Royal Skousen, Professor of Linguistics at BYU, is important for at least two reasons. First, he has developed a unique theory of language learning and use based on analogy (see his Analogical Modeling of Language, Analogy and Structure, and Analogical Modeling: An exemplar-based approach to language). Skousen’s work is important because it gives us a rigorous alternative to Chomskian linguistics.
Second, Professor Skousen is creating a critical text of the Book of Mormon, beginning with as much of the original manuscript as is available. The result of a more than 15-year project, the critical edition will show all changes in the text from then through the 1981 version.
Please suggest the questions that you would like to ask Professor Skousen. Based on your submissions and our own ideas, we will submit twelve questions to him and post his responses.
Perhaps the questions we have drafted will give you some ideas:
1. What is the Critical Edition of the Book of Mormon?
2. Is the work on the Critical Edition, and the work on the manuscripts in general, primarily meant to serve apologetic interests? Or is there, in your view, much that would benefit believing Latter-day Saints in their personal scripture study?
3. Speaking in broad strokes, what is the connection, if any, between your work on analogical modeling in language, and your work on the Book of Mormon manuscripts?
4. What has been one of the more surprising things you’ve come across in your work with the Book of Mormon manuscripts and Joseph Smith papers?