clause. Why don't you show us a text with a bunch of pro-form "save it were/was/be" usage in it. How about showing us a text with a bunch of "if it so be" in it, with several instances of subjunctive shall and should. I'm still waiting on "of which/whom hath been spoken". How about finding a text with many varied examples of agentive of, where the usage rate compared with agentive by is about 50%. How about finding a text with 12 instances of "had spake" and one of "been spake". Maybe you can find some modern texts with "there was many (persons) which" or "there was but few (persons) which". How about finding a modern text with a few instances of "nor no manner of X". How about finding a text with five or ten instances of object "they which". Etc.

Here's a list of potential lexical archaisms. Maybe you can find a bunch of late modern examples of these, or pseudobiblical texts with a few of these: about to ‘engaged in preparations to’; begin to ‘begin at/with’; but if ‘unless’; cross ‘contradict (a statement)’; desirous ‘desirable’; do away ‘dismiss, put away’; extinct ‘of a person: dead’; flatter ‘coax’; give ‘represent, describe, portray’; have choice ‘have a choice’; have welfare ‘have success’; how be it ‘however it may be’; hurl ‘drag’; idleness ‘frivolous, foolish behavior’; manifest ‘declare, state in detail’; mar ‘hinder, stop’ (late mod. Scottish); raign ‘arraign’; scatter ‘of persons: separate (from the main body)’; search knowledge ‘search for knowledge’; sermon ‘discussion’; subsequent ‘resulting’; subtle to do ‘subtle in doing’; tell ‘prophesy’ (specific); to that ‘until’; what is it ‘why?’; whereby ‘why?’

https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/73 ... 1209988018

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Dr Moore »

How does EmodE answer the more likely explanation that Joseph just fancied a few stylistic grammatical constructions and phrases, based on a few opportune glances at old books? That explanation fits far better with all of the other BofM authorship apologetics.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Lemmie »

Dr Moore wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:55 pm
How does EmodE answer the more likely explanation that Joseph just fancied a few stylistic grammatical constructions and phrases, based on a few opportune glances at old books? That explanation fits far better with all of the other BofM authorship apologetics.
It certainly does. Carmack has compared it to a small handful of similar texts, but according to the history, there are literally dozens upon dozens in that style, written in that timeframe. His control group is arbitrarily small.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Lemmie »


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Posted 13 minutes ago (edited)
On the nominative absolute. Independent reviewers note that Google's Ngram Viewer isn't very reliable for the 18c, and the further back in time we go, the worse it gets. Here's the nominative absolute with subject pronouns that are clearly subjects (so no 2nd person) and the high frequency verbs being and having:

image.png.9ee23e098f2877fd55972a72d576d053.png

It's quite inaccurate for the 1600s. By 1830, with much higher reliability, we see a rate of 1 in 100,000 words. This means that were the Book of Mormon a text of its time or even a pseudobiblical text, it might have had a few of these, probably no more than 10, and certainly not 62.

Here's a more reliable chart derived from EEBO1 and ECCO:

image.thumb.png.8ce651aea156f313fe5dbc3d9de8cddb.png

We can see an early modern high plateau. There are dozens of lengthier texts during this time whose rates exceed the 2.5 per 10k of the Book of Mormon.

Edited 7 minutes ago by champatsch

https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/73 ... 1209988061
If I understand this correctly, Carmack is arguing that because Smith’s writing aren’t closer to the average for the 1800s, then they are indicative of a different time period?

Carmack- listen up. Post averages AND RANGE, if you want to make this argument. Otherwise, it’s nonsense.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Gadianton »

here are a third or so of the "but ifs" from the KJV and a third from the Book of Mormon

'him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 15:3 Now for a long season'
' If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. 9:13 A foolish woman i'
'to Babylon, come; and I will look well unto thee: but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: beh'
'wn and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of'
'e before you. 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it '
'the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 10:14 And whoso'
'll neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathe'
'e good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 19:18 He sait'
'to the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. 9:'
'ce shall be salted with salt. 9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Ha'


've unto you a blessing yea even my first blessing but if ye will not hearken unto him I take away my first blessing yea e'
'art of the Devil nevertheless not my will be done but if God shall smite thee let that be a sign unto thee that he hath p'
'en from the fall of Adam & will be forever & ever but if he yieldeth to the enticeings of the holy spirit & puteth off th'
' in your hearts that I give not becase I have not but if I had I would give & now if ye say this in your hearts ye remain'
'the Lord is fulfiled & ye are smitten & afflicted but if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart & put your t'
'than thee for behold he hath repented of his sins but if thou shouldst fall at this time in thine anger thy soul could no'
'believed in God it was his privilege to serve him but if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him but if '
'n likeness therefore if a seed groweth it is good but if it groweth not behold it is not good therefore it is cast away &'
're it will get root & grow up & bring forth fruit but if ye neglect the tree & take no thought for its nourishment behold'

I'm not seeing anything he wouldn't have got from the KJV
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Dr Exiled »

I wish someone like Dr. Ritner would step in and kill this theory. (Although it will probably require the brethren to really kill it - imaginary dragons in garages tend to remain in the eyes of their proponents). However, it's really an embarrassment to believers and former believers alike and so, please, someone with a Ph.D. that has linguistic abilities specializing in EmodE step forward. The book of Mormon ain't Shakespeare for heaven's sake!
"Religion is about providing human community in the guise of solving problems that don’t exist or failing to solve problems that do and seeking to reconcile these contradictions and conceal the failures in bogus explanations otherwise known as theology." - Kishkumen 

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Re: EmodE and asserting “proof” of Book of Mormon

Post by Physics Guy »

Lemmie makes a crucial point about range versus average. Just because the BofM is far from the 19th century average in some usage frequency doesn't mean it's all that unusual for the 19th century if it is well within the common range. Usage frequencies can vary a lot from text to text and writer to writer.

But even if the BofM uses construction X far more often than anyone else did in the 19th century, by no means whatever does this say that Joseph Smith could not have written the BofM. As long as he could plausibly have seen or heard even one example of the usage, perhaps quoted in a sermon from some archaic source, then he could easily have filled the BofM chock full of that construction.

Suppose Smith knew that a certain construction X was possibly valid for his target pseudo-Biblical dialect, because he noticed it being used a few times either in the Bible or in other old books or in sermons. What exactly would have stopped Smith from using that construction way more often than an actual King James era writer would have used it?

A good feeling for King James diction would have stopped him, of course. But it's hardly even unlikely, let alone impossible, that the uneducated farm hand Joseph Smith simply lacked a good enough feeling for King James diction. He used construction X way too often from ignorance. What's impossible about that?

Carmack and Skousen seem to be allowing some of their fans to imagine that the innateness of human grammar makes it neurologically impossible for a writer to deviate from their native patterns of usage frequency and accidentally come nearer to the usage frequency patterns of an "extinct" dialect. This is not true at all, though. It's obvious nonsense. A certain chunk of your brain may nudge you when you drift too far from your native dialect, letting you know that you've somehow gone off key, but it will not cut you off and stop your lips from uttering the forbidden words. Linguistic innateness does not work that way at all, and everyone knows it, unless they've allowed themselves to be snowed by Skousen and Carmack out of a desire to have some kind of proof that the Book of Mormon is a remarkable book.

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