Gerald E. Smith introduces the concept of corrective conjunction phrases as follows:
Orators and writers use corrective conjunctions all the time to correct or clarify, often while speaking extemporaneously, to achieve greater precision in the point they want to make. For example, in September 1859, during the American presidential Lincoln-Douglas debates, Abraham Lincoln said to an audience in Columbus, Ohio, “In 1784, I believe, this same Mr. [Thomas] Jefferson drew up an ordinance for the government of the country upon which we now stand, or, rather a frame or draft of an ordinance for the government of this country.” (emphasis added)– Gerald E. Smith – Improvisation and Extemporaneous Change in the Book of Mormon (Part 1: Evidence of an Imperfect, Authentic, Ancient Work of Scripture)
Smith has identified 170 example of corrective conjunction phrases in the Book of Mormon, for example from the earliest text of Alma 17:18:
Now Ammon being the chief among them,
or rather he did administer unto them,
he departed from them,
after having blessed them according to their several stations,
having imparted the word of God unto them,
or administered unto them before his departure.
And thus they took their several journeys throughout the land. (emphasis added)
Looking at five different types of changes, Smith identifies how the authors of the Book of Mormon have different improvisation pattern signatures. Summarized as follows:
Mormon’s improvisations as an author appear to be driven by an impulse in history and war — evidence of an occupational orientation as a military historian. In these two categories we find the greatest incidence of Mormon’s extemporaneous changes — those places deemed important and challenging because there we see pauses to make corrections
…The improvisations found in Nephi’s texts appear most frequently in prophecy and doctrinal narratives, and much less so in historical narratives.
…The improvisations found in Alma’s texts appear notably in doctrinal narratives, but also quite broadly in history, exhortation, geography, and prophecy narratives.
…The prolific improvisations found in Abinadi’s texts appear solely in doctrinal texts, and mostly are Type 2 Amplifying and clarifying.
…The prolific improvisations found in Limhi’s texts (third-most in the Book of Mormon) appear mostly in history, then military, geography, and doctrine texts, with extemporaneous changes that are both Type 2 Amplifying or clarifying, and Type 1 Correcting or fixing.
…The prolific improvisations found in Benjamin’s texts appear in exhortation, prophecy, doctrine, and history, and are virtually always Type 2 Amplifying and clarifying.– Gerald E. Smith – Improvisation and Extemporaneous Change in the Book of Mormon (Part 1: Evidence of an Imperfect, Authentic, Ancient Work of Scripture)
What is noticeable from these six author improvisation pattern signatures is how distinctly different they are from each other. Some are narrowly focused in editorial content (Abinadi, Mormon, and Nephi), and others have greater content diversity (Alma, Limhi, and Benjamin), and emphasizing different types of improvisation — Type 1 Correcting and fixing versus Type 2 Amplifying, clarifying, and augmenting. What we see here is evidence, statistically, and visually, that the improvisations found in the texts of Book of Mormon authors appear to be works of multiple authors, rather than a single author like Joseph Smith or Moroni — both later contributors to the Book of Mormon’s construction.– Gerald E. Smith – Improvisation and Extemporaneous Change in the Book of Mormon (Part 1: Evidence of an Imperfect, Authentic, Ancient Work of Scripture)
How does this correlate with Joseph Smith being the sole author of the Book of Mormon?