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Why does the Book of Mormon contain such sophisticated and principled command syntax?

Stanford Carmack has studied the use of command syntax in the Book of Mormon and found it is different from the King James Version of the Bible but follows typical Early Modern English construction. 

For example 3 Nephi 20:14 reads

the Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you this land for your inheritance (emphasis added)

Whereas we see the following style in the Bible and Modern English:

the Father hath commanded me to give unto you this land for your inheritance

Stanford Carmack concludes:

…in order to maintain a belief that Joseph Smith authored the BofM, one must assume that he chose to consciously and independently adopt an obsolete finite-clause construction as the main form of command syntax, against the KJB and his own language. One must also ascribe to him the ability to follow principled usage patterns not found in the KJB and incapable of being derived from a normal reading of that text. These include: favoring active finite and passive infinitival complementation, as well as heavy doses of layered syntax (both obscure phenomena to be found mainly at the beginning of the EModE period); nearly always using finite syntax with four types of embedded complexity; always employing finite syntax with an auxiliary (occasionally shall), except when the embedded subject was second person (optionally); and always using main-clause raised objects with embedded infinitives. Because syntactic knowledge is largely tacit, Joseph Smith would have been unaware of such linguistic fine points, just as we are today. And because much of this language was inaccessible to him, it is possible to assert with confidence that he would have been incapable of implementing this complex syntax in the remarkably consistent fashion the text presents.

Stanford Carmack – What Command Syntax Tells Us About Book of Mormon Authorship

How was Joseph Smith able to follow principle usage patterns not found in the Bible? How was he aware of such “linguistic fine points”?


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