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The Case of the {-th} Plural in the Earliest Text

TitleThe Case of the {-th} Plural in the Earliest Text
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsCarmack, Stanford
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
KeywordsEarly Modern English; Text; Textual Criticism

The earliest text of the Book of Mormon employs the {-th} plural — for example, “Nephi’s brethren rebelleth” — in a way that is substantially similar to what is found in many writings of the Early Modern period. The earliest text neither underuses nor overuses the construction, and it manifests inflectional variation and differential usage rates typical of Early Modern English. The totality of the evidence tells us that the Book of Mormon is most reasonably classified as a 16th- or 17th-century text, not as a 19th-century text full of biblical hypercorrections.