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.
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.Agosh wrote: ↑Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:18 amYet 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:Or this one: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.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.
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:
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, and 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.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.
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.
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.Physics Guy wrote: ↑Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:33 amThis 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,
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 pmHere 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.
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.Gadianton wrote: ↑Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:16 pmThese 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 <â€‹wasâ€‹> 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 <â€‹haveâ€‹> 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