EModE Question

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Physics Guy
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Re: EModE Question

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Chap wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:03 am
May I intervene here from a Nevermo perspective? Through no merit but the accident of upbringing, I have equipment that (with all due respect) most ex-Mormons will lack: a close familiarity with 'biblical' (i.e. King James version) English gained in my youth and continued thereafter, uncontaminated with experience of the English of the Book of Mormon. Like a number of my teenage peers, I could produce parodies of the biblical style for satirical purposes, such as texts in which the 'commandments' of the authorities of my school were pompously set out, and so on.

When I first met the Book of Mormon and other Mormon sacred writing, I experienced an immediate strong sense of difference - this was not 'the real thing', but a not very competent imitation of King James English, with mistakes that even teenage Chap would not have made. As PG says, it was clearly the work of 'an uneducated author who is dictating a single draft [and is] not be able to do accurate archaism precisely'. To me there was never any question about the obvious 'fakeness' of the language.
In fact I can report exactly the same. I first read the Book of Mormon (a few small parts thereof) only a couple of years ago, but I once had to memorize Scripture verses from the Authorized Version and my family always liked putting things into mock-Biblical wording. If I got the last piece of cake I would declaim to my disgruntled brothers, "Whosoever there be that snoozeth, that same shall surely lose."

And I had the same immediate reaction to Nephi right from his goodly parents on: wow, this Smith guy was really hamming it up. So my subsequent reaction to the Carmack-Skousen claim that this heavy-handed archaism was some kind of amazingly perfect anachronism was very much, "Cool story, bro!"
But if one has been brought up to regard Mormon texts as on equal terms with the KJV bible, I suspect that the difference between the two is likely to seem much less glaring: it all just melds into 'sacred stuff'. Hence the fakeness of the Book of Mormon diction simply does not stand out as it does to an outsider, and my initial attitude of 'how can they take this obviously fake stuff seriously?' was unfair, since it failed to take account of the specificities of a Mormon cultural background.
That's a good point that hadn't occurred to me.

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Re: EModE Question

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Chap wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:03 am
May I intervene here from a Nevermo perspective? Through no merit but the accident of upbringing, I have equipment that (with all due respect) most ex-Mormons will lack: a close familiarity with 'biblical' (i.e. King James version) English gained in my youth and continued thereafter, uncontaminated with experience of the English of the Book of Mormon. Like a number of my teenage peers, I could produce parodies of the biblical style for satirical purposes, such as texts in which the 'commandments' of the authorities of my school were pompously set out, and so on.

When I first met the Book of Mormon and other Mormon sacred writing, I experienced an immediate strong sense of difference - this was not 'the real thing', but a not very competent imitation of King James English, with mistakes that even teenage Chap would not have made. As PG says, it was clearly the work of 'an uneducated author who is dictating a single draft [and is] not be able to do accurate archaism precisely'. To me there was never any question about the obvious 'fakeness' of the language.

But if one has been brought up to regard Mormon texts as on equal terms with the KJV bible, I suspect that the difference between the two is likely to seem much less glaring: it all just melds into 'sacred stuff'. Hence the fakeness of the Book of Mormon diction simply does not stand out as it does to an outsider, and my initial attitude of 'how can they take this obviously fake stuff seriously?' was unfair, since it failed to take account of the specificities of a Mormon cultural background.
Excuse me, but not all ex-Mormons have been content to simply stagnate in the insufficient pool of their cultural upbringing! :lol:

Seriously, though, your point is well taken. There is an interesting discussion of EModE currently going on at MD&D that I think parallels the limits you are pointing out. Those arguing in favor of Carmack’s EModE interpretation seem to be relying entirely on his analysis without considering that when “one has been brought up to regard Mormon texts as on equal terms with the KJV bible,” as you put it, some obvious issues simply go unnoticed, or at the very least, unmentioned.

One notable exception is Hardy, who was quoted in the above MD&D conversation, from an article published in BYU Studies 2018:
“ The structure of Grammatical Variation, [comprising two parts of Skousen’s “The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon,” ] which starts with the Book of Mormon text and then looks for parallels with the Bible and EModE, guarantees that similarities are highlighted; I would be interested in the explicit identification of characteristic features of EModE that are not replicated in the Mormon scripture (such as the frequent use of the demonstrative pronoun yon/yonder).

Already I have seen online discussions in which Latter-day Saints excitedly assert that the Book of Mormon is an EModE text (and thus could not have been written by Joseph Smith), as if it were lifted straight from the seventeenth century. This does not seem right to me. It may share some syntactic patterns, and there are a few words that make more sense if they are read with obsolete meanings, but most people would have little trouble differentiating a passage from the Book of Mormon with one from a book actually written in the Early Modern Period.

It seems more likely that the language of the Book of Mormon is something of a hybrid, combining linguistic features of modern English and EModE (however one might explain that), while at the same time incorporating hundreds of distinct phrases from both the Old and New Testaments, starting with 1 Nephi (however one might explain that), and also bringing in nonbiblical expressions that were commonly used in the nineteenth century (however one might explain that).”

https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/73 ... 1209983076

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Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: EModE Question

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

Why not take a 4th Dimensional Ghost Committee angle in that all forms of English that have and ever will be spoken were reduced to what the Book of Mormon has to offer in order to gain maximum, uh, transliterate effectiveness.

Boom.

*sprinkles salt on the dish*

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Re: EModE Question

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Chap wrote: But if one has been brought up to regard Mormon texts as on equal terms with the KJV bible, I suspect that the difference between the two is likely to seem much less glaring: it all just melds into 'sacred stuff'. Hence the fakeness of the Book of Mormon diction simply does not stand out as it does to an outsider, and my initial attitude of 'how can they take this obviously fake stuff seriously?' was unfair, since it failed to take account of the specificities of a Mormon cultural background.
Lemmie wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:15 am
Excuse me, but not all ex-Mormons have been content to simply stagnate in the insufficient pool of their cultural upbringing!
Of course you are right - all I was trying to convey is that there is probably a shorter distance to travel from the Nevermo background to the perception 'Hey! This is a poor imitation of the KJV!" than there is from a 'born in the church' Mormon background.
Lemmie wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:15 am
Seriously, though, your point is well taken.
Thanks! Your quote from Hardy is very clear on the point I was trying to make.
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Re: EModE Question

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The mixed nature of the Book of Mormon prose is quite a poser for Mormons, it seems to me. The claim is that Smith could not possibly have produced these utterances because they are in a dialect that was unfamiliar to him. If that claim were right, it would perhaps get Smith off the hook for being author, but it's pretty baffling what kind of "translation by the gift and power of God" might produce such a weird hybrid dialect, with some Early Modern features—yet by no means all—and a lot of thoroughly 19th-century phrases and words with very little if any trace of Early Modern spelling or distinctive lexicon. I mean, if God wants an Early Modern translation—or a 19th-century one—then why not make a proper job of it one way or the other? If the procedure was to let Smith's 19th-century mind loosely select familiar vocabulary to express the revealed meanings, why go all tight in constraining him to use unfamiliar grammar?

Even if the seemingly lousy grammar of the Book of Mormon is pristine EModE grammar, the upshot is rather a confirmation than a contradiction of the Nevermo impression that the Book of Mormon language is ridiculous. One can say that God must just have selected a weird English style for inscrutable reasons, but such a hodgepodge of grammar and vocabulary from wildly different eras seems so unlikely for God that I think one is forced to look again—and look harder—at whether the hodgepodge might have been the work of a less divinely gifted writer.

(I've actually thought of a possible reason why God might have ordained such an oddball translation: maybe the degenerate Mayanized Hebrew of the Nephite original text is somehow brilliantly represented by scrambled English. I've seen translations of Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem "Jabberwocky" into German and French that do a good job of rendering the feeling of the wacky English into differently but analogously wacky German and French. Maybe God was doing something like that, and maybe it was even important because it conveyed the imperfect way in which the Nephites managed to preserve their Hebrew heritage. Or something. I thought it wasn't a bad Mormon spin. But I've suggested it both on Mormon Dialogue & Discussion Board and on Jeff Lindsay's "Mormanity" blog, and nobody seemed to embrace it. I must be missing some nuance of appeal to Mormon thinking. Or maybe it's just the old et dona ferentes, that they fear the anti-Mormons even when we bring gifts because the gifts might somehow be sneaky Trojan horses.)

Leaving the explanation of why God would use EModE grammar with 19th-century vocabulary as a challenge to be faced another day, the Carmack-Skousen approach seems to be to keep insisting that there is no way Joseph Smith's brain could have formulated utterances using EModE grammar. Their argument seems to be a pure appeal to the authority of academic linguistics: linguistics tells us, beyond the possibility of rebuttal by unqualified non-linguists, that human language just works this way. People are helpless slaves to their own native dialects and utterly unable to think outside them; Chomsky said so, so there.

But that's obvious nonsense. It's perfectly true that when we casually speak in our native dialects we follow all kinds of rules without conscious awareness, but this is like the way we breathe in and out all day long without thinking of breathing. We can all hold our breaths, or deliberately breathe deeply or shallowly, softly or heavily, whenever we want. In the same way we can all adopt new kinds of grammar whenever we consciously try. It only takes quite a little bit of practice to speak at length in fluent Pig Latin or Yoda-Speak. If you try it, succeed you will. And we can all learn entirely new languages, perhaps not with full native fluency but certainly with enough consistency to be recognizable. I speak fluent bad German.

So Smith could certainly have written outside his own native 19th century dialect, and also outside the older dialects that he might actually have known. What he probably couldn't have done, though, would have been to imitate any specific unfamiliar dialect accurately. That's the point of linguistics that I think Skousen and Carmack have right. If we gave Joseph Smith the task of imitating Early Modern English, no doubt he'd fail catastrophically.

But let's unpack that a bit. Just how would Smith have failed, if he had deliberately tried to write in EModE grammar? How would we have been able to tell that he'd failed?

It's quite unlikely that we'd be able to show that what he had written was completely incompatible with any actual English dialect that was ever spoken anywhere. It's very hard to say that this or that form of utterance was never used in any given time frame, because we don't have large enough corpuses of surviving texts and transcripts to be sure that no-one ever said anything like that. Smith was a native speaker of English and he knew the King James Bible well, probably along with a number of other books that were old in his day, so whatever he produced would be sure to be old-fashioned-English-y enough that it didn't fall entirely outside the continuum of all English dialects.

Moreover the range of what "Early Modern English" exactly was is broad, like any dialect; anything written within a century or so would have to be counted as valid. It might be easy to show that Smith's fake EModE was no typical form of real EModE, but it would be hard to prove that it was nothing that anyone within the EModE era and geographical range could have possibly uttered.

So how could we identify Smith's failure to write like a real EModE speaker?

What we would surely be able to do, if Joseph Smith had ever deliberately tried to fake EModE grammar, would be to find a bunch of things that he said that were rare in the EModE era but much more common in some later or earlier time frame. And so that's how we'd catch him, not by proving that no EModE speaker could ever have uttered such things, because you can never prove that, but by showing that what Smith had produced couldn't reasonably be identified as EModE because it was much more likely to be something earlier or later.

So that's how Carmack and Skousen are right that Joseph Smith could not possibly have pulled off a deliberate imitation of EModE grammar over the length of the Book of Mormon. If he had tried, their kind of analysis could have exposed his failure ...

... in exactly the same way that it has in fact exposed his failure to imitate the grammar of the King James Bible.

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Re: EModE Question

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"So that's how Carmack and Skousen are right that Joseph Smith could not possibly have pulled off a deliberate imitation of EModE grammar over the length of the Book of Mormon. If he had tried, their kind of analysis could have exposed his failure ...

... in exactly the same way that it has in fact exposed his failure to imitate the grammar of the King James Bible."

another awesome point.
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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Re: EModE Question

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Dr Exiled wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:55 pm
I recently conducted a seance, trying to summon the Ghost Committee, a la the 70's Shazam series and/or the Isis series (I am partial to Isis). Someone completely different appeared to me, saying that the EmodE theory was the craziest thing those on the other side had ever heard. Entonces, no es posible. Lo que es posible son problemas de estomago.
As the old saying goes, "El espíritu está dispuesto, pero aún necesitamos tirar un pedo".
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Re: EModE Question

Post by Dr Exiled »

:lol: :lol:
moksha wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:52 pm
Dr Exiled wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:55 pm
I recently conducted a seance, trying to summon the Ghost Committee, a la the 70's Shazam series and/or the Isis series (I am partial to Isis). Someone completely different appeared to me, saying that the EmodE theory was the craziest thing those on the other side had ever heard. Entonces, no es posible. Lo que es posible son problemas de estomago.
As the old saying goes, "El espíritu está dispuesto, pero aún necesitamos tirar un pedo".
You're the limit Senor pinguino. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: EModE Question

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Physics Guy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:32 pm
The problem that even I see with Carmack's claims is that there an obvious alternative hypothesis: Smith tried to imitate King James English but failed through incompetence. Exaggerating what he thought were KJB archaisms, he overshot the mark and produced a bunch of even more archaic archaisms. This is not an easy hypothesis to test, because there are no other cases of an uneducated guy in Smith's time and place dictating a fake ancient scripture. It's nevertheless an immediately plausible hypothesis, to non-Mormons.
I have pointed this out before here (somewhere on this thread; see also this one for a fun example I found). Overuse of archaism is a clear sign that a document purporting to be ancient is not ancient. The Book of Mormon is replete with overused archaisms ("And it came to pass..."). Any decent textual critic would know this. Skousen, for obvious readings, goes the entirely opposite direction, developing a bizarre theory in order to account for the overuse of archaisms.

Also, any decent textual critic wouldn't need a couple of decades and a few hundred thousand dollars to come up with a critical text for something like the Book of Mormon, which only has two manuscripts tackle (one of which is incomplete).
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Re: EModE Question

Post by Analytics »

Symmachus wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:15 pm
Physics Guy wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:32 pm
The problem that even I see with Carmack's claims is that there an obvious alternative hypothesis: Smith tried to imitate King James English but failed through incompetence. Exaggerating what he thought were KJB archaisms, he overshot the mark and produced a bunch of even more archaic archaisms. This is not an easy hypothesis to test, because there are no other cases of an uneducated guy in Smith's time and place dictating a fake ancient scripture. It's nevertheless an immediately plausible hypothesis, to non-Mormons.
I have pointed this out before here (somewhere on this thread; see also this one for a fun example I found). Overuse of archaism is a clear sign that a document purporting to be ancient is not ancient. The Book of Mormon is replete with overused archaisms ("And it came to pass..."). Any decent textual critic would know this. Skousen, for obvious readings, goes the entirely opposite direction, developing a bizarre theory in order to account for the overuse of archaisms.

Also, any decent textual critic wouldn't need a couple of decades and a few hundred thousand dollars to come up with a critical text for something like the Book of Mormon, which only has two manuscripts tackle (one of which is incomplete).
On your last point, I'm guessing that BYU decided it would no longer fund the project, which is when and why Interpreter decided to pick it up. Am I right about that?
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Re: EModE Question

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Analytics wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:48 pm
Symmachus wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:15 pm


I have pointed this out before here (somewhere on this thread; see also this one for a fun example I found). Overuse of archaism is a clear sign that a document purporting to be ancient is not ancient. The Book of Mormon is replete with overused archaisms ("And it came to pass..."). Any decent textual critic would know this. Skousen, for obvious readings, goes the entirely opposite direction, developing a bizarre theory in order to account for the overuse of archaisms.

Also, any decent textual critic wouldn't need a couple of decades and a few hundred thousand dollars to come up with a critical text for something like the Book of Mormon, which only has two manuscripts tackle (one of which is incomplete).
On your last point, I'm guessing that BYU decided it would no longer fund the project, which is when and why Interpreter decided to pick it up. Am I right about that?
I don't think that's correct, Analytics. Skousen was at odds with the Brethren over this--this idea was that he was doing something semi-blasphemous (i.e., doing his own, "man-inspired" version of the Book of Mormon). The rumors--confirmed by DCP at one point--were that Skousen was told not to do this, but he did it anyway. And it was supported (in a weird, "cloak and dagger" sort of way) by FARMS/the "old" Maxwell Institute. I've never understood that: it has always seemed like a bonkers theory to me, but Peterson and others (or maybe just Peterson?) seem to think it's got legs, and so the support has been there. I'm not sure how much money was thrown Skousen's way back during the era of "classic FARMS," but eight years after the founding of "Mormon Interpreter," close to $300,000 has been given to Skousen in support of this ridiculous project.
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Re: EModE Question

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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:27 pm
but eight years after the founding of "Mormon Interpreter," close to $300,000 has been given to Skousen in support of this ridiculous project.
A great bundle of 16th Century Florins it would be! Many flagons could be raised with such generosity toward the translators.
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Re: EModE Question

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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:27 pm
I'm not sure how much money was thrown Skousen's way back during the era of "classic FARMS," but eight years after the founding of "Mormon Interpreter," close to $300,000 has been given to Skousen in support of this ridiculous project.
It’s classic confirmation bias. $300,000 so Skousen can reframe the evidence and avoid confronting the real conclusion to his research into Book Of Mormon linguistics. This “project” will go down as one of the biggest embarrassments ever for Mormon Apologetics, and the Church will (once he’s dead) throw Skousen firmly under the bus on it.

It’s going to be worthy of a special Cassius Lifetime Achievement award with accompanying Gala Dinner in the main Hall.

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Re: EModE Question

Post by Analytics »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:27 pm
Analytics wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:48 pm

On your last point, I'm guessing that BYU decided it would no longer fund the project, which is when and why Interpreter decided to pick it up. Am I right about that?
I don't think that's correct, Analytics. Skousen was at odds with the Brethren over this--this idea was that he was doing something semi-blasphemous (i.e., doing his own, "man-inspired" version of the Book of Mormon). The rumors--confirmed by DCP at one point--were that Skousen was told not to do this, but he did it anyway. And it was supported (in a weird, "cloak and dagger" sort of way) by FARMS/the "old" Maxwell Institute. I've never understood that: it has always seemed like a bonkers theory to me, but Peterson and others (or maybe just Peterson?) seem to think it's got legs, and so the support has been there. I'm not sure how much money was thrown Skousen's way back during the era of "classic FARMS," but eight years after the founding of "Mormon Interpreter," close to $300,000 has been given to Skousen in support of this ridiculous project.
Thank you for the information, Professor Scratch. The impression I still have is that back in the day, perhaps 50% of Skousen's workload and pay was associated with this research. When Peterson resigned from the MI and things shook up, this project got killed. At that point Skousen had a choice--end the research, take a 50% pay cut and continue the research on his own, or find somebody else who would pay 50% of his salary and fund the continuation of the project. That is when Interpreter stepped up.

Either that, or Interpreter volunteered to pay for it just to create some prestige for the fledgling institute. But in either case, somebody was paying for this project before the Interpreter started paying.

Is the project bonkers? It depends on whether you are trying to prove the Book of Mormon is "true," or whether you are merely trying to prove it is an accurate translation of an authentic ancient manuscript. The second question is what leads to the craziness.
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Re: EModE Question

Post by Agosh »

I have it on good authority that almost all that money — coming from private donors — has gone to costs of typesetting (Skousen's brother), printing, binding, and shipping: tens of thousands of large-format books produced. It could be seen as a large vanity press operation; much of it is dry reference material.

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Re: EModE Question

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Thanks Agosh. Are you saying it came from private donors even before the FARMS/MI shakeup?

The Critical Text Project has been going on since 1988. If the cost of this "vanity press" has averaged $30k per year over that entire time, private donors have now spent over one million dollars on this. That's astounding if it doesn't include paying the researcher for his time.
It’s relatively easy to agree that only Homo sapiens can speak about things that don’t really exist, and believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

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Re: EModE Question

Post by Symmachus »

Analytics wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:47 am
Thanks Agosh. Are you saying it came from private donors even before the FARMS/MI shakeup?

The Critical Text Project has been going on since 1988. If the cost of this "vanity press" has averaged $30k per year over that entire time, private donors have now spent over one million dollars on this. That's astounding if it doesn't include paying the researcher for his time.
I continue to be amazed at the project at all. From what I understand—and I invite correction if that understanding is wrong—there is a critical text that was produced (published by Yale), a facsimile of the printer's manuscript, and then a series of commentaries on textual variants totaling five or six volumes. All of this results from less than two complete manuscripts of the Book of Mormon.

That is all very valuable work, but I fail to grasp why it has sucked in so much money. M. L. West did editions of Homer, almost all of Greek elegiac and Iambic poetry before the fourth century, Anacreon, Hesiod, and Aeschylus, as well as the fragments of a few other poets. Most of this work involved collating and analyzing numerous manuscripts and manuscript traditions. Not only that, but he also wrote commentaries justifying his editorial choices for most of these, in addition to several books on interpretive and technical issues. There is no way he got anything approaching $300,000 for all of this work beyond his stipend as a fellow at All Souls.

Other than the Yale edition, it seems this is being funded externally but published under the imprint of FARMS or whatever the name of the Interpreter's press is, so it is a kind of extravagant form of self-publishing. But how many copies of these highly technical books are they producing anyway that could justify such exorbitant costs? There must be massive demand for this series of books.
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Re: EModE Question

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Symmachus wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:57 am
I continue to be amazed at the project at all. From what I understand—and I invite correction if that understanding is wrong—there is a critical text that was produced (published by Yale), a facsimile of the printer's manuscript, and then a series of commentaries on textual variants totaling five or six volumes.
Here is my tally:
  • Volume I: The Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon (2001)
  • Volume II: the Printer's Manuscript of the Book of Mormon, Part One (2001)
  • Volume II: the Printer's Manuscript of the Book of Mormon, Part Two (2001)
  • Volume III: The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, Part One - Grammatical Variation (2016)
  • Volume III: The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, Part Two - Grammatical Variation (2016)
  • Volume III: The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, Part Three - The Nature of the Original Language of the Book of Mormon (2018)
  • Volume III: The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, Part Four - The Nature of the Original Language of the Book of Mormon (2018)
  • Volume III: The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, Part Five - The King James Quotations in the Book of Mormon (2019)
  • Volume III: The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon, Part Six - Spelling in the Manuscripts and Editions (2020)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part One, 1st Edition (2004)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part Two, 1st Edition (2005)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part Three, 1st Edition (2006)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part Four, 1st Edition (2007)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part Five, 1st Edition (2008)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part Six, 1st Edition (2009)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part One, 2nd Edition (2017)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part Two, 2nd Edition (2017)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part Three, 2nd Edition (2017)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part Four, 2nd Edition (2017)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part Five, 2nd Edition (2017)
  • Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part Six, 2nd Edition (2017)
  • The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text (2009)
[Edited to add publication dates]
Last edited by Nevo on Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Analytics
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Re: EModE Question

Post by Analytics »

Thanks Nevo. You wouldn't happen to have handy the dates for those volumes, would you? My understanding is that this project started in 1988, and that most of the above was published over the subsequent 26 years (i.e. was published by BYU before 2014). It was only in 2014 that Interpreter started funding this.

If it cost $300,000 for the work done from 2014-2020, how much did it cost for the work done from 1988 to 2014?
It’s relatively easy to agree that only Homo sapiens can speak about things that don’t really exist, and believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

-Yuval Noah Harari

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Chap
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Re: EModE Question

Post by Chap »

Analytics wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:09 am
Is the project bonkers? It depends on whether you are trying to prove the Book of Mormon is "true," or whether you are merely trying to prove it is an accurate translation of an authentic ancient manuscript. The second question is what leads to the craziness.
The project will serve an extremely useful purpose. Mormons confronted by naïve persons like myself who have the temerity to ask "But isn't it obvious to any educated reader that the Book of Mormon is written in a style that is simply an incompetent attempt at writing KJV English?" can respond "Oh - but have you read the comprehensive study by Skousen of the text and language of the Book of Mormon? Years of work went into it".

One gesture at the row of tomes on the shelf, and I shall be silenced. The Mormon in question does not need to have opened a single one of Skousen's volumes for this defence to be effective.
Zadok:
I did not have a faith crisis. I discovered that the Church was having a truth crisis.
Maksutov:
That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.

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Doctor Scratch
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Re: EModE Question

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Analytics wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:47 am
Thanks Agosh. Are you saying it came from private donors even before the FARMS/MI shakeup?

The Critical Text Project has been going on since 1988. If the cost of this "vanity press" has averaged $30k per year over that entire time, private donors have now spent over one million dollars on this. That's astounding if it doesn't include paying the researcher for his time.
I'm really glad that you're inquiring into this, Analytics. I have always thought that the "accounting" associated with this project seemed fishy. To be honest, I've wondered if this was some sort of scheme that was set up so that Dan Peterson and Royal Skousen could split the money in an "off the books" sort of way. The allegedly "transparent" reporting they've done leaves a ton of room for speculation.

But now we've got Agosh claiming that the money is getting sunk into typesetting? Really? Look: I'm willing to listen to evidence in favor of this claim, but I guess my main reservations here have to do with questions of value. Why would the Mopologists see this whole venture as being worth at least 300K, and possibly more than a million dollars? That is just mind-boggling to me. It actually makes a lot more sense if it is actually a kind of "money laundering 'lite'" sort of deal, but if Agosh is correct, then it means that they just pissed away all the money. Pure folly, in other words. Then again, this is (allegedly) donor money that is getting spent.

Well, maybe I shouldn't be so surprised. I mean, "Witnesses" is coming out later this year, no?
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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