Royal Skousen papers
Scope and Contents
- Skousen, Royal (Creator, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Royal Jon Skousen, son of LeRoy Bentley Skousen and Helen Louise McCarty, was born on August 5, 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest of ten children. He graduated from Sunset High School in Beaverton, Oregon. When he was 19, his father unexpectedly died of lung cancer; he went on to serve an LDS mission in Finland from 1965-1967. After his return, in 1968, he married Sirkku Unelma Härkönen; they moved to Orem, Utah and raised seven children together. Meanwhile, Royal received further education in the form of a BA from BYU in English and math. He earned a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1972, then worked as an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Texas-Austin until 1979, when he was hired by BYU. He was also a visiting professor at the University of California-San Diego in 1981, a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Tampere (Finland) in 1982, and a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (Nijmegen, Netherlands) in 2001. In 1999, he was awarded BYU's Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Research and Creative Arts distinction. Since then he has served as the president of the Utah Association of Scholars, as well as associate editor of the Journal of Quantitative Linguistics since 2003. Skousen's work in linguistics has dealt chiefly with developing a theory of language called Analogical Modeling, a theory that predicts language behavior by means of examples rather than by rules. He has published three books on this subject: Analogical Modeling of Language (1989), Analogy and Structure (1992), and Analogical Modeling: An Exemplar-Based Approach to Language (2002). More recently, he has published on the quantum computation of Analogical Modeling, notably in his 2005 paper "Quantum Analogical Modeling" (available at www.arXiv.org). Skousen began working on the critical text of the Book of Mormon in 1988. This work represents the central task of the Critical Text Project, to restore by scholarly means the original text of the Book of Mormon, to the extent possible. To date, he has published 9 books on the subject, with 4 more to appear in the next three years. Altogether, up through 2013, he has given 94 presentations and written/published 14 books, 70 articles, and 23 online and media publications. He lives in Spanish Fork with his wife Sirkku and continues to teach and lecture.
87 cartons (87 linear ft.)
2 half boxes (0.5 linear ft.)
10 oversize boxes (16.6 linear ft.)
1 box (0.5 linear ft.)
The Royal Skousen papers were moved to the library for preliminary processing in about 2009, where Royal worked on them himself as time allowed. In 2013, the papers were assigned for professional processing; after preliminary inventory work was completed and a reorganization plan had been drafted, the final processing and informal documentation was completed in August 2015. [Official donation agreements and plans are currently under way.]
Gelatin Silver print photographs of the Wilford Wood fragments of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon donated by Royal Skousen were added to the collection in 2016.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated; Royal J. Skousen; 2016.
Processed; Megan Schille, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator; 2017.
- Register of Royal Skousen papers
- Amanda Crandall, manuscripts specialist
- 2014 January 23
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English in Latin script.