In the years since Joseph Smith completed the translation of the Book of Mormon, the English language has changed; some common phraseologies and word meanings are dissimilar to today's. Often, in reading the Book of Mormon, we impose our current definitions onto terms that in 1830 had a different meaning. Our interpretation of these words, as well as the passages in which they are found, is skewed by our modern definitions. These words, when they occur in the Book of Mormon, demonstrate dialectal and obsolete senses. In the case of some words, the dialectal or obsolete sense is so far removed in meaning from the prevailing modern sense that Book of Mormon readers may be unsure how to interpret the meaning.
In this study I investigate words in the Book of Mormon text that have taken on different meanings, thus leading to potential misreadings within some passages of the text.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bangerter, Renee, "Since Joseph Smith's Time: Lexical Semantic Shifts in the Book of Mormon" (1998). Theses and Dissertations. 4500.
lexicon, language change, language evolution, language shift, semantics, Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, translation, word meaning