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|Title||Comparing Phonemic Patterns in Book of Mormon Personal Names with Fictional and Authentic Sources: An Exploratory Study|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2019|
|Authors||Wilcox, Brad, Bruce L. Brown, Wendy Baker-Smemoe, Sharon Black, and Dennis L. Eggett|
|Journal||Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship,|
|Keywords||Authorship; Historicity; Onomastics; Phonemic Patterns|
In 2013 we published a study examining names from Solomon Spalding’s fictional manuscript, J. R. R. Tolkien’s fictional works, and nineteenth-century US census records. Results showed names created by authors of fiction followed phonemic patterns that differed from those of authentic names from a variety of cultural origins found in the US census. The current study used the same methodology to compare Book of Mormon names to the three name sources in the original study and found that Book of Mormon names seem to have more in common with the patterns found in authentic names than they do with those from fictional works. This is not to say that Book of Mormon names are similar to nineteenth- century names, but rather that they both showed similar patterns when phonotactic probabilities were the common measure. Of course, many more invented names and words from a variety of authors and time periods will need to be analyzed along with many more authentic names across multiple time periods before any reliable conclusions can be drawn. This study was exploratory in nature and conducted to determine if this new line of research merits further study. We concluded it does.
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