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Personal Relative Pronoun Usage in the Book of Mormon: An Important Authorship Diagnostic
|Personal Relative Pronoun Usage in the Book of Mormon: An Important Authorship Diagnostic
|Year of Publication
|Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
|Book of Mormon Authorship; King James Bible; Linguistics; Stylometry
This study compares personal relative pronoun usage in the earliest text of the Book of Mormon with 11 specimens of Joseph Smith’s early writings, 25 pseudo-archaic texts, the King James Bible, and more than 200,000 early modern (1473–1700) and late modern (1701–1800+) texts. The linguistic pattern of the Book of Mormon in this domain — a pattern difficult to consciously manipulate in a sustained manner — uniquely points to a less-common early modern pattern. Because there is no matching of the Book of Mormon’s pattern except with a small percentage of early modern texts, the indications are that Joseph Smith was neither the author nor the English-language translator of this pervasive element of the dictation language of the Book of Mormon. Cross-verification by means of large database comparisons and matching with one of the finest pseudo-archaic texts confirm these findings.
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